Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea

by

Ruta Sepetys

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Joana Vilkas Character Analysis

One of the four principal characters and narrators. From the first chapter, Sepetys notes that Joana is primarily motivated by guilt. Joana is a young Lithuanian woman, who repatriated to Germany from Lithuania in 1941, when Soviet forces threatened to overtake the country. She blames herself for the capture and imprisonment of her cousin, Lina, and so dedicates herself to helping others as a way of relieving the guilt she feels over allowing harm to come to someone she loved. Joana is a nurse and uses her skills to help others whenever possible. In the beginning of the novel she travels with the Poet, Ingrid, Eva, and Klaus, treating any refugees she meets on the road. This is how she first encounters Florian and Emilia, whom she meets when they spend the night in the same barn as her group of refugees. Joana is generally open and trusting, and privileges helping others over her own health and safety. For example, she fights with Eva about whether or not they should allow Emilia and Florian to travel with them. Eva worries the two will put the group in danger, but Joana is unwilling to abandon anyone who she feels could use her help. Later, Joana serves as a nurse on the Wilhelm Gustloff, and even delivers Emilia’s baby. Over the course of the novel, Joana and Florian become friends, and eventually lovers. The final chapter of the novel reveals 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.

Joana Vilkas Quotes in Salt to the Sea

The Salt to the Sea quotes below are all either spoken by Joana Vilkas or refer to Joana Vilkas. 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.
1. Joana Quotes

Guilt is a hunter.

My conscience mocked me, picking fights like a petulant child.

It’s all your fault, the voice whispered.

Related Characters: Joana Vilkas (speaker)
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:
7. Joana Quotes

The old man spoke of nothing but shoes. He spoke of the with such love and emotion that a woman in our group had crowned him, “the shoe poet.” Them woman disappeared a day later but the nickname survived.

“The shoes always tell the story,” said the shoe poet.

“Not always,” I countered.
“Yes, always. Your boots, they are expensive, well made. That tells me that you come from a wealthy family. But the style is one made for an older woman. That tells me they probably belonged to your mother. A mother sacrificed her boots for her daughter. That tells me you are loved, my dear. And your mother is not here, so that tells me that you are sad, my dear. The shoes tell the story.”
I paused in the center of the frozen road and watched the stubby old cobbler shuffle ahead of me. When we fled from Lithuania she rushed me to Insterburg and, through a friend, arranged for me to work in the hospital. That was four years ago. Where was mother now?
I thought of the countless refugees trekking toward freedom. How many millions of people had lost their home and family during the war? I had agreed with Mother to look to the future, but secretly I dreamed of retuning to the past. Had anyone heard from my father or brother?

Related Characters: Joana Vilkas (speaker), Heinz, “The Shoe Poet”
Related Symbols: Shoes
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:
14. Joana Quotes

My heart ached for the girl. What had she seen? And deep down I knew the truth. Hitler was pushing out Polish girls like Emilia to make room for “Baltic Germans,” people with German heritage. Like me. My father was Lithuanian but my mother’s family had German roots. That’s why we were able to flee from Stalin into the barbed arms of Hitler.
“You know, I think it could be worse,” said Eva.
“What do you mean?”

“My husband told me that Hitler suspected the Polish intellectuals of anti-Nazi activity. The senior professors in Lwów, they were all executed. So the girl’s father, sorry, but he was probably strