Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea

by

Ruta Sepetys

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Florian Beck Character Analysis

One of the four principal characters and narrators. From the first chapter, Sepetys notes that Florian is driven forward by a sense of his own predetermined fate. Florian is a Prussian artist, who for many years worked with Erich Koch and Dr. Lange to restore European art that (unbeknownst to Florian) had been stolen by the Nazis. Consumed by his admiration of Dr. Lange and his love of art, Florian didn’t realize he was working on unethically and illegally acquired artworks until many years into the war. After Florian’s father becomes involved in an unsuccessful plot to assassinate Hitler and is executed, Florian rebels against his superiors, steals a precious artifact, and flees. For much of the novel Florian acts selfishly, for the sake of his mission, and for his family. His relationships with other characters like Emilia and Joana begin cautiously as he is wary of trusting others, but as time goes on Florian reveals himself to be kind and caring, his thoughts of revenge eventually melting into a desire to help his new, chosen family. His relationship with Emilia is resembles that of an older brother protecting a younger sister, but his relationship with Joana becomes romantic. In the final chapter, Sepetys reveals that the pair has had a long and happy marriage with their one biological child, and their two adopted children: Klaus and Emilia’s daughter, Halinka.

Florian Beck Quotes in Salt to the Sea

The Salt to the Sea quotes below are all either spoken by Florian Beck or refer to Florian Beck. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Agency, Willpower, and Fate Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Salt to the Sea published in 2016.
6. Emilia Quotes

“Are you okay?” I asked, barely recognizing my own voice. His face twisted at the sound of my words.
He was German.
I was Polish.
He would want nothing to do with me. Adolf Hitler had declared that Polish people were subhuman. We were to be destroyed so the Germans could have the land they needed for their empire. Hitler said Germans were superior and would not live among Poles. We were not Germanizable. But our soil was.

Related Characters: Emilia Stozek (speaker), Florian Beck, Adolf Hitler
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:
9. Emilia Quotes

He wanted to leave me. His race was his own.

Who was this German boy, old enough to be in the Wehrmacht, yet dressed in civilian clothes? For me he was a conqueror, a sleeping knight, like in the stories Mama used to tell. Polish legend told of a king and his brave knights who lay asleep within the mountain caverns. If Poland was in distress, the knights would awaken and come to the rescue.
I told myself that the handsome young man was a sleeping knight. He moved forward, his pistol at the ready. He was leaving.
Why did everyone leave me?

Related Characters: Emilia Stozek (speaker), Florian Beck
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:
25. Emilia Quotes

I looked at the trees and thought of the big stork’s nest I had seen on top of the barn. It made me think of Mama. I thought of the warm sunny days when she would take me to pick mushrooms in the forest. In the forest near Lwów was a beautiful old oak tree with a hollow large enough to sit in. We’d take our baskets to the tree and I’d scramble into the cavity. Mama would sit with her back against the trunk, legs crossed at the ankles beneath her skirt.
“You love stories, Emilia. Well, the trees hold hundreds of years of stories,” she’d tell me, touching the bark. “Think of it, everything these trees have seen and felt. All of the secrets are inside of them.”
“Do you think they remember each and every stork?” I’d ask from inside the cool hollow.
“Of course the trees remember. Like I said, they remember everything.”
Just as the trees were Mama’s favorite, storks were mine. I had them six months of the year. At the end of each summer the storks would leave and fly to Africa, where they’d live in warmth along the Nile for the winter. In March they would return to Poland to the nests they had left. To invite a stork to nest, families would nail a wagon wheel to the top of a tall pole. We had one in our yard. Every March we would celebrate when our stork returned to the nest. As August faded, the departure of the storks symbolized summer’s end.
Six years ago, the day our stork left, Mama left too. She died giving birth to what would have been my younger brother.

My throat tightened. I swallowed, reminding myself she wasn’t really gone. I felt Mama among the trees. I could feel her touch and hear her laughter in the leaves. So I talked to the trees as I walked, hoping their braches would carry messages up to Mama and let her know what I had done, and most of all, that I would try to be brave.

