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Sunday, July 4, 2021

Portable unit


My uncle who served in combat from late 1942 until V-E Day said that two things kept his spirits up, USO shows (he saw Marlene Dietrich in person) and portable shower units.  It should be noted that Miss Dietrich did that at terrible risk to herself because she was born in Germany and would have been treated as a traitor had she been captured, which almost happened at least twice.  Asked about her USO work later, she simply said,  "It's the only really important thing I've ever done."


Marlene Dietrich was awarded the Medal of Freedom by the United States, our highest civilian honor.  She was also awarded the Legion of Honor by France and the Knight Order of Leopold by Belgium.  Look at those smiles.  That alone would earn those medals and more in my world.
We should think about people like this when we celebrate the Fourth of July.




 

3 comments:

  1. My dad didn't meet Me Dietrich, so far as I know. He served in Iceland, and I had several full frontals of him and some of the males in his unit bathing in the hot springs there.

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  2. Yes, Happy Holiday, USA. She was a one-off - and I think she knew it. For those who are interested, the long history of the song Lili Marlene, a song sung on both sides of that war, but originating in Germany - Lale Andersen singing the song in 1939 as "Das Mädchen unter der Laterne" ("The Girl under the Lantern") - under the auspices of Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Propaganda Minister - was used in various language versions during the war for propaganda. With the Nazis and the madness defeated, Dietrich recorded a special version which was used by the occupying American OSS MO radio station Soldatensender, where it became the station's theme song. She travelled all over liberated Europe singing to the Allied soldiers. The ol' gal did her bit.

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    1. I'm actually having a small barbecue for the 4th. Thanks for the greeting and the additional info on Miss Dietrich's war work. I have a picture of her somewhere helping push a Jeep out of a ditch in Belgium.

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