PARIS SIGHT by publisher Karin Sawetz March 2011
Karin Sawetz is journalist, media researcher and fashion scientist (Mag. Dr. phil.).

Galliano/Dior from an Austrian sight

On 6 March 2011, the Galliano/Dior affair is an old one in the fast-living fashion world. No reason to write further about the things that happened? From today's point of view - no. Seems as everything is said by journalists like Suzy Menkes or Hilary Alexander.

But the whole case occupies me further, because I am not sure if every Fashionoffice user has received the same historical education about the context of John Galliano's statement. I am sitting likewise 'on the source' as I am from Austria, a country that has made in the last century not the best headlines when it comes to World Wars (I and II) and is associated strongly with the Holocaust.

'Holocaust' is the name for the genocide of millions of people during World War II (1939-45). The 'state-sponsored extermination'-program such as it is called on Wikipedia, was developed not only for Jews, also Roma/Sinti (Gypsies) and people that believed in a society where injustice shouldn't be legalised were sent to 'work camps'. The reasons why these groups had been 'unpopular' in the 30s/40s are variably. And some problems are holding on such as many Roma/Sinti are still unsettled; once a Roma said: "We are not born Gypsies - we are traveling because nobody wants us."

I will pick up the group with the highest losses in World War II: the Jews. They had a strong voice as they had been leading the academic and cultural world like physics or medicine, and theatre, music, or journalism; and they had money. Two good reasons for an upcoming political party to select them and promote them as 'the fiend'. The additional benefit of this strategy was that the shared fiend was the bondage between the people and the political party; the fiend unified them. At first, the Jews lost their jobs (this made them silent), secondly their money and property (made the NAZIs rich and stronger), and then - very cynical - they were sent to work camps to make something for their daily bread. These camps had been nothing more than termination camps.

Why nobody has helped them? Probably because it was a 'state-program', something that was ordered by law and everybody who stood up against it, was the next candidate for the concentration camp (and once becoming 'suspect', he or she hasn't to wait long for the tranfer). Consciously recognizing that something 'wrong' happens has led to death. This was the tricky construction of the political system of the NAZIs.

Today we know that, and we shall keep in mind that it is probably not against the law to watch injustice, but not acting against injustice makes guilty.

I think, the fashion house Christian Dior has found the right words when President Sidney Toledano says: "Such statements are intolerable because of our collective duty to never forget the Holocaust and its victims, and because of the respect for human dignity that is owed to each person and to all people." (Find the full statement by Dior on Forbes.)


Suzy Menkes, 1 March:
The news about the anti-Semitic statements by drunken Dior chief designer John Galliano were released from the view of fashion in publications like The New York Times already on 1 March 2011 (Watch the Suzy Menkes video).

Hilary Alexander, 4 March: The Christian Dior show was held on 4 March at the Musée Rodin during the Paris Fashion Week and many articles about it are slopping over the net. Hilary Alexander from the throws light from various angles onto the Galliano case and spices the article with personal statements from celebrities like photographer Demarchelier who is cited: "He is a gorgeous designer. To finish like this? Phew!" (Read the article by Hilary Alexander from 4 March). video posted by Danil19901, 5 March: Christian Dior FW2011/12 by John Galliano presented on 4 March 2011 in the Musée Rodin during Paris Fashion Week (1 to 9 March 2011).

Source: Original article with video on


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