Monday, December 27, 2010

Marlene Dietrich, passionate foe of Nazism


Ameica took me into her bosom when I no longer had a native country worthy of the name, but in my heart I am German – German in my soul.

- Marlene Dietrich
Today is the 109th anniversary of the birth of the great singer and actress Marlene Dietrich. She was born Marie Magdalene Dietrich in Schoneberg, Berlin, Germany on December 27, 1901, the daughter of a policeman. In 1929, when Marlene was 27 years old, director Josef von Sternbert cast her as Lola-Lola, the sultry female lead in Der Baue Engel (The Blue Angel). The Blue Angel, released in 1930, was Germany’s first all-talking film and it made Marlene Dietrich a star. After the resounding success of The Blue Angel, von Sternbert brought her to Hollywood and signed her with Paramount Pictures.

Marlene become the ultimate femme fatale of the silver screen in the string of von Sternbert films that followed. She starred in movies such as Morocco (1930), Dishonored (1931), Shanghai Express (1932), Blonde Venus (1932), The Scarlet Express (1934), and The Devil Is a Woman (1935).

After Adolf Hiltler’s rise to power in Germany in 1933, Marlene refused to work in her own country. She bravely renounced Nazism. During a wartime interview broadcast from Britain to Germany, she declared that, “Hitler is an idiot” and implored Germans not to sacrifice themselves. In 1937, she became a citizen of the United States and during World War II, her contribution to the defeat of Nazism was selfless, determined and indefatigable. She made hundreds of personal appearances before Allied troops between 1943 and 1946. When visiting U.S. soldiers in Germany, she put herself in danger, placing herself very close to German enemy lines. When asked why, Marlene replied that it was the decent thing to do.

There was an terrible incident in 1960 when Marlene Dietrich visited the city of Berlin. Neo-Nazis carried banners reading “Go Home Marlene” and they spat upon her. In 2001, the 100th anniversary of her birth, the city of Berlin issued a formal apology for the incident.

After the war, she appeared in such acclaimed films as A Foreign Affair (1948), Witness for the Prosecution (1957), Touch of Evil (1958) and Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). She continued to be a popular nightclub performer and gave her last stage performance in 1974. He last screen appearance was in Just A Gigolo (1978). Marlene Dietrich died in Paris, France on May 6, 1992.

It must have been very difficult for Marlene to take such a strong stand against Nazism and it couldn't been easy to be a woman with a thick German accent in the United States during the Second World War.

Click on the link below to watch a video tribute to Marlene Dietrich.


What would you get if you merged coffee giants Tim Hortons, Starbucks and Second Cup?


A new company called Timbuktu.

(By the way, there is such a place as Timbuktu. It is located in the West African nation of Mali. Timbuktu in French is “Tombouctou” and it means “well of the woman named ‘Bouctou’”. “Bouctou means “belly button.” Therefore, Timbuktu takes its name from a woman who owned a well and was called Bouctou because of her large belly button.)



Congratulations to Team Canada for winning their first game of the World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo, New York. They defeated Team Russia by a score of 6-3.

- Joanne