Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Turkey's push to be "the champion of Palestine"

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The sky falls in on Froome'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Could the ECB surprise the markets?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Federal Reserve hikes interest rates, raises forecast

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Saudi Arabia and UAE pledge €130 million for G5 Sahel joint force

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

‘Trump still committed to a two-state solution,’ says Saudi Foreign Minister Jubeir

Read more

THE DEBATE

How to patrol the Sahara? The challenges facing G5 Sahel joint force

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'Star Wars, The Last Jedi'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Evo Morales: US exit from Paris accord is 'unforgivable'

Read more

Culture

Coco Chanel was Nazi spy, new biography claims

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-08-17

French fashion legend Coco Chanel (pictured) spied for the Nazis during Germany's occupation of France, according to a new book by Hal Vaughan, an American journalist and former diplomat.

REUTERS - A new book about the life of Coco Chanel published in the United States on Tuesday aims to strengthen claims the French designer collaborated with the Nazis during World War II as a spy code-named "Westminster."

The book, "Sleeping With The Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War," by Paris-based American journalist Hal Vaughan, claims that not only was the designer the lover of a German officer, Hans Gunther von Dincklage, which has been well-documented, but they were spies who went on missions to Madrid and Berlin.

In addition, the book claims Chanel was deeply anti-Semitic.

"Vaughn reveals that Chanel was more than just a Nazi sympathizer and collaborator. She was a numbered Nazi agent working for Abwehr, Germany's military intelligence agency," publisher Alfred A. Knopf said in a statement.

But a representative for the Chanel fashion house on Tuesday poured doubt on the book's allegations.

"What's certain is that she had a relationship with a German aristocrat during the War. Clearly it wasn't the best period to have a love story with a German even if Baron von Dincklage was English by his mother and she (Chanel) knew him before the War," the Chanel group said in a statement.

The fashion house also disputed that the designer was anti-Semitic, saying Chanel would not have had Jewish friends or ties with the Rothschild family of financiers if she were.

But the book draws on English, French, German and American archives to claim Chanel, whose menswear-inspired fashions propelled her to become one of the most influential figures in fashion, went on missions with Dincklage and others to help recruit new agents willing to serve Germany.

It gives her Abwehr agent number as F-7124 and code-name as "Westminster," named after the Duke of Westminster with whom she had a love affair. She died in Paris in 1971, age 87.

She has long been speculated about as being a spy, but was released after being questioned about her ties to Nazi Germany by a judge in France. The book prints some excerpts of her court testimony.
 

Date created : 2011-08-17

COMMENT(S)