Related Characters: Emilia Stozek (speaker), Florian Beck
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:
44. Joana Quotes

We trudged on in silence. I stared down at the icy road.
His breath was suddenly close. “The girl. She doesn’t have papers.”
Papers.
He was right. Emilia had no identity card. I had forgotten that. Germany required all civilians to legally register and carry documentation that contained our name, photograph, nationality, race, birth, and family details. The regime then assigned identifiers on he cover of the cards. My identity card said Resettler, indicating that Germany had allowed me to repatriate from Lithuania. We were required to show our identification to any official or soldier who requested it. Our papers determined our fate.
I looked up at her, balanced in the bundles. She smiled and gave me a small wave.
Emilia had no papers.
No papers, no future.

Related Characters: Joana Vilkas (speaker), Florian Beck, Emilia Stozek
Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:
46. Florian Quotes

My father’s words hung heavy on my conscience:

“Don’t you see? Lange doesn’t want to train you—he wants to use you, Florian.”
“You don’t understand,” I had argued. “He’s saving the treasures of the world.”
“Saving them? Is that what you call it? Is that how easily he’s duped you? This greedy imposter fills your head with rubbish and you become a traitor?”
“I am not dishonoring Germany. Just the opposite.”
“No, son,” pleaded my father. “Not a traitor to your country. Much worse. A traitor to your soul.

A traitor to your soul. Those were the last words my father said to me. Not because he was finished, but because I stormed out of the house and refused to listen. When I returned months alter, panicked and in need of his counsel, it was too late.
So now I risked everything, confronting fate and the knowledge that had authored my own demise. But only if I failed.

Related Characters: Florian Beck (speaker), Dr. Lange
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:
60. Florian Quotes

It could have been so easy. I could have walked across the ice myself, without the burden of the group. They could have tried to save the blind girl. Maybe they all would have drowned in the process. That would have been so much easier.
And so much harder.
Bitte.”
The word was s quiet, I wasn’t even sure I had heard it. I liked down at the Polish girl. She wore red lipstick. Her blonde hair was released from the captivity of her braids. She pulled her pink hat down over her eyes. “Bitte,” she whispered again. “Please.”

Related Characters: Florian Beck (speaker), Joana Vilkas, Emilia Stozek, Ingrid
Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:
62. Emilia Quotes

Father constantly worried about me. He cried when he told me that he was sending me away to the Kleists’ farm in East Prussia for safety. I wanted to cry too. I wanted to scream and refuse. But it hurt so much to see him sad, losing all that he loved. So I assured him that he was right, it was for the best, and that I was not upset. I told him that we would see each other in a couple of year, when the war of winter turned to spring.

I became good at pretending. I became so good that after a while the lines blurred between my truth and fiction. And sometimes, when I did a really good job of pretending, I even fooled myself.

Page Number: 147
Explanation and Analysis:
112. Emilia Quotes

[Florian] looked from the baby to me and then back to the baby.
“Hmm. Your eyes. Your nose. Pretty,” he said. He put his lips against the top of the baby’s head and closed his eyes. He looked beautiful. Joana stared at the knight. She thought he was beautiful too.

He opened his eyes and whispered to me. “Kind of incredible. She is you, she is your mother, your father, your country.” He kissed her head and leaned down to whisper in my ear.
“She is Poland.”
My arms lifted and reached for the child.

Related Characters: Florian Beck (speaker), Emilia Stozek (speaker), Halinka
Page Number: 261
Explanation and Analysis:
116. Emilia Quotes

She should know Poland. Looking at the child, I suddenly became hungry for my country, for its fat bees carrying nectar from apple flowers and for the birds singing in clusters of hazel.

How would she know the truths from the untruths? Would she believe that Poles, Jews, Ukrainians, Armenians, and Hungarians had all coexisted peacefully in Lwów before the war? That I often made tea and doughnuts with Rachel and Helen in our kitchen?
Food. I wanted her to know our food. How my hands missed the feel of dough dusted with flour. My ears missed the snap of apple pancakes in the pan and my yes missed the rainbow of fruits and vegetables sealed in jars on the shelves. War had bled color from everything, leaving nothing but a storm of gray.
I wanted her to know not only Poland, but my Poland.
I pulled her close and whispered in Polish: “There were no ghettos, no armbands. I often fell asleep to a breeze floating through my open window. It’s true. It was like that once.”

