JAF already did what we do best – a half-contrite, half-cheeky semi-explanation as to why we haven’t been a-blogging of late – before the previous search term referrals post. And she did a damn good job of it, too.
So in addition to JAF’s watertight defense, I’d just like to add that I, personally, didn’t pepper you with sexy historical stylings because I spent my winter break watching the complete series of Friday Night Lights and making pointless trips to Target in an attempt to escape the death trap that is my house to any victim of feline allergies. I think the reason why I’ve been feeling like my break was not relaxing at all was that I spent it actively trying NOT to get a sinus infection as a result of my untreated cat allergy. Because despite this malady and the fact that cats are the fucking worst pets ever, my family owns one. Basically, picture me curled up kind of fetal-ly in front of my laptop, clutching a box of Kleenex, and having a nice Allegra-Benadryl-generic Sudafed cocktail every four to six hours, crying from the eye irritation and also every time Tim Riggins says “TEXAS FOREVER,” because you know he loves Texas and Dillon and football but you also know that HE knows that he’ll never leave because he’s squandered opportunities but has also had to make up for the fact that he was down for the count to begin with.
But whatever. I’m over it. NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX, SHALL WE?
If you’ve ever spent any amount of time in a college philosophy or English or architecture or gender studies or theology or psychology or pretty much any class in the past twenty years, chances are you’ve heard of Martin Heidegger. He’s considered the greatest philosophical mind of the twentieth century or whatever, wrote a lot about being and the human relationship with time and structure, blah blah blah. Actually, the man’s helped me add a couple pages at least two papers in the past academic year, so I guess I should discuss him with a little more reverence. So thanks for writing “Building, Dwelling, Thinking,” I guess, Marty.
Anyway, God knows I respect his insatiable, immoral sexual appetite!
So ol’ Marty was born in rural Germany in the late nineteenth century to super humble, super Catholic parents. He actually wanted to study theology, but apparently he had some sort of heart condition that made it impossible…I call bullshit. I think SOMEONE just wanted to study crazy sexy philosophy instead of boring, dusty, stodgy old Jesus. Anyway, that’s what he did, and by the mid-twenties he was married to a hottie named Elfriede (I mean I don’t really know what she looked like, but with a name like that, she had to have something else going for her), and he was the premiere philosophical scholar in all of the Deutschland, working as a professor and rector (or E-RECTor!) at Frieburg University.
He was also banging a couple of sassy, smart lady-students extracurricularly and extramaritally. My man was philosophical AND efficient.
First, there was Elisabeth Blochmann, who had one Jewish parent. Geez, MRG, that seems unnecessary and a little racist or ethnically insensitive or at least just a bit awkward or something. Sure it does. That’s just because I TOTALLY FORGOT TO TELL YOU GUYS THAT MARTY WAS A BIG, BIG, BIG OL’ NAZI SYMPATHIZER. Yeah. So that caused a couple of problems for both he and Liz when the whole Schmolocaust thing started gaining steam. But unlike some of the other Schmazis we’ve written about here at For Shame!, Marty was still a basically decent person at heart. So when things started getting a little…shall we say, dicey, for people of the Jewish persuasion in Germany, Marty wasn’t an asshole. He got Liz and her family the hell outta dodge before it was too late. And he also had a lot of sex with her. He was just really into giving.
And at or around the same time, another woman of the Tribe was letting Marty Heidegg-her (I’m just going to do it the one time, promise). And guess what – you’ve probably heard of her! HANNAH ARENDT ring any bells???!?!?
If you’re anything like me, it sure did, but then you had to go to Wikipedia to remember who she was, and then Pippa Middleton or soap or whatever that was didn’t let you, so you had to wait A WHOLE TWENTY FOUR HOURS to figure out what Hannah did in her life even though there’s a large, well-stocked research library less than five minutes from your apartment.
Anyway, after, like, the longest twenty four hours EVER, I realized and/or was told that Hannah was a badass philosophical bitch here in the ol’ land of the free, best known for studying the dynamics of power and authority……………………..IN BED!!!!!!!!!!1 And in just two words, I’ve trivialized her life’s work. BOOM, nailed it.
Much like Hannah herself was getting nailed by Marty, as Elisabeth before her.
