Schultze, Norbert, born on 26-11-1911 in Braunschweig, the son of a doctor, He studied conducting, composition and the piano at the Staatliche Hochschule fur Musik in Cologne and was the composer of Lili Marleen , the German song immortalised by Marlene Dietrich, which became an anthem for troops on both sides during the Second World War. Lili Marleen was originally a poem, The Song of a Young Sentry, written by a German soldier, Hans Leip, who died old age 89 on 06-06-1983,
Schultze, Lalle Andersen and Leip.
before he was sent to the Russian front in 1915. The name Lili Marleen combined that of Leip’s girlfriend, Lili, the daughter of a grocer, and a young nurse named Marleen, who had waved to Leip and then disappeared into the fog. The poem was published in 1937, and Norbert Schultze, already an established composer of German operas and film scores, set it to music in 1938. Initially, the song was not popular and Joseph Goebbels (did you know) urged Schultze to change it to a marching tune. Just before the outbreak of war, however, it was recorded by (Eulalia Bunnenberg) Lale Andersen, although it did not take off until German Forces Radio began to broadcast it to the Afrika Korps in 1941. After Field Marshal der Infanterie, Erwin Rommel
informed the authorities at Radio Belgrade of his fondness for the song, they began to incorporate it into their broadcasts; Lili Marleen was played every evening at 9.55 pm, just before sign-off. Allied troops were equally enamoured. Initially, Parade, the Middle East Forces’ magazine, begged British troops to drop the tune, which was regarded by Yugoslav partisans as a German killing song. However, when Allied soldiers continued to sing the German version, an English version was hurriedly written and recorded. Soon radio stations on both sides were broadcasting the song, interspersed with propaganda. It was blasted out of speakers mounted on trucks, and echoed over the tannoys in military hospitals and across the frontline. Every soldier could sing along to the wistfully sentimental lyrics: Underneath the lantern, by the barracks gate, Darling I remember the way you used to wait.’Twas there you whispered tenderly That you loved me, you’d always be My Lily of the Lamplight, my own Lily Marleen. By the time Marlene Dietrich had incorporated a haunting, husky (and slightly flat) rendition of Lili Marleen into her repertoire, and sung it to American infantrymen in Germany, it was established as the most popular war song ever. From 1931 to 1932 Schultze was a composer and actor in cabaret in Munich, after which he became an opera conductor at Heidelberg and Darmstadt. In 1934 he joined the Telefunken record company, but left in 1936 to become an independent composer for stage, films and television.
That same year, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Rudolf Schock made their opera debut in Schultze’s Schwarzer Peter, which ran successfully throughout Germany and was performed in more than 100 theatres. During the war Schultze was called upon to compose the music for propaganda films, and he wrote a number of songs, including Bombs for England and Tanks Roll into Africa. As a result, in 1945, the Allies classified him as a sympathizer, a charge of which he was found guilty by a denazification court. Schultze was forbidden from composing and spent three years as a gardener and heavy construction worker. He later expressed his regret at having co-operated with the Nazis. After he resumed composing, Schultze had success with the musical Kapt’n Bay-Bay (1950) and the operetta Regen in Paris. He also owned a music publishing firm. During the 1960s, he served as a member of the board of supervisors of GEMA, the German body responsible for the protection of musical authors’ rights. In 1996 he was awarded the GEMA-Ehrenring in recognition of Lili Marleen as “a stroke of genius which, in just a few beats, expressed the sentiments of an entire generation”.
Death and burial ground of Schultze, Norbert.
Norbert Schultze died very old age 91, on 14-10-2002 and is buried with his wife Alma, born Loujes, who died age 81, on 22-09-1980, on the Hauptfriedhof of Braunschweig. Close by the grave of the resistance man Friedrich Werner Graf von der Schulenburg, Schulenburg a German diplomat who served as the last German ambassador to the Soviet Union before Operation Barbarossa. He began his diplomatic career before World War I, serving as consul and ambassador in several countries. After the failed July 20 plot Oberst Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg in 1944, Schulenburg was accused of being a co-conspirator and subsequently executed, on 10-11-1944, age 68 in Plötsensee prison
. The 20 July threaten for Hitler at the Bendlerblock in Berlin was saved by Major Otto Ernst Remer commander of the Infantry Regiment Grossdeutschland who refused to arrest Joseph Goebbels, after talking to an unhurt Hitler in the Wolfschanze by phone. Also buried here the Generalmajor der Flieger, Commander 2nd Fallschirm Jäger Division , Hans Kroh, Generalmajor der Infanterie, Commander Infanterie-Regiment 9, Adolf Raegener.