CATENGESP


HAIR YESTERDAY

(31/07/2008)

Aquest article no està traduït al català; es mostra la seva versió en anglès

On a book revealing the contribution to the Holocaust made by the cosmetics multinational L'Oréal.

CATALONIA TODAY – SECTION: LONG-TERM RESIDENT - ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN

If an English copy of Monica Waitzfelder's true story 'L'Oréal Took My Home' hadn't been slipped to me recently by the translator, Peter Bush, I would never (ever) have come across this remarkably ugly case of hypocrisy, dishonesty, and historical whitewashing on the part of the largest cosmetics multinational in the world (whose advertising clout is largely responsible for the media vacuum in which Waitzfelder's book has been screaming unheard since 2004). Put briefly: the post-war HQ of L'Oréal Deutschland was purchased from a pro-Nazi insurance company which, back in 1938, had obliged the original owner - Monica's German-Jewish grandfather - to sign away his home to ensure his family's safety. (To little avail: he died in 1945 from illnesses contracted in French internment camps and his wife Kaethe was gassed in Auschwitz; only his daughter Edith, Monica's mother, survived the war). For sixty years, L'Oréal has used a comprehensive range of subterfuges to hide the fact that their German operation was housed in property stolen from murdered people whose rightful heirs the company knew full well were still alive. What is worse, such discrimination is not, perhaps, a mere coincidence: the founder of L'Oréal, Eugène Schueller, bankrolled the French fascist organisation La Cagoule, whose thugs blew up synagogues and collaborated tongue-to-arse with the Nazis during the Occupation, before joining Schueller on L'Oréal's board of directors after the war. Worse still, his son-in-law André Bettencourt started his professional life as a pathologically anti-semitic pamphleteer and the latter's widow Liliane B., remains the largest individual shareholder in L'Oréal: an enterprise as boycottable as any other whose holdings include Cacherel, Lancôme and a well-known UK firm called – with unconscious macabreness, given L'Oréal still refuses to cough up compensation for its specific contribution to the Shoah - The Body Shop.


- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programació: Nac -