And unlike Elisabeth, Hannah was 100% Kosher, making things 100% complicated.
Shit was real between those two. Even Mother Wiki calls their relationship “long, stormy, and romantic,” so it’s gotta be true. We all know THAT COUPLE. The couple that fights all the time. The makeup sex couple, if you will, that stays together merely to breakup, bone, and do it all over again, in a cyclical, sexual, totally fucking annoying dance. Yeah, in my completely valid and verified historical opinion, Hannah and Marty were in it for the makeup sex. They started boning around 1925, and kept on keeping on, cyclically, of course, until 1929, when they had THE FIGHT and Hannah, Independent Woman that she was, said “I don’t need your philosophical brain for my academics or your nonphilosophical dick for my lady needs ANYMORE!” Then she went to Heidelburg, where she went on to write her dissertation of Augustinian concepts of love under the tutelage of Mr. Karl Jaspers, another fancy philosopher. Germany was really churning them out, weren’t they? And as if the academic jealousy this undoubtedly aroused for Marty weren’t enough, HANNA FUCKING GOT MARRIED, too! All in one year. FUCK, those Germans are efficient.
Anyway, Hannah couldn’t escape rumors of her steamy affair with Marty, and his devotion to the Nazi cause a decade later certainly didn’t make things easier for her. By this point she’d moved here and started working for a couple of very active anti-Nazi, anti-Hitler, anti-badguys organizations.
So it would be totally reasonable to assume that these two fucking hated each other. But here’s the best part – YOU’RE WRONG. That’s not the best part, I mean everyone wants to be right, right? I want you to be right. But you’re just not. The best part is that Hannah and Marty, despite the conflicting nature of their most basic beliefs and ideologies, despite their breakups, despite Hannah’s quickie nuptials, despite Marty’s marriage, legitimately remained friends until Hannah’s death in 1975. Seriously, their letters are published. I’m not mathologist, but by my calculations that’s fifty fucking years. And Marty died a year later. And both of them left this crazy mixed-up world as well-respected leaders of their respective fields. Shit. Hannah and Marty were some highly evolved, highly aroused people.
Now, naturally, I think a tribute to their sexploits is long overdue. So here’s to Marty, who as a Catholic Nazi sympathizer with two documented, high-profile Jewish bangmaids, was either very forward thinking or just really wanted to get laid, and here’s to Hannah, the Jewish bangmaid who was woman enough to remain friends with her ideological foe for half a century. Or who wanted to keep that booty call on the active roster, just in case.
And special thanks to MRG’s friend and scholar of all things German, KP, for suggesting this scandal.
My cousin is a fashion designer who, after working for a big label for a number of years finally broke off and started her own line about a year and half ago. You’d think that was cool, right? Like “Oh biiitch, you so lucky, I betchu get free clothes all the time!” HA! WRONG. Why am I telling you this, you ask? What does this charming familial anecdote have to do with scandal of yore? Well, patience is a virtue, motherfuckers, so see the next paragraph, why don’t you!?
A while ago, my good-for-nothing designer cousin said that if I talked about her in for shame! she’d give me a lil hand out. So I told her she needed to get her ass a little more famous, do something scandalous, and then let a bunch of years pass and then we’d be all over it. But she’s busy being “professional” or some shit, not to mention contemporary, so I’m settling on a couturier a tish bit more fragrant and hoping I score some free shit anyway due to the linkage above. So yes, I’m a sell out. But, as the title indicates, at least I’m not a treasonous slut bag.
If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to spritz your favorite No. 5 all up in your pale pink tweed suit jacket (because I know we all have those things that aren’t not imaginary), now’s the time because today we’re exploring the scandalosity of none other than Coco Chanel.
