New book says Coco Chanel spied for Nazis
French designer Coco Chanel spied for the Nazis during Germany's World War II occupation of France, according to a new book by American author Hal Vaughan.
"Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War" examines longstanding evidence that the designer was the lover of a spy, Baron Hans Gunther von Dincklage.
Hal Vaughan concludes that von Dincklage was a Nazi master spy who ran a ring in the Mediterranean and in Paris, reporting directly to propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.
The author tells how and why he thinks Coco Chanel herself was enlisted in a number of espionnage missions and how she escaped arrest in France after the war.
Vaughan says Chanel was "fiercely anti-Semitic", although her views were not considered particularly unusual at the time, as they were shared by numerous other prominent personalities who are now seen to have collaborated with their Nazi occupiers.
Chanel moved to Switzerland after the war, but later returned to Paris to take up her career in fashion.
She was never charged in connection with her wartime role and died in 1971.