Must Read: Lili Marlene

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Lili Marlene: The Soldiers’ Song of World War II by Liel Leibovitz and Matthew Miller

“Lili Marlene,” the unlikely anthem of World War II, cut across front lines and ideological divides, uniting soldiers across the globe. This love song, telling the story of a young woman waiting for her lover to return from the battlefield, began as a poem written by a German solider during World War I. The soldier-poet’s words found their way to Berlin’s decadent cabaret scene in the 1930s, where they were set to music by one of Hitler’s favored composers. The song’s singer, however, soon found herself torn between her desire for fame and a personal hatred of the Nazi regime. In a gripping and suspenseful narrative, the three artists’ remarkable stories of arrests and close calls intertwine with the recollections of soldiers on all sides who fought their way through deserts and towns, seeking solace and finding hope in “Lili Marlene.”

I happened to tune into The John Batchelor Show last night on WABC-AM in NYC and heard the authors. It’s an absolutely fascinating story.

This is the direct download link to the MP3 file (right-click Save As…). The interview begins at 1:36:32.

There’s also The Official Lili Marleen Page which has a ton of MP3 versions of the song, including the originals from that time.

Update: In a Comment, the authors reveal there is an entire site for the book. It has a great excerpt plus several versions of the song to stream. Go look!

Explore posts in the same categories: Books - Nonfiction, Music, Writers - Living

One Comment on “Must Read: Lili Marlene”


  1. Mr. Cane,

    Many thanks for your kind words, and we’re very glad that our book sparked your curiosity. In case you’re interested, we’ve put up a website, http://www.lilimarlenebook.com, which contains not only an excerpt from the book but also several versions and adaptations of the song, including rare ones. We hope you’ll like it. Again, thank you so much for this lovely post.
    All the best,
    Liel Leibovitz and Matthew Miller
    Authors, “Lili Marlene: The Soldiers’ Song of World War II”


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