Listen, I want to give the bitch some cred before I start making everyone feel uncomfortable reading about the outrageous degree of sexploitation that defined her personal life. As far as fashion/art/modernist design goes, she practically introduced Jersey fabric to womenswear. So all of you hipsters who don’t shower but shop at American Apparel like a squirrel at an acorn store, you have her to thank. Before Chanel, Jersey fabric was only used for men’s underwear. Now it’s used in practically everything,(including the $18 queen size sheet set I got at target this summer!!) She was one of the first and certainly the most important female couturiers in Paris in the 20s. Before Chanel, corsets were the thing. (And by “the thing,” I mean causing women all over the Western world serious and irreparable health problems.) But then Chanel came along and pretty much pioneered the look of the New Woman of the 1920s. Yeah, that was our bitch! She designed loose, comfortable clothes for women that were still elegant and timeless. The Chanel aesthetic really hasn’t changed since the 20s and I mean, that’s really freakin’ cool, huh? OH YEAH. And she invented pea coats and bell bottoms. God bless Chanel.
But enough nicey-nicey. Let’s go all housewives on this bitch and talk shit, shall we? Childhood in a nutshell: Mom dies young, dad says “layta playas,” she grows up in an orphanage, nuns teach her to sew, she’s good at it. She moves to Paris and starts “dancing” in a “cabaret.” And by “dancing,” I mean “showing her boobies to wealthy french men.” And by “cabaret,” I mean “a place where venereal diseases grow in wine glasses.” She met a guy named Etienne Balsan who was, conveniently, a textile manufacturer. She became his mistress, or his “coquette,” which means “kept woman.” She later claimed that’s how she got her nickname, “Coco.” It’s from “coquette.” [SIDE NOTE: Now, don’t you think that would kind of be like if you slept around a lot and then people started calling you “who-who” because you were a “whore.” Just saying.]
Next on the agenda was Boy Capel, a friend of Etienne whose blazers we have to thank for Chanel’s fabulous menswear-inspired design aesthetic. Their steamy affair began in 1909 and continued after his marriage in 1918 and until his untimely death in 1919 in an auto accident that occurred on his way to a secret, Christmas-day meeting with Coco.
The Coquette met Igor Stravinsky, the composer, in 1920. They were introduced by one of her top gays, Sergei Diaghiliv, who frequently choreographed Stravinsky’s ballets, most famously The Rite of Spring. (They were kind of the most important dance/music team of the modernist period. No big deal.) Anyway, I haven’t seen the movie, but apparently in Coco & Igor or whatever it’s called, they knew each other in 1913 because she was at the notorious (B-I-G) premiere of The Rite of Spring at the theatre du champs elysee. I did a little research outside of wikipedia (SO NOT LIKE ME) and I couldn’t find anything to confirm that, but who knows.
Actually, great question and the answer is: no one. No one knows if the two ever had an affair or not but Coco claimed later in her life that when she invited Stravinsky and his wife and kids to summer with her somewhere outside of Paris, that the two took to boning and didn’t feel so bad about it. Hey, they were artists.
BUT HERE’S WHERE SHIT GETS REAL.
You’re probably thinking to yourself: “We’re three affairs in and it’s getting real now?!?!” Well, hold onto your imaginary Chanel pearls because I’m about to make you think twice before spritzing your stationary with No. 5 before you send those love letters to Jason Segel, MRG.
Chanel lived in Paris in the 40s. Remember that time? Well, if you don’t, allow me to refresh your memory. There weren’t many Jews around. They were off at … uh … camp. Does that ring any bells? Yeah. It was WWII. The Holocaust was happening. The Vichy government was all up in Paris’ grill. It was a dark fucking time and our little friend didn’t, like, really care that much. Yeeeeahhhh. Actually, she sort of hated the guy who backed her perfume. His name was Pierre WERTHEIMER. He and his brother Paul (who I think was dead at this point – research was unclear) were the money behind Chanel No. 5 and took like, 90% of profits or something. So she wasn’t really too upset when he gtfo-ed in the early 40s because she used his absence to gain financial control of the company. She became one of the richest women in the world during the war years BECAUSE the JEWS who made her company possible were running away from fucking Nazis. Nazis who SHE was FUCKING.
WOOPS! IVE SAID TOO MUCH. OK, here’s what happened. A NAZI SPY named Hans Gunther von Dinklage (probably with a large ding dong) arranged for Coco to live in a fancy schmancy hotel in Paris where he was also staying. And then they OCCUPIED themselves with fucking during the Nazi’s OCCUPATION of France. She was also really good friends with a guy named Walter Kutschmann who killed thousands of Jews in Poland early in the war years. AND she was such good friends with another Nazi fucker named Walter Schellenberg that when he died penniless and alone (BECAUSE HE WAS A NAZI) she paid for his burial.
