Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Eleanor's Story: An American Girl in Hitler's Germany

Eleanor Ramrath Garner wrote an award winning memoir about her youth, surviving WWII as an American trapped in Nazi Berlin. GLAM, Global Arts Management from Fullerton California presented the show at this years Orlando Fringe Festival. In the play, the young Ingrid Garner pays tribute to her grandmother by telling her story as a one person historical drama.

In 1939 her grandfather decided he would move his family from New Jersey to Germany to pursue a lucrative job offer. On the boat trip over, war breaks out in Europe. By the time they dock, it is to late to turn back. The family became trapped for seven years in Hitler's Germany. The young girl tries to blend into the new society even wanting to join the Hitler Youth. When teachers find out she is American she is punished for no good reason.

The actress did an incredible job of making air raids terrifying and visceral. Photos of the actual basements and bunkers mad the scenes even more real. The most terrifying moments came when Russian soldiers swept through her neighborhood at night. She could her women screaming as they were raped. She woke up feeling herself being pulled down towards the foot of the bed. A man loomed over her pulling at her bed clothes. Her mom screamed entering the room and waving their American passports. The Russians held the documents upside down, confused and indifferent, but decided to move on to easier prey.

The play is dark, showing the worst of humanity in times of war, but in the end there is hope for survival and a chance to rebuild. This was the most powerful drama I saw at this years Fringe Festival. It was the show I recommended any time a friend would ask for my recommendations.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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