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Thread: Coco Chanel Posed Naked for an Anti-Semitic Cartoon

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Coco Chanel Posed Naked for an Anti-Semitic Cartoon

    Over at The Gloss, Jennifer Wright has a fascinating round-up of Coco Chanel's activities in support of Nazism and fascism prior, during, and after World War II. Fascinating but also harrowing. And now with more anti-Semitic cartoons.

    This ground is all pretty well-known to anyone familiar with Coco Chanel's life story — most notably, the designer's wartime activities and Nazi sympathies were explored in Hal Vaughan's excellent 2011 biography, Sleeping With The Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War. But it's still interesting to see the details of Chanel's collaboration with the Nazis — and her activities as a spy for the occupiers — laid out in chronological order online.


    Chanel's conversion to fascism began in the early 1930s, when she began a relationship with the French illustrator and anti-Semite Paul Iribe. Chanel funded the 1933 relaunch of Iribe's magazine Le Temoin, which Wright accurately describes as "a violent, ultra-nationalist publication that said that France was being destroyed from within by Jews."



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    In one issue, Iribe even drew a naked Chanel — intended to personify France — being cradled in the arms of Adolf Hitler while conniving French Jews looked on. Only Hitler could save France from the great existential threat of international Jewry. Coco Chanel was apparently on board with this message.

    After Iribe died and the war began, there were more Nazi lovers, and during the occupation of Paris, Chanel famously lived at the Ritz and dined with Hermann Gφring and Joseph Goebbels. She spied for the Nazis and attempted to use the new Nazi laws to wrest control of the lucrative Chanel perfume brand from its owners, the French Jewish Wertheimer family. (She was ultimately unsuccessful because unbeknownst to her the Wertheimers had already turned over control of their business interests to a French Christian agent, Felix Amiot, before fleeing Paris. Amiot returned the company to the Wertheimers after the war, and they still own Chanel today.)


    It may be a little absurd to expect to like a designer just because you like his or her work — Wright compares it to "expecting to love cows because you love hamburgers" — but the depth and tenacity of Chanel's fascism is, even after all these years, still pretty breathtaking.

    Coco Chanel Posed Naked for an Anti-Semitic Cartoon



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    Elite Member Air Quotes's Avatar
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    Someone had to pose naked for someone to draw that?
    Just Kill Me and Osakan like this.
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    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air Quotes View Post
    Someone had to pose naked for someone to draw that?
    snort, yeah really....
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    She may have had really antiquated views about religion, but clearly was ahead of her time with personal grooming.

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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    Chanel's conversion to fascism began in the early 1930s, when she began a relationship with the French illustrator and anti-Semite Paul Iribe.
    Why is it so often that someone was supposedly turned around by a relationship? I completely get that someone you're with could open your mind to new things, but they really shouldn't change who you are at your core. It seems like there must have been some latent racism in Coco before she started the relationship. If someone I dated said they hated Jews or anyone else, I'd be out the door.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    She may have had really antiquated views about religion, but clearly was ahead of her time with personal grooming.
    I noticed that too. LOL
    "AND WHEN YOU BECAME DENISE, I TOLD ALL YOUR COLLEAGUES, THOSE CLOWN COMICS, TO FIX THEIR HEARTS OR DIE."

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterslide View Post
    Why is it so often that someone was supposedly turned around by a relationship? I completely get that someone you're with could open your mind to new things, but they really shouldn't change who you are at your core. It seems like there must have been some latent racism in Coco before she started the relationship. If someone I dated said they hated Jews or anyone else, I'd be out the door.
    Look at Jane Fonda. She takes up with French director Roger Vadim and becomes a celluloid sex kitten (Barbarella).

    She takes up with sixties radical Tom Hayden and she's sitting on a tank in North Vietnam.

    She takes up with media mogul Ted Turner and she's a running-dog capitalist.
    Kathie_Moffett and Daisy Sun like this.

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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    Look at Jane Fonda. She takes up with French director Roger Vadim and becomes a celluloid sex kitten (Barbarella).

    She takes up with sixties radical Tom Hayden and she's sitting on a tank in North Vietnam.