Listen. I’m not saying that she was actively oppressing yids, but she wasn’t exactly broken up about the whole fiasco either. I still think the clothes are fabulous, don’t get me wrong, but the Frenchies who weren’t such fans of being terrorized by anti-semetic fascists for 4 years were not such fans of Coco or the Chanel label in 1945. So she moved to Switzerland until the mid 50s.
From there, shit gets less juicy. Her line still is outrageously successful and a major cash cow. And almost 100 years later, her aesthetic is still a cornerstone of womens fashion. Probably THE cornerstone of womens fashion.
But here’s what’s up: Bitch got herself unofficially exiled from Paris. I mean, she was shacking up with one Nazi and in cahoots with at least two others.
At that, the nuns from your childhood and I would just like to say to you, What the fuck, Chanel? We gave you the best life we could. What the fuck?
[Editor’s note: Although I posted this li’l gem, it is 100% USDA prime LHB. She’s having some difficulties with her internets, so I’m doing the extremely generous and arduous favor of posting for her. I also added the linkage, so don’t judge LHB for it. Judge me. Judge me hard. Love always, MRG.]
What’s more scandalous than a woman who has an affair with her step-son and then ends up marrying a guy whose extramarital affairs require governmental intervention? WELL I’M GLAD YOU ASKED. A NAZI woman with a penchant for young hotties and a cheating NAZI husband whose sexcapades had to be stopped by the fucking Fuhrer himself!! That’s right folks, we’re talking about Hitler’s right hand, his weirdest looking henchman with a name that reminds me of the rodents that typically live in little cages in adorable elementary school classrooms, Joseph Goebbels, and his sexy and scandalous wife, Magda.
Okay, so here’s the deal. Nazis are uncharted ground for For Shame! Not on purpose. We just haven’t come across any Nazi-scandals probably because being, you know, one of the most hated people in history kind of overshadows stories of sexual deviancy. But Joseph and Magda were scandalous in their own right. For realz, guys. If you take out all the Nazi shit and the fact that they murdered their 6 children and then committed suicide (I know, I just threw up in my mouth a little, too), they’re still up there with the best of them on the scandal charts.
Let’s have a little disclaimer before we begin the post proper. World War II. Not funny. The Holocaust. Not funny. Possibly the LEAST funny thing ever to happen ever. I know. I get it. It’s been explained to me. I’ve been a yid for a while and I’m well aware of how unfunny Europe was from 1932-1945. And I’m skipping over the Holocaust-related parts of Goebbels’ Wiki page because it makes me want vom/sob. BUT. I’m an equal opportunity historical scandal blogger, people. And Goebbels and his wife are For Shame! material like you cannot believe. So let’s remember that Nazis had sex, too, and include them in our archives of the sexploits of yore. Ok? OK.
Let’s start with Magda. Quickie summary of her childhood: she’s an illegitimate baby, her parents do marry but then get divorced soon after, her mom marries a JEWISH (WHAT?!) manufacturer and then she takes his last name, Friedlander — my Bat Mitzvah partner’s mom’s last name, FYI. The Friedlanders moved from Belgium to Berlin in 1914 because it wasn’t so good to be a German in Belgium during the Great War. In Berlin, she met and had an affair with a refugee named Hiam FUCKING Arlosorff. Do you catch my latke-smelling drift? He was a big fat Jew! A Zionist even! He was assassinated in Palestine of all places in 1933. Holy Moses. The girl had a thing for members of the tribe and she ended up marrying history’s number two Jew-hater. Ahh, fate.
Anyway, at 17, she’s riding a train somewhere and meets this industrial tycoon (owns a major battery manufacturing company) who is a bajillion years older than she is and falls in love. His name is Gunther Quandt and he’s fat and ugly and no one knows why she was into him. Probably all the money. Anyway, they got hitched in 1921 and had a little boy named Harald — he was the only one on of her seven children to survive WWII. As she grew frustrated with her marriage, she set her sights on her 18-year old STEPSON, Helmut. And they may have had a teeny-weeny (HA) affair before he died of appendicitis in 1927.