Related Characters: Emilia Stozek (speaker), Florian Beck, Halinka
Page Number: 268
Explanation and Analysis:
131. Emilia Quotes

I hadn’t planned for this. I was certain the birthing would kill both of us, just as it had Mama. Yet somehow, after five cruel winters of war, I was still alive. I adjusted the baby in my arms. What was happening? Could I have been wrong about the sign?

I had received the sign six years ago. It was Saint John’s Night, the longest day of the year. Mama loved Saint John’s celebration—a night of bonfires, singing, and dancing. The tradition called for girls to make wreaths of flowers and candles. At dark, they would light the candles and send their wreaths floating down the river. Legend said that the boy who retrieved your wreath downstream was the boy you would marry. The year Mama died, the older girls let me make a wreath of flowers and candles with them. I chose all of Mama’s favorites—hibiscus, roses, poppies, and dried herbs.

After setting the wreaths to the water, the girls danced around the bonfire. I decided to follow my pretty wreath. I padded barefoot in the grass along the river, watching the flowers and candles turning slowly in the water. I walked quite far. My wreath suddenly bounced, catching on something beneath the surface. I stopped in the center of the river. One of the candles tipped onto the flowers. The herbs caught on fire.
I sat in the grass and watched my wreath burn and sink, quietly sealing my fate.

I had expected everything to end, But now, I began to think that maybe the sign had been wrong. I had fought so hard to overcome so much. Something changed when the knight arrived. Maybe he truly saved me, had pulled my burning wreath form the water. After all, in Poland, Saint Florian was fighter of fire.

For the first time in years, people cared for me. Protected me.

Related Characters: Emilia Stozek (speaker), Florian Beck, Halinka
Related Symbols: Emilia’s Wreath
Page Number: 300
Explanation and Analysis:
161. Florian Quotes

A young girl kicked and shrieked in the water next to our lifeboat.
I removed my life vest and threw it to her. “Grab my hand,” I told her.
“No!” yelled a woman in our boat. “She’ll turn us over!”
I stood and leaned over the side. Our lifeboat tipped toward the water. Everybody screamed. I reached down and grabbed the girl by her hair. She gripped my arm and I pulled her into the boat. She full, soaked and exhausted at our feet.
A woman in a fur coat yelled at me. “You had no right! You’re endangering everyone!”
“Shut up!” I roared. My body shook with anger. “Do you hear me? Shut up!” Everyone fell quiet. The wandering boy hid his crying face in the crook of his arm. Joana reached up to me.

Related Characters: Florian Beck (speaker), Joana Vilkas
Page Number: 346
Explanation and Analysis:
166. Joana Quotes

“One more.”
That’s what the sailor had said.

Most would have fought to be “the one.” They would have insisted they ought to be “the one.” But Emilia had pushed the wandering boy into the boat, sacrificing herself for another. Where was she now? Had she gotten into a boat? I thought of frightened yet brave Emilia, and I started to cry.

I wanted my mother. My mother loved Lithuania. She loved her family. The war had torn every last love from her life. Would she have to learn the grotesque details of our suffering? Would news make it to my hometown of Biržai, to the dark bunker in the woods where my brother and father were thought to be hiding?
Joana Vilkas, your daughter, your sister. She is salt to the sea.

Page Number: 357
Explanation and Analysis:
174. Florian Quotes

So, dear one, I have grown old now and my Niels is gone. Receiving your kind letter brought such peace to my heart, knowing that you, Joana, Klaus, and Halinka are together in America along with a child of your own. I do understand how you have struggled for this new life. The sinking of the Gusloff is the largest maritime disaster, yet the world still knows nothing of it. I often wonder, will that ever change or will it remain just another secret swallowed by war?
You wrote that Emilia was your savior and that she is ever on your mind. Please do know, Florian, that she is ever in my heart as well. War is catastrophe. It breaks families in irretrievable pieces. But those who are gone are not necessarily lost. Near our cottage, where the small creek winds under the old wooden bridge, is the most beautiful bed of roses.
And there Emilia rests. She is safe. She is loved.

