Ellen, a very serious girl, particularly compared to her friend, and the novel's protagonist, Annemarie, occasionally finds that her penchant for the dramatic and wish to be an actress in the future can be of use in this very dangerous situation. She is being protected by Annemarie's family, who lost another child, Lise, Annemarie's older sister. Ellen is dark-haired as Lise was, and the hope is that Ellen will be able to masquerade as Lise and avoid the Gestapo as long as possible. When the threat of soldiers coming to house looms, Ellen tells Annemarie that she will simply put her acting skills to use pretending to be Lise if she is questioned. The entire family will be forced to use their acting skills, by the time it is all over, as they endeavor to save Ellen's life by pretending she is not Jewish.