Ed Jahiel writes:
"Some days ago I posted a message re: Dr. Strangelove's song at the end
(Vera Lynn's "We'll Meet Again") & its significance in World War II. I
mentioned in passing that the German song "Lili Marlene" had been
appropriated by the Allied Forces, so both sides sang it.
Bravo is showing the great Czech film Closely Watched (in the UK
"Observed") Trains (which, among other bizarre ratings, gets only *** in
Maltin).The scene with the German munitions train shows the common practice
of the Germans in WWII
to put a huge V (as in Victory) on the front of the locomotive.
Now that's the Germans' appropriation of the V-sign, made famous by the
Winston Churchill salute as well as by its being painted on walls by
underground people in Nazi-occupied countries."
I'm not sure if the V on the trains stood for victory, although I know ther
was a kind of propaganda one-upsmanship going on between Churchill and
Goebels. The Allies appropriated German Beethoven's 5th Symphony because
a) it represented the "good" Germany that the Allies could redeem and
b) the opening notes (Da Da Da Dummmm!) strangely replicated Morse Code
dot dot dot dash--for V--for Victory. The Germans named their V-1 and V-2
rockets to represent "Vengance." You might be able to get more permutations
on this theme from the PYNCHON-L list, since Pynchon of course has played
with these initials in at least 3 of his 4 novels (V., GRAVITY'S RAINBOW,
On the song "Lilli Marlene," see Fassbinder's interesting take on its
history in the film of the same name. Does anyone know how freely
Fassbinder played in his biopic of the German singer who first made it
famous for the Germans before Marlene Dietrich and others appropriated it
for the Allies?
--Don Larsson, Mankato State U., MN