Born Liese-Lotte Bunnenberg in Bremerhaven in 1905, and originally a Berlin night-club singer in the pre-war years, it was Soldatensender Belgrad & its Afrikakorps audience in the Western Desert that would eventually lead to Lale Andersen becoming Nazi Germany’s war-time “Forces Sweetheart” as well as a large number of Allied troops serving with the British 8th Army who also fell under her war-time spell!
Before war’s outbreak she had separated from her first husband, local painter Paul Wilke and then re-married a Swiss national, Rolf Liebermann where, from her new home in Zurich, had criticised the Nazi regime whereby an enraged Propagandaminister Goebbels had ordered her back to base her career in Germany, putting her under Gestapo surveillance. However Lale planned a later escape back to Switzerland following a 1942 troop concert in Italy but her letters to her new husband were intercepted and she was seized on Milan railway station. Condemned to the concentration camps, she was allowed home to finalise her affairs but attempted suicide.
Fortunately the attempt failed, but Goebbels, in setting her punishment, had made a terrible blunder for Lale-aka-Lili Marleen had, by then, become an international and much-loved figure and, fearing a propaganda disaster, spared her life. Ordered instead to attend her local police station once a week, by 1944 the Nazi authorities had become tired of her and Goebbels banished her to her grandparents home on the Friesian island of Langeoog from where she quietly saw out the remaining year or so of the war.
At war’s end in 1945, Allied Forces Radio invited her to Hamburg to sing to her British fans, with tours of America & Britain following (and even a Lili Marleen movie) before eventualing retiring in 1952. Tragically, she suffered a fatal heart-attack in 1972 at age 67 and was by then a much-loved guest-house landlady. Now this evocative and emotional CD offers a producer’s introduction together with 13 of her most famous war-time songs, all digititally re-masterd to radio broadcast quality including:
Der junge an der Reling - Drei Rote Rosen - Es fährt ein Schiff - Heinemann - Der Feldmohn - Unter der Rote Laterne von St Pauli and of course her signature tune: the one & only, Lili Marleen!