    She takes up with media mogul Ted Turner and she's a running-dog capitalist.
    That is a good example. It's kind of the like Brad Pitt morphing into his girlfriends. I know it happens all the time, but it freaks me out when people change their whole personality when they're with someone.
    "AND WHEN YOU BECAME DENISE, I TOLD ALL YOUR COLLEAGUES, THOSE CLOWN COMICS, TO FIX THEIR HEARTS OR DIE."

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Chanel was probably an anti-semite before she met Iribe. Anti-semitism was very strong in France at that time.



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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    Chanel was probably an anti-semite before she met Iribe. Anti-semitism was very strong in France at that time.
    Definitely. The Dreyfus Affair not being long before. Even Marie Curie, despite already having a Nobel Prize, was excluded from the French Academy of Sciences partly on the strength of accusations that she was Jewish (she was actually born Catholic, but was nonreligious).

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    Elite Member WhateverLolaWants's Avatar
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    Yeah. Studying about this right now in one of my classes (The citizens of Europe in the 30s and antisemitism) We like to think it was 'just' the Germans, but it was everywhere and mixed throughout the classes. While it was certainly not EVERY french person who was an anti-semite, there was a conspicuous amount of support for giving over jews and taking their land on the part of the french during the occupation.

    Erm: And by 'we like to think its was just the Germans' I'm not trying to imply that Germans were by nature less moral than anyone else, more that we like to think this type of thinking was more contained/localized than it really was
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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    I agree that she was probably anti-semite before meeting Iribe. The relationship was probably the perfect petri dish for whatever hate was festering inside her. Might even have been one of the things that attracted her to him.

    I liked that the Wertheimer family outsmarted her on the perfume company.
    "AND WHEN YOU BECAME DENISE, I TOLD ALL YOUR COLLEAGUES, THOSE CLOWN COMICS, TO FIX THEIR HEARTS OR DIE."

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Did any of you ever get a chance to read "The Fixer" by Bernard Malamud? It was an assignment when I was in (Catholic) high school. Basically, a jewish shop-owner in Russia is framed for the murder of a Russian (I think it was a boy). The Jewish community seemed to be apart and totally mysterious to other Russians. As a result, they had all kinds of crazy, horrible mythologies about Jews - like that Jewish males menstruated from the tips of their penises. And the blood libel - that Jewish people had a secret eucharistic like ceremony where they dipped the wafer in the blood of a Christian child. Horrible stuff. Can you imagine the antipathy and loathing you would have for someone if you actually believed that garbage?

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    anti-semitism is strongly linked to the rise of nationalism and fascism. Jews were suspect because they didn't have a country and it was thougt they didn't show the right amount of allegiance to the countries they lived in (at a time when zealous patriotism was 'in' and you were supposed to come all over yourself with joy every time to heard your national anthem or saw your flag) they had a different religion, but also, and perhaps more importantly, wielded what was considered a disproportionate amount of power, particularly over financial institutions.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    anti-semitism is strongly linked to the rise of nationalism and fascism. Jews were suspect because they didn't have a country and it was thougt they didn't show the right amount of allegiance to the countries they lived in (at a time when zealous patriotism was 'in' and you were supposed to come all over yourself with joy every time to heard your national anthem or saw your flag) they had a different religion, but also, and perhaps more importantly, wielded what was considered a disproportionate amount of power, particularly over financial institutions.
    They also "asked too many questions". I think the philosopher Baruch Spinoza was one of the few Jews to actually be excommunicated from the Jewish community because of his writings questioning religion. Other Jews in the Dutch community who formally sanctioned him were freaking out, basically saying, "For f*ck's sake, we just fled here from Portugal. Don't blow it for us here, too!"

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhateverLolaWants View Post
    Yeah. Studying about this right now in one of my classes (The citizens of Europe in the 30s and antisemitism) We like to think it was 'just' the Germans, but it was everywhere and mixed throughout the classes. While it was certainly not EVERY french person who was an anti-semite, there was a conspicuous amount of support for giving over jews and taking their land on the part of the french during the occupation.

    Erm: And by 'we like to think its was just the Germans' I'm not trying to imply that Germans were by nature less moral than anyone else, more that we like to think this type of thinking was more contained/localized than it really was
    Absolutely. Many of the countries that were occupied by the Nazis during the war eagerly handed over their Jews, and were more than happy to help with their disposal. A few countries were resistant, but more were helpful.



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