Related Characters: Clara Christensen (speaker), Florian Beck, Emilia Stozek
Page Number: 378
Explanation and Analysis:
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Florian Beck Character Timeline in Salt to the Sea

The timeline below shows where the character Florian Beck appears in Salt to the Sea. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
2. Florian
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Florian’s chapter begins with a variation of the same phrase that begins the other of the... (full context)
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Florian hears the German helicopters above him. Although he is in pain from a shrapnel injury... (full context)
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Florian knows that if he is captured by the Soviets he will be killed and tortured.... (full context)
5. Florian
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The chapter opens in the moments after Florian has shot the Russian soldier who tried to attack Emilia. Florian goes through the man’s... (full context)
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Florian prepares to leave, but pauses when Emilia sits up from where she had collapsed on... (full context)
6. Emilia
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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... (full context)
8. Florian
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Florian leaves the cellar and Emilia follows him, crying. He knows that Hitler has occupied Poland,... (full context)
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As Florian walks away, Emilia begins to cry. This reminds him of his little sister, Anni. He... (full context)
9. Emilia
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Emilia can tell that Florian wants to leave. She observes, “His race was his own.” (full context)
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Emilia doesn’t know Florian’s name, but she imagines he is “a sleeping knight” out of Polish folklore, in which... (full context)
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Florian runs away from Emilia and the military planes overhead. She chases after him as she... (full context)
11. Joana
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...her expertise to help those she can. As she thinks she looks up to see Florian and Emilia enter the barn. (full context)
12. Florian
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Florian is unhappy that the barn is not abandoned, but he decides to stop there anyway.... (full context)
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Florian notices that Joana’s German is “fluent, but not native.” He also notices that she’s very... (full context)
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As Florian tries to go to sleep, Joana comes back to point out that Emilia is Polish,... (full context)
14. Joana
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Florian and Emilia make Joana nervous. She knows Eva speaks a little Polish and so asks... (full context)
15. Florian
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After everyone else has fallen asleep Joana comes back to talk to Florian. He agrees to let her see his shrapnel wound. Emilia also comes over to help,... (full context)
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Joana introduces herself as a Lithuanian physician’s assistant. This is not a problem for Florian, who says, “I don’t care what you are.” She asks him for his name but... (full context)
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As Florian closes his eyes and waits for Joana to begin to operate he thinks to himself,... (full context)
16. Emilia
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...Joana, but decides to stand watch as she performs surgery, as Emilia feels she owes Florian (whom she calls “the knight”) a debt for saving her life.  (full context)
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Emilia feels indebted to Florian, even though when he told her to go away “his voice was another in the... (full context)
18. Joana
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As Joana begins to operate on Florian, she tells him about her repatriation. Stalin occupied Lithuania, but because her mother was German,... (full context)
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As she operates on his side, Joana tries to take Florian’s identification papers from his pocket. He notices and stops her. After the surgery is over,... (full context)
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Feeling vulnerable, Florian asks Joana for a fact about her. He begins to fall asleep as he waits... (full context)
19. Florian
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The next morning, Florian wonders if he dreamed his conversations with Joana. He is attracted to her, but realizes... (full context)
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Outside, as Florian reorganizes his things, he thinks of Dr. Lange, the art director back in Königsberg with... (full context)
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Over the years, Florian began to realize that Dr. Lange was not as wonderful as he seemed. For starters,... (full context)
20. Emilia
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Emilia doesn’t trust the refugees in the barn, especially Eva, but she trusts Florian, her “knight.” Florian tries to tell her to stay behind, explaining “It’s safer for [her]... (full context)
21. Joana
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Joana notices Florian and Emilia have left. The rest of the group is happy that they are gone.... (full context)
23. Florian
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Florian tries to convince Emilia to leave him but she will not go. He tells her... (full context)
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Florian wonders if he has made a mistake, and realizes how suspicious he and Emilia look—a... (full context)
24. Joana
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...able to see things. Just not the same things you see.” She asks Joana what Florian and Emilia looked like physically, but already seems to have a sense. Ingrid calls Florian... (full context)
27. Florian
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Florian takes a break from walking. He wonders if he should have stayed with Joana and... (full context)
