Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea


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Salt to the Sea: 6. Emilia Summary & Analysis

Emilia takes a moment to process what has happened. She realizes Florian has killed the Russian, and probably won’t kill her. She asks him, in Polish, if he is okay, but observes, “his face twisted at the sound of my words.”  She assumes he is German, and like all Germans will look down on her as a Pole, as Hitler had declared, “Polish people were subhuman.” Emilia tries to speak to Florian in German, and offers him a potato to thank him for saving her life. Although he does not take it, she can tell that he is hungry, injured, and protective of something secret in his backpack. 
Emilia has begun to internalize the Nazi proclamation that “Polish people were subhuman.” She holds on to hope that she will find people sympathetic to her, but is unsurprised that this man who looks German (but the reader knows is Prussian) would hate her based on her nationality and ancestry. By speaking in German, Emilia hopes to gain Florian’s sympathy.
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