In the fall of 1939, at 9 years old, Eleanor and her family left New York on the SS Hamburg bound for Germany. A new job and a secure financial future awaited her father in Berlin. Half-way across the Atlantic, Hitler declared war on Poland and their return to America became impossible.
This is the true story of Eleanor Ramrath Garner growing up as an American trapped in Nazi Germany during WWII. Adapted for the stage and performed by her granddaughter Ingrid, Eleanor’s award-winning autobiography details her youth struggling to maintain stability, hope, and identity in a world of terror and contrasts. Her family faces hunger, fascist oppression, carpet bombing, the final fierce battle for Berlin, the Russian invasion and the horrors of Soviet occupancy. The play exposes audiences to an entirely unique story about World War II and provides insight into the seldom reported lives of civilians in wartime.
Eleanor’s Story: An American Girl in Hitler’s Germany is a one woman, multi-media, hour-long dramatic play by Ingrid Garner, the grand-daughter of Eleanor Ramrath Garner, author of the award-winning 'young adult' autobiography which Ingrid adapted into this show.
Ingrid condenses seven years into a 60 minute show, portraying her grandmother from ages 9-16, her family, neighbors, teachers, and others who contributed to the ordeals young Eleanor endured in war-torn Germany, as an American citizen. It is through Eleanor’s innocent eyes we see her confusion, shock and education of the realities of war, while trying to maintain her identity, dignity, and life. Vivid sound effects and video-screen projection add to the immersive experience, to help transport the audience to experience a unique story from World War II.