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Emilia asks Florian “Heil Hitler?” but he doesn’t respond. He decides he will abandon her that night. (full context)
29. Emilia
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Emilia knows her “knight” (Florian) has secrets, but she has secrets too. She thinks back to one day when she... (full context)
30. Florian
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Florian turns at the sound of a gunshot. Emilia has killed the soldier. Florian sees he... (full context)
32. Florian
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Florian hides the dead German soldier beneath the snow, and then continues marching. He realizes Emilia... (full context)
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Florian can hear Emilia trying not to cry. She once again reminds him of his sister,... (full context)
33. Emilia
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Emilia can’t stop thinking about how she killed a man. Even though she saved Florian, she doesn’t feel good about it. The gunshot triggers “discarded memories,” of “boots. Screaming. Glass... (full context)
34. Joana
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Once outside, Joana recognizes Florian and Emilia in the snow. Emilia has collapsed and Joana goes to help her. Pulling... (full context)
35. Florian
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Florian is shocked and disgusted to learn that Emilia is pregnant. He assumes she has been... (full context)
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After entering the manor, Joana brings Florian into a private room to look at the wound on his side. Joana assumes Florian... (full context)
36. Joana
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Joana joins the other refugees by the fire. Eva points out that Florian is cute, and suggests that Joana could become romantically involved with him even if he... (full context)
39. Florian
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Florian watches the refugees from a corner. Klaus has found a gramophone and is playing a... (full context)
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Joana brings Florian some soup and they discuss the song. It’s in German and Joana doesn’t entirely understand... (full context)
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The Poet invites Joana to dance and Florian watches and thinks back to his time with Dr. Lange. He wonders why, although he... (full context)
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Florian gets up to go to the bathroom. He takes his pack with him. Joana suggests... (full context)
40. Joana
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...second floor but a sound in the kitchen distracts her. She returns downstairs to find Florian rifling through the cupboards. He has found more jars of food, but says some are... (full context)
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Joana turns to go upstairs again, but Florian stops her. He tells her “No one should have to see that.”  (full context)
42. Florian
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Florian suspects the Prussian family had been eating dinner when Russian forces began to approach. The... (full context)
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...the house after Eva’s discovery. They pack up and resume their journey. Eva complains that Florian and Emilia should not be allowed to come with them. Emilia, because she’s Polish, and... (full context)
44. Joana
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Joana and Florian discuss the future — they decide to march across the ice at night, when it will... (full context)
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Florian suddenly realizes Emilia has no papers. All civilians are required to carry identification documents, including... (full context)
46. Florian
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The group moves more quickly now that they are officially allowed to evacuate. As Florian walks, he thinks back to a conversation with Florian’s father, who warned him that Dr.... (full context)
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Those were the last word’s Florian’s father ever spoke to him, as he was killed soon after. Now, Florian carries on in... (full context)
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A German soldier stops Florian and looks at his papers. The papers not only pass inspection, but impress the soldier,... (full context)
49. Emilia
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Florian has disappeared in the chaos. Emilia tries to look for him but Joana holds her... (full context)
50. Florian
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Florian examines his own identification papers. He has forged them to say “Gonderausweis,” or “special pass.”... (full context)
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The German soldier at the checkpoint cannot let Florian cross the ice because it is full of holes from the airplane fire, but tells... (full context)
51. Joana
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...in her suitcase for paper she realizes one of her belongings (the one stolen by Florian) is missing.   (full context)
53. Florian
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Florian hides in the same cathedral as the rest of the refugees, but he hides inside... (full context)
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Florian goes through his backpack and considers his special parcel: a tiny amber swan, stolen from... (full context)
55. Joana
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Joana wonders where Florian has gone. She pretends to herself that she cares about his wound, but in reality... (full context)
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...towards her but the cracks in the ice expand and threaten to swallow her too. Florian, who has appeared from nowhere, grabs Joana’s ankle and pulls her to safety as Ingrid... (full context)
56. Florian
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Florian had followed behind Joana and the group secretly. When the planes fired down at the... (full context)
59. Joana
