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MUSIC SOOTHES THE SOUL: MARLENE DIETRICH “IN DEN RUINEN VON BERLIN”

This wonderful piece was written by Friedrich (later also Frederick) Hollaender, an extremely talented Jewish musician and composer born in the UK but with the peak of his career in Berlin and after 1933 in the US.

Hollaender was also the author of many of Dietrich´s most famous songs (e.g. “Falling in Love Again – Can´t Help It” from the 1930 Blue Angel) and can be seen accompanying Dietrich on the piano in Billy Wilder´s Foreign Affair. “Ruins if Berlin” is part of its soundtrack – Hollaender wrote hundreds of film scores starting at the beginning of the 1930s in Berlin, continuing during the many years he spent in the USA and working on new productions (also stage ones) after his return to Germany in 1956 until his death in Munich in 1976. In 1960 he made a cameo appearances in Wilder´s One, Two, Three (as the Kapellmeister or the “chapel master”).

In the film Marlene Dietrich plays a cabaret singer suspected of having been a mistress of some of the highest rank Nazis during the war. As Erika von Schlütow she is just what she always was: elegant, mysterious, unforgettable.

Here is the song she sings in the film about the city she left and like millions of others could never return to. To reflect the new situation of Germany´s capital, its division among four allied powers, it is sung in four language as well: German, English, Russian and French.

The video material shows what was left of it in 1945.

Amidst the ruins of Berlin
Trees are in bloom as they have never been
Sometimes at night you feel in all your sorrow
A perfume as of a sweet tomorrow.

That’s when you realize at last
They won’t return the phantoms of the past.
A brand new spring is to begin
Out of the ruins of Berlin.

In den Ruinen von Berlin,
Fangen die Blumen wieder an zu blühn,
Und in der Nacht spürst Du von allen Seiten,
Einen Duft als wie aus alten Zeiten.

Dans les ruines de Berlin
Les arbres en fleurs parfument ton chemin.
I na razwálina Berlina,
Nacnátsja nowaja wesná.

In den Ruinen von Berlin,
Fangen die Blumen wieder an zu blühn,
Und in der Nacht spürst Du von allen Seiten,
Einen Duft als wie aus alten Zeiten.

Dans les ruines de Berlin
Les arbres en fleurs parfument ton chemin.
I na razwálina Berlina,
Nacnátsja nowaja wesná.

5 comments on “MUSIC SOOTHES THE SOUL: MARLENE DIETRICH “IN DEN RUINEN VON BERLIN”

  1. gabe
    October 27, 2013

    Wonderful! Thank you.

  2. auntyuta
    October 27, 2013

    Thanks for this.

  3. Jr
    December 4, 2013

    Movie score ?

    • notmsparker
      December 4, 2013

      Sadly, I cannot help you on this one. However, I am sure you will find it somewhere online. Good luck!

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