Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Ich habe noch einen Koffer in Berlin" by Marlene Dietrich

I interrupt my regularly scheduled reminiscence of my summer holidays to bring you this rather haunting tune by Marlene Dietrich. We watched in German class as part of our section on Berlin, and I'm having a hard time shaking the mental image it produced. You can Google English lyrics if you like, but essentially she sings about still having a suitcase (Koffer) in Berlin, and compares it to other cities, but none of them draw her back the same way as Berlin.

Now, please note that this is an entire flight of fancy, but this image that showed up in the thumbnail produced a train of thought. Dietrich is staring off into the middle distance while well-dressed man gazes at her, which, since I don't know who he was, provoked an interesting idea about Dietrich as the Allies great weapon, propaganda. She was well-known for being anti-Nazi and became an American citizen in 1939. She toured with the USO, and also did campaigning for American war bonds. "Ich habe noch einen Koffer" wasn't written until after the war was over, but can you imagine the influence she would have had on a USO tour, with her husky voice and distant eyes, longing to go home to Berlin? Talk about inspiration to win a war...

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