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...for the group to cross the ice. Once on land again, Joana lashes out at Florian. She argues that, if not for him, she could have saved Ingrid. He argues that... (full context)
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The Poet stops the arguing by saying that Florian saved Joana, and also Emilia, who had begun to scramble towards Ingrid as well. Eva,... (full context)
60. Florian
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A soldier approaches the group of refugees and asks for papers. Joana tells Florian he “owes” her. Emilia comes up to him and thanks him in German. She says... (full context)
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The German soldier sees from Florian’s papers that he is a special envoy carrying a special package. The soldier wonders if... (full context)
63. Florian
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Florian worries that his time is running out. Although he’s managed to trick a few guards... (full context)
65. Joana
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...sleep in. After the woman has left, the group makes fun of her, and even Florian cracks a joke. He then takes Joana’s hand for a brief moment and apologizes about... (full context)
66. Emilia
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Emilia sees that Florian is beautiful when he smiles. He reminds her of August. Emilia wishes that her mother... (full context)
67. Florian
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Florian is shocked by the military presence in the port, as well as by the tragic... (full context)
69. Joana
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The group walks through the city to the movie house. Florian helps pick the lock on the movie house door. Joana asks him to leave it... (full context)
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The group settles down, resting and eating dinner. Florian and Joana discuss how they will keep the group together as they board ships. Florian... (full context)
71. Florian
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While the rest of the group has settled on the floor of the movie house, Florian has barricaded himself inside the production booth. From his perch, he can see Joana making... (full context)
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Joana inspects Florian and they flirt. She tells him she calls him “the German” because she does not... (full context)
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Florian wonders if Joana is married. She says she isn’t. He silently thinks about the song... (full context)
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Joana reveals that Emilia reminds her of someone (her cousin Lina). Florian realizes he can manipulate Joana by talking about family. He tells her Emilia reminds him... (full context)
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...sewing kit. She worries someone will find the note and think she killed them. What Florian doesn’t reveal is that he noticed the note and took it from the house to... (full context)
74. Florian
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Florian eavesdrops on Joana and Alfred’s conversation. Joana asks where registration begins and Alfred gestures towards... (full context)
76. Joana
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...group behind. The Poet reminds her to meet at the clock. As the group departs, Florian pulls her aside, plays with her hair flirtatiously, and tells her his name is Florian. (full context)
78. Florian
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...by ushering other refugees out of the way and announcing the presence of his party. Florian spots a group of Nazi officials up ahead. He knows that if they discover him,... (full context)
79. Alfred
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Alfred fully believes Florian’s story. He is proud to help him, but has forgotten his promise to help Emilia,... (full context)
81. Emilia
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Emilia feels abandoned, both by Joana and Florian, her “knight.” However, she still has Eva, the Poet, and Klaus. Alfred leads Emilia to... (full context)
82. Florian
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Back at the movie house, Florian worries that he misjudged Alfred, and that the soldier will not return to him. Florian... (full context)
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Florian remembers one day last July, when a Polish painting arrived on a truck. Florian recognized... (full context)
84. Alfred
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...nurse for Dr. Richter, and helped Emilia and her friends. He also tells her about Florian and his special mission for Gauleiter Koch. Alfred brags, “my catalog of heroics is growing... (full context)
87. Florian
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Florian waits impatiently for Alfred to arrive. He also wonders about Joana, and whether she will... (full context)
88. Alfred
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...to collect life vests and floats. The task gives him the chance to go find Florian. He finds him in the movie house, where Florian hands Alfred the propaganda flyer he... (full context)
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Alfred brings Florian a blank boarding pass and wonders how he will use it to get on the... (full context)
89. Joana
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...for Joana in the movie theatre. As they talk, Alfred finds them, and announces that Florian “needs” Joana. Confused, she goes to find him.   (full context)
90. Florian
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Joana is annoyed to arrive and find that Florian did not have an emergency. Still, she stays to talk. Florian asks to see her... (full context)
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Joana accuses Florian of only talking to her when he needs something, but he changes the subject quickly... (full context)
92. Joana
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Emilia wants to wait for Florian but Joana convinces her to come to the ship now. Passing again through the chaotic... (full context)
94. Florian
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Florian barricades himself in the projection room. He was able to look both at Joana’s and... (full context)