The couple went on an automobile tour of America later that year where she may have had a little fling, or at least batted her eyes at/showed her boobies to Herbert Hoover, nephew of the president of the US of A. After she and Gunther divorced, Herbie went over to Germany to propose to her (LIKE A BOSS), but she said no. And then they went for a drive or something and he got them into a terrible car accident and she was seriously injured. NOTE TO THE LADIES: Don’t go on a car ride with someone whose marriage proposal you’ve just refused.
Like a doofus, Magda starts going to Nazi party meetings in 1930. Eventually she sort of works her way up in the inner circles and becomes Goebbels’ secretary. I imagine that he eyed her low-cut blouse and the rest was history. The two tied the Nazi-knot on December 19th 1931 at her ex-husband’s farm. Weird. Adolf Hitler was a witness. (My stomach hurts.)
OK, so then over the next however many years, they have 6 kids whose names all start with “H,” which seems very creepy Von-Trapp/Sesame Street to me or something. Anyway, even before they got married Goebbels really enjoyed getting his D wet whenever possible. Which is weird because he looks like Voldemort. I guess some women are into that. Like Bellatrix. [Ed. note from MRG: Not into Voldemort, but so into young Tom. I mean I’d open his Chamber of Secrets, KNOW WHAT I’M SAYIN?!?>!???! Sorry LHB, continue.] Anyway, Goebbels’ most notorious affair was with the super-famous (apparently, what the hell do I know) actress, Lida Baarova. The affair was way more intense than any of his other flings. Like, to the extent that Magda went to her ol’ pal Adolf and was like, “Get this bitch OUT.” Hitler called Joe into his office and was all, “You need to tell this whore to GTFO.” But then SNAP! Goebbels OFFERED TO RESIGN RATHER THAN END HIS AFFAIR. Hitler was like, “No one says “NO” to the fucking Fuhrer.” And had Himmler have Lida deported. WHAT?! Yeah. Shit was scandalous. And it really hurt Adolf and Joseph’s relationship. Yeah yeah poor them, they didn’t get along too well while they were orchestrating a continental genocide. Cry me a fucking river, assholes. Magda also probably had a few affairs with other high ranking SS officials but they are not as well-documented or as scandalous.
Anyway, in the final days of the war, when the Red Army had invaded Berlin, Hitler and his cronies were famously hiding out in the fuhrerbunker and getting all suicidal on everyone’s asses. To make a long and tragic story short and trite, Magda and Joseph drugged their 6 children with morphine and then broke cyanide pills in their mouths in order to kill them. Once their kids were dead, they went upstairs to the courtyard and killed themselves. Everyone debates on how they did the deed. A lot of people think that Joseph shot Magda and then himself. Others believe that they had themselves shot by a firing squad. No one knows exactly. And then they were burned and left there in the courtyard and discovered by the Russians the next day.
While we’re on that high note, I should add that Magda’s step-father died at Buchenwald and she didn’t do anything to stop it. UGH! It’s tragic shit. Nazis suck. WWII sucked. She was a crazy bitch. But here’s the thing. OOOOoooh, it’s hard to say.
She was like kind of a good person before she killed 6/7ths of her children and left her step-father for dead in a Nazi concentration camp. I’M SORRY. But listen. Okay, maybe not a good person, but she had some good intentions. Listen, She was trained as a Red Cross nurse. She worked in an electrics something or other factory during the war. She wanted to be an example for the wartime wife. She even rode the bus to work with her fellow working wives. WHAT? She sounds like Eleanor fucking Roosevelt. But she’s a Nazi! So she’s innately evil, right? UGH! SO COMPLICATED I DONT KNOW WHAT TO THINK!!
So I’m not going to. I’ve provided you with the scandalous facts so you be the judge. Let it percolate. Or don’t. Or just say the word “percolate” aloud a couple of times. It’s really fun.
What’s really important here is that we remember a few things:
- I love to make lists.
- WWII/Holocaust UNFUNNY.
- Nazis had scandalous sex, too.
- Goebbels had the sex-drive of a gerbil.
- Magda probably did too, and also was a teeny bit crazy even for Nazi standards.
- Even if you take away all the Nazi shit, this couple’s scandalosity is still one for the For Shame! annals.
- I still love list-making.