Author Erich Maria Remarque (*) who became World-famous in the 30’s with “All Quiet on the Western Front“, was known for having passionate love affairs with the most beautiful Goddesses of Classic Hollywood.
Affairs with Hedy Lamarr, Dolores del Rio, Greta Garbo, and lastly Paulette Goddard, to name but a few. But before Paulette would become his 2nd wife, Marlene Dietrich was considered by Remarque “The Apotheosis of Beauty” (**) after falling in love with her during the Venice Film Festival, on September 7th, 1937.
In his romantically descriptive first of many love letters to Dietrich, written November 24 of that same year, (***) Remarque describes sacrificing a bottle of his most valuable 1911 vintage by throwing it into Lago Maggiore, in a ceremonial gesture of “Thanks to the Gods” for bringing Marlene into his life.
(***) Love letters published in ‘Sag mir, daß Du mich liebst’.
Erich Maria Remarque – Marlene Dietrich. Zeugnisse einer Leidenschaft.
2003, by Werner Fuld and Thomas F. Schneider)
75 years later, in the Summer of 2012, a group of divers and Goddard/Remarque fans from the Czech Republic organized a “Remarque Expedition” to search for this 101 years-old bottle, and to complete the circle Remarque created when he writes in the letter how he imagines someone in a faraway future finding it, and enjoying this most fragrant and precious wine representing the ever-beautiful Marlene Dietrich.
The bottle of 1911 Hessische Staatsweingüter Kloster Eberbach Steinberger Riesling Kabinett was found at 37m depth (120+ feet) and is currently being officially authenticated. A fragment of the still attached tin seal reveals its original provenance.
We would like to congratulate Lubka Lubanek (organizing team), Jiri Strnad (Photographer and cameraman), Jakub Hejhal, (TCA TEC diver), Zdenek Partyngl (TSA trimix instructor and underwater cameraman), David Opatmy (NAUI trimix diver), Thomas Filip (TSA Trimix diver), Matysek Sladky (youngest expedition partitipant), Sarka Sindelarova (organizing team & translator), Nadia & Ivano Conti (Porto Ronco team), Mrs. & Mr. Marino de Maria (fmr. private chauffeur, Paulette Goddard), and Author Paul Vechec (REMARQUE) for accomplishing your ambitious goal and helping highlight this romantic piece of 20th Century Film and Literature History.
A CULTURAL LEGACY
To learn more about the efforts to ensure Remarque and wife Paulette Goddard’s legacy, please visit http://www.EMRPG.org
MORE ABOUT REMARQUE AND DIETRICH:
“It Happened at the Hotel du Cap” (Cari Beauchamp, Vanity Fair, March 2009)