Marlene Dietrich was known to have strong political convictions and the mind to speak them. In interviews, Dietrich stated that when she was working in Hollywood in the 1930s, she had been approached by representatives of the Nazi Party to return to Germany but had turned them down. Instead, she stayed in America and created a fund with Billy Wilder and several other Germans to help Jews and dissidents escape from Germany. In 1937, her entire salary for Knight Without Armor ($450,000) was put into escrow to help the refugees. In 1939, she became an American citizen and renounced her German citizenship.
The song has an interesting history as well. Pete Seeger often introduced the song by saying that he found inspiration for the lyrics…
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