Marlene Dietrich the first star on ‘Berlin Walk’

Berlin-born Hollywood legend Marlene Dietrich will be immortalised on the streets of her home city on a new "Walk of Fame" to be unveiled during the Berlin film festival this week, promoters said Saturday.

Marlene Dietrich the first star on 'Berlin Walk'
Photo: DPA

Dietrich will be first to have a star laid in her honor on the “Walk” – modelled on Hollywood’s own – by festival director Dieter Kosslick and Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit on Thursday, the ART+COM company said.

The actress, who was born in Germany but later took on US nationality, shot to fame in the 1930 movie “The Blue Angel,” featuring her signature tune “Falling In Love Again.”

She died in 1992 aged 90.

Dietrich is one of 40 actors, directors, composers and scriptwriters who will be honoured on the “Walk” when it is unveiled in full late this summer near Berlin’s film museum on Potsdamer Strasse.

Another 10 stars will be awarded each year to film figures living and dead, all with a link to German culture and all chosen by a five-member jury.

Tipped to feature alongside Dietrich in the initial line-up are directors Fritz Lang, Fatih Akin, Michael Haneke and Wim Wenders, and actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Romy Schneider.

German director Werner Herzog, president of the jury of the 60th Berlin Film Festival, the first major European cinema showcase of the year which runs February 11-21, could also take a spot.

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EXPLAINED: What to know about Germany’s youth culture pass

Young people turning 18 in Germany this year are getting a voucher 'birthday gift' to enjoy culture. Here's why and how they can use it.

EXPLAINED: What to know about Germany's youth culture pass

What’s Germany’s culture pass?

The KulturPass – or culture pass – is a bit like a voucher that young people in Germany can use to buy tickets to cultural events, or even products like books or sheet music.

Those turning 18 in 2023 – estimated to be about 750,000 people – can get their hands on the pass. They will have €200 credit that they can spend on a special culture pass platform over two years for event tickets and other cultural offers. 

It’s worth noting that the digital pass, which launches in mid-June, is available to all young people living in Germany, even if they don’t hold German citizenship.

How is it given out?

The pass won’t be handed out automatically – those who are eligible have to sign up and prove their identity and age.

Cultural venues can also sign up to sell their tickets or entrance cards via the Kulturpass app and website, so they can get a boost to their sales by promoting it on this central platform.

READ ALSO: Everything that changes in June 2023 in Germany

Why is Germany doing this?

The move follows similar youth culture projects by other countries, including France, Italy and Spain. 

The German government initiative has two major aims: the first is to give young people an opportunity to get out and experience live culture in a way they weren’t able to during the pandemic.

Culture Minister Claudia Roth said last year that she hoped the KulturPass would get “young people go out and experience culture, see how diverse and inspiring it is”.

The second aim is to help give a boost to cultural institutions like theatres, galleries, live music venues and similar businesses. 

The culture industry was one of the hardest hit in the pandemic, due to the Covid shutdowns put in place by the German government to combat the spread of the virus. 

Venues have struggled to encourage people to break out of their pandemic habits and get out to live events again.

What kind of events can young people go to?

The emphasis is on live events to get people away from their home and to give the arts scene a boost. Theatres and concert venues will likely be a popular choice, but also independent bookshops, art galleries, and small business cinemas.

Amazon, Spotify, big chain movie theatres – those kinds of vendors are excluded. So think local, think independent, think higher culture like opera, theatre, and concerts.

Are there plans to roll it out to other age groups?

At the moment, this is a pilot project for people turning 18 this year. Depending on how it goes, the government may be looking at plans to roll such a pass out for 16 and 17 year-olds as well.

To hear more on this story, tune into our Germany in Focus podcast episode released on Friday, March 26th.