97. Florian
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Done with his forgery, Florian considers whether to board now, and risk close inspection, or later, and risk all the... (full context)
102. Florian
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Florian brings the Poet and Klaus into the projection room to sleep.  The Poet asks Florian... (full context)
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The Poet tells Florian that Klaus came out of the woods with an address pinned to his coat. They... (full context)
104. Florian
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Florian decides to try and board the ship sooner rather than later. He thinks traveling with... (full context)
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Florian, Klaus, and the Poet approach the harbor. Florian makes sure the blood from the wound... (full context)
107. Florian
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Florian, Klaus, and the Poet approach the officers. A soldier asks Klaus about his relationship to... (full context)
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...She managed to get passage on a different ship and says her goodbyes, unsentimentally asking Florian to make sure Joana gets her bag, as Joana was the “only one of you... (full context)
109. Florian
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The next checkpoint is luggage inspection. Florian is nervous. The line is efficient, and soon Florian is at the front. The Poet... (full context)
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Florian explains one of his bags is for his nurse. The blonde Nazi asks for her... (full context)
110. Alfred
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Alfred walks through the ship. Joana had asked him to keep a lookout for Florian, and this request has reinvigorated Alfred. He runs into the Poet and Klaus, who make... (full context)
111. Joana
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...Emilia’s baby near her and inspire some sense of motherly love. Alfred, who has brought Florian, distracts her. She has him lay on a cot and takes his stitches out, but... (full context)
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Joana understands that Emilia clung to Florian because he “saved her from the Russian in the forest.” He’s “proof that there are... (full context)
112. Emilia
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Florian comes to greet Emilia. She still calls him her “knight.” He takes the baby and... (full context)
113. Florian
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Joana is shocked at how good Florian was with the baby. Florian is going to go look for a hiding place, but... (full context)
114. Joana
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Joana takes a moment to consider her kiss with Florian. Did she kiss him to thank him? Or because she really likes him? She thinks... (full context)
115. Alfred
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Alfred composes another letter to Hannelore. He tells her he feels his friendship with Florian has developed. He also tells her about his potential medal. He ends the letter reminding... (full context)
116. Emilia
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Emilia considers what Florian told her as she cradles her child. She hopes the baby will have a chance... (full context)
117. Florian
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Florian hides away in the hollow chimney in the center of the ship. Alfred comes in... (full context)
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Florian asks Alfred if his Mutter loved the Hitler. Defensively, Alfred points out “We all love... (full context)
118. Joana
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The blonde Nazi interrupts Joana in the maternity ward. He is looking for Florian and wants Joana to confirm his name, which she will not do on the grounds... (full context)
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The blonde Nazi reveals that Florian is a courier for Gauleiter Koch, and that Florian claimed Joana was assigned, by Koch,... (full context)
119. Emilia
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...eavesdrops on Joana’s conversation with the blonde Nazi. This is the first time has heard Florian’s name. She’s thrilled to learn his name is Florian, like the Patron Saint of Poland. (full context)
120. Alfred
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Alfred writes another letter to Hannelore. He relays his conversation with Florian. He confesses his occasional sympathy “for those who are inferior,” but continues, “we are good... (full context)
121. Florian
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Florian thinks of home, of his mother who died of tuberculosis, of his little sister.  He... (full context)
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Alfred interrupts his thoughts with a meal delivery. He tells Florian the ship will depart soon. Alfred shares some Nazi doctrine, and Florian suggests that Alfred... (full context)
122. Joana
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Joana is furious with Florian. She considers how she is Volkdeutsche, of German ancestry, and wonders how much she owes... (full context)
123. Florian
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Joana is furious. She slaps Florian. She’s angry that he forged a letter, and that he claimed Erich Koch appointed her.... (full context)
124. Joana
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Joana wants Florian to tell her the truth. He explains that he isn’t really carrying anything for Koch,... (full context)
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Joana is not convinced, even when Florian promises to prove to the blonde Nazi she was not involved by showing the soldier... (full context)
126. Florian
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Florian wonders if Joana is telling the truth, and if Koch really has been wired. It... (full context)
127. Alfred
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...drained pools far below deck. After many hours, he’s interrupted by a soldier looking for Florian. The soldier asks the women if they’ve seen Florian, and when Alfred tries to say... (full context)
128. Joana
