Dietrich gives name to new Berlin square

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After years of debate over how to honour their famed daughter, Germans soon will be able to send a letter with a Marlene Dietrich stamp to a brand new Marlene Dietrich square in Berlin.

The stamp, good for mail within Europe, features a portrait of the legendary film star and cabaret singer with lips pursed and a sultry look in her eyes. It goes on sale today. Two weeks later, on August 28, Berlin officials are to give final approval to a plan to create a Marlene Dietrich square in the massive Potsdamer Platz complex under construction in Berlin.

Officials in 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 property to rename after her had failed.

Some residents, still bitter over Dietrich's support for the Allies in World War II, opposed any recognition for her in Berlin. "She betrayed our people," said Manfred Grave, 54, voicing a common opinion among respondents to a recent survey by the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper. More than two- thirds of callers opposed honouring the actress, who died in 1992.

Berlin, Associated Press