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Biography

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Overview (2)

Born in Berlin, Germany
Died in Zurich, Switzerland

Mini Bio (1)

Ellen Schwanneke was born on August 11, 1906 in Berlin, Germany. She was an actress, known for Mädchen in Uniform (1931), Kinder vor Gericht (1931) and Not a Word About Love (1937). She died on June 16, 1972 in Zurich, Switzerland.

Trivia (7)

Daughter of actor 'Viktor Schwanneke'.
German actress, trained as a dancer and on stage from 1922 with touring repertory companies. In Munich and Breslau (1924-26), subsequently in Berlin theatre and at the cabaret 'Tingeltangel'. Remembered chiefly for her early film role as Ilse in Mädchen in Uniform (1931). Fled the persecution of Jews in 1939, emigrating to the United States via Switzerland and adopted American citizenship in 1944. Worked for some time in theatre under the auspices of producer William Castle. Returned to Europe after the war and lived in Switzerland from 1948, continuing to perform on stage in Basel and Zurich until her retirement in 1970.
The actress Ellen Schwanneke worked for the theater in the first place, she only appeared sporadically in movies.
Ellen Schwanneke returned to Germany after the war where she appeared in one more movie with the title "Morgen ist alles besser" (1948).
In 1944 she became an American citizen.
When the politic of Adolf Hitler was more and more directed against the Jews and the art in general, Ellen Schwanneke left Germany and went to America. There she met William Castle who offered her the leading role in the theater play "Not for Children - Das ist nicht für Kinder".
William Castle advertised for the play "Not for Children" with Ellen Schwanneke in the run-up to and wasn't afraid of using some strange expedients. First he drafted a letter to Hitler and Goebbels in the name of Ellen Schwanneke, in which he announced, that Ellen Schwanneke won't return to Germany as long as Hitler was in power. The content of the letter was passed to newspapers and the story was printed the next day with the title "The Girl Who Said No to Hitler". Than William Castle put up some Nazi graffiti at the theater in secret and applied for military protection for the performance. The play was a big success and attracted the audience in bevy.

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