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  • Hemingway's 'Kraut' letter to Marlene Dietrich to see up to $50,000
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • 'Kraut'Hemingway'sletterto

Hemingway's 'Kraut' letter to Marlene Dietrich to see up to $50,000

A letter sent by "Papa" Hemingway to "Kraut" Marlene Dietrich has been consigned to a new online auction by three of Dietrich's grandchildren.

The letter reveals the pair's unconsummated love affair, which Hemingway once described as an "unsynchronised passion". It is expected to sell for between $30,000 and $50,000 at the March 19 sale with AuctionMyStuff.

However, this isn't the first time the letter has come to light. 

Hemingway opens the letter - sent August 28, 1955 - with "Dearest Kraut", his pet name for the German actress. In the remaining 30 letters between them, many of which were donated to the Kennedy Library in Boston, Dietrich refers to Hemingway as "Papa".

The letter was written six years before Hemingway's suicide, at a time when Dietrich had reinvented herself in Vegas, working as a highly paid cabaret dancer. Hemingway details a show in which Dietrich is "shot onto the stage, drunk, from a self-propelled minnenwerfer [sic] which would advance in from the street rolling over the customers.

"As you landed on the stage drunk and naked, I would advance from the rear, or your rear, wearing evening clothes and would hurriedly strip... to cover you revealing the physique of Burt Lancaster," the famously bawdy writer continues.

Yet business and pleasure certainly didn't mix in Hemingway's world. "I love you very much and I never wanted to get mixed in any business with you… neither of us has enough whore blood for that," he writes in response to her request to work together.

More than 250 items belonging to Dietrich will feature in the sale, as her grandchildren part with their inheritance. Also starring is one of her signature blue and black tuxedos, with all lots available for viewing at the Hollywood Musuem.

Hemingway would end his life just six years after the letter was written - learn more about what drove him to suicide here.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has some wonderful autographs for sale.


  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • 'Kraut'Hemingway'sletterto