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...Nazi returns to the maternity ward. Koch has written back and has a message for Florian. Curious, Joana asks about it. It says, “Have Beck contact me directly. Tell DRL dead.... (full context)
129. Florian
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Florian considers his Prussian identity. He wonders what will happen to the forty million people who... (full context)
131. Emilia
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...have cared for and protected her. Emilia looks down at her daughter, who is, like Florian said, “part of me, my family and Poland.” She wonders if her troubles are over. (full context)
132. Florian
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Waiting in the chimney, Florian considers the future. He plans to try and get from Kiel to Denmark where his... (full context)
134. Joana
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Florian visits Joana in the maternity ward again. He needs her help cutting his hair into... (full context)
135. Florian
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...was arrested. This is why Joana has been carrying a drawing with her—the same drawing Florian briefly stole. (full context)
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Joana has finished cutting Florian’s hair. They discuss what they’ll do once they land in Kiel. Both will try to... (full context)
136. Emilia
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...Joana return to the maternity ward, smiling. Emilia knows something is happening between Joana and Florian. A broadcast celebrating the 12th anniversary of Hitler’s appointment to chancellor of Germany begins on... (full context)
138. Florian
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Florian wanders through the ship to find the Poet and Klaus. Florian likes the Poet, and... (full context)
139. Joana
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Joana is excited to see Florian again soon. As she thinks this, the ship is rocked by a series of loud... (full context)
142. Florian
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As the ship slams from side to side, Florian realizes it has been hit with torpedoes. The Poet makes sure to adjust Klaus’s life... (full context)
146. Florian
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Florian rushes to evacuate to the deck of the ship with the Poet and Klaus, making... (full context)
149. Emilia
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...duckies” to Halinka as she looks around, not for a lifeboat, but for her knight, Florian. (full context)
150. Florian
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Florian, Klaus, and the Poet make it to the top deck. The Poet realizes that it... (full context)
152. Alfred
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...is evacuating, he should, too. Before he can, however, he sees Klaus, the Poet, and Florian, who is screaming for Joana. (full context)
153. Florian
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The remaining boats are filling, but Florian wants to find Joana and Emilia before he boards one. He spots them through the... (full context)
154. Joana
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...into the sea. Klaus cries for the Poet who jumps into the ocean behind them. Florian stands to dive in after him, but the boat is thrown by a wave and... (full context)
158. Florian
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This chapter is only three sentences.  Florian thinks, “The Polish girl. My pack. Where were they?” (full context)
161. Florian
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The sea is full of corpses. Florian tires to rescue a girl in the water, to the protestations of a woman in... (full context)
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Florian slumps down next to Joana and Klaus. He thinks, “Fate is a hunter. Its barrel... (full context)
163. Emilia
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...Alfred, who is vomiting over the side of the raft. She considers how she has Florian’s pack, and he has her baby. She wants to be with Halinka. Emilia has no... (full context)
165. Florian
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The ship has sunk. Florian looks at the lifeboat and realizes they could have fit the Poet and Emilia. He... (full context)
166. Joana
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Because he is afraid he is going to die, Florian begins to tell Joana the secrets of his life. Joana thinks of her own mother,... (full context)
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...brother, who might be hiding in a bunker in the woods. As she thinks this Florian kisses her and points out that a boat is coming. (full context)
169. Joana
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...ship pulls up alongside the lifeboat and extends a net so people can climb aboard. Florian passes Halinka up to the sailors, and then waits as the rest of the refugees... (full context)
170. Florian
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Florian falls into the water. Disoriented, he hears a phantom female voice telling him to Kick... (full context)
171. Joana
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Joana is thrilled that Florian has been rescued. Even as other people run across the deck looking for their loved... (full context)
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Florian tells Joana he could hear her from beneath the water, but she is confused. She... (full context)
172. Florian
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Florian had been sure he was going to die. Now, he has a new lease on... (full context)
174. Florian
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Florian sits on a porch. Twenty years have passed since the war ended, but a letter... (full context)
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...woman named Clara Christensen, writing from Denmark. She reveals that she had previously written to Florian, who responded, and this is her second letter. She first wrote after reading about a... (full context)
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...after the Wilhelm Gustloff sank. Clara and her husband defrosted her rucksack and read through Florian’s notebook, which was inside. In it, he had written Emilia’s name, identifying her by her... (full context)