SCHULTZE, Norbert (1911-2002). Autograph manuscript signed ('Norbert Schultze 1938') of HIS ICONIC SONG LILI MARLEEN, the vocal line only, text by Hans Leip, three lines of music on a single stave, including all five verses of the lyrics, inscribed on verso in autograph 'Für meinen Freund Gilbert Johnson und seine reizende Frau Liselotte zur Erinnerung an den Braunschweiger Heimatkomponisten Norbert Schultze' [To my friend Gilbert Johnson and his charming wife Liselotte in memory of the Brunswick vernacular composer Norbert Schultze], Brunswick, 22 February 1948, one leaf, 133 x 176mm (general light soiling; creased; worn at vertical fold). Provenance: Liselotte Johnson.
Lili Marleen was probably the iconic song of the Second World War, achieving the remarkable status of equal popularity on both sides (as Lilli Marlene in its English version), initially in the North African theatre after German Forces Radio began broadcasting it to the Afrika Corps in 1941, defying even Joseph Goebbels' efforts to replace Schultze's effective, melancholic tune with a march rhythm. It was immortalised by Marlene Dietrich, who sang it 'three long years in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, in Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, in England ...'.
Schultze, a native of Brunswick, studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, and was a prolific composer for stage and screen both before and after the war. He was classified as a Nazi sympathiser after the war and obliged to give up work as a composer until 1948, the year of this affectionate inscription to a fellow Brunswicker.