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26 January 2017

Josefine von Losch and a Grave Matter

Mother, star, and husband at Berlin Zoologischer Garten Station
Via Facebook, we recently shared news that the Förderkreis (support association) of the Museum für Film und Fernsehen has initiated a fundraiser to preserve the grave of Marlene Dietrich's mother, Josefine von Losch. Our commenters reacted as predicted. "Huh? Doesn't Dietrich's family make a nice amount of money from her image? Shouldn't they pay for this?" "Ask her granddaughter Maria Riva." "I would think that the Riva family should be responsible for resolving this problem. Why should MD's fans take up this family responsibility?" "ASK Maria Riva."

25 April 2016

Marlene Dietrich, University Lecturer?

Marlene Dietrich, Hotel Carlton, Biarritz, 1945?
If a Welsh warrior can metamorphose into a demigod king with a Round Table and an Excalibur, what could a Prussian girl from a good military family one day become? Much of Marlene Dietrich's life isn't yet a century old, yet research and memories about even the briefest of its interludes can muddle what must have once been solid facts into a slurry of legends. One of these moments in Dietrich's life includes her time at Biarritz during the tail end of 1945, where she was--perhaps--a university lecturer?

During 1945 and 1946, the Biarritz American University (BAU) educated G.I.s not in traditional classrooms but in the seaside resort town's hotels and villas, a much deserved respite to help these troops reintegrate into civilian life after having survived World War II. As if the luxurious locale wasn't enough, stars such as Dietrich reportedly made appearances at BAU to lecture and perform, leaving indelible impressions on the war hero students that sometimes veered toward the outrageous.