Originally created 08/14/97

Marlene Dietrich gets stamp from hometown



BERLIN (AP) - After years of debate over how to remember their prodigal daughter, Germans have come up with two solutions: A Marlene Dietrich stamp and a square named after the legendary film star and cabaret singer.

The stamp, good for mail within Europe, features a portrait Dietrich with lips pursed and a sultry look in her eyes. It goes on sale Thursday.

Two weeks later, on Aug. 28, Berlin officials are expected to give final approval to a plan to create a Marlene Dietrich square in the massive Potsdamer Platz complex under construction in central Berlin.

Residents of the adjacent neighborhood of Schoeneberg, where Dietrich was born, signed on to the Potsdamer Platz initiative Wednesday, admitting their 5-year-old effort to agree on a suitable piece of real estate to rename after her had failed.

Businesses along a Berlin street considered a prospect for a name change didn't want the costs of switching their mailing address.

And some residents, still bitter over Dietrich's support for the Allies in World War II, had opposed any recognition for her in Berlin.

"She betrayed our people," said Manfred Grave, 54, voicing a common opinion among respondents to a recent informal survey by the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper. More than two-thirds of the callers opposed honoring the actress, who died in 1992.