Sunday, March 11, 2012

Marlene Dietrich: Tireless German-American entertainer for the Allied troops



"Marlene was frequently in serious personal danger. Gunfire and the sound of exploding bombs often provided the backdrop to her songs. More than once, her shows had to be stopped either because the soldiers received orders to "move out" or enemy fire had come too close to the stage. But Marlene didn't care; she was a tireles and determined entertainer.  She would often urge her fellow USO entertainers to drive as close as possible to the front lines of battle, do a short show for the servicemen there -- just a few songs and jokes -- and then drive back as quickly as possible.

The most dangerous event that Marlene experienced during the war occurred when she was traveling with a division of U.S. soldiers into the Ardennes Forest and entered a crucial battle of World War II: the Battle of the Bulge . . ."

Excerpt from "Marlene Dietrich: The Only Important Thing" from Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Stranger at the door: Magda Trocmé

Magda Trocmé with her family in the late 1930's
Trocmé family collection

Magda Trocmé, the wife of the Protestant pastor André Trocmé, lived with her family in the small French village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon. She was cooking dinner one evening when she heard a knock at the door. Who could it be at that time of day? When she opened the door, she saw a woman covered with snow, shivering with fear and cold. The woman asked if she could come in. Magda guessed that the woman must be a Jew. She also knew that it was illegal to hide Jews.

Opening paragraph from "Magda Trocmé: Wife, Mother, Teacher, Rescuer" from Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue.