This guest book belonged to the parents of sixteen-year-old Carla Hustinx from the city of Maastricht. Their home was a regular place to stay for singers, movie stars, athletes and comedians that came to entertain American soldiers after the south of the Netherlands was liberated in September 1944.
A relaxing evening helped the soldiers forget about the war for a moment. Big celebrities were happy to perform for the troops and swapped the glamour of Hollywood for a jeep and military rations.
Also the famous actress and singer Marlene Dietrich spent a night at Hustinx’s home in January 1945: she left an autographed five franc bill behind. Carla Hustinx glued it into this guest book.
The artists usually returned from an appearance around midnight, dove into bed, and continued on their way the next day around noon. The nuns at Carla’s Catholic School felt this environment was decadent and immoral, hardly suitable for a girl her age. But Carla saw it for what it was: ‘They behave like ordinary people and don’t put on stuck-up airs. They’re here for the troops.’
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