When Hitler came to power, he wanted Marlene Dietrich, a German actress and singer, to join the Nazi Party. She was offered very generous contracts to do so, but she refused them. Instead, she applied for US citizenship and used her talents to support the Allied troops.
Dietrich was a morale booster for many servicemen as she traveled the world with them and performed. She even entered her native country at the risk of being caught. She became one of the first celebrities to sell war bonds and did it better than any other star.
She not only boosted spirits but tried to bring down Nazi enthusiasts with her propaganda. Dietrich recorded songs for the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) to play for enemy troops in attempts to destroy their morale. One particular song called “Lili Marleen” became a favorite for both sides.
When the war ended, Dietrich was not a favorite among many Germans when she returned to her homeland. During one of her shows “she was pelted with tomatoes and called a traitor.” Dietrich continued to perform all over the world, except for Germany. In her later years she moved to Paris, dying there in 1992. Despite her hurtful rejection she experienced in her native country, Dietrich was buried in Berlin as she requested, next to her mother.
Discover more celebrities among the troops in WWII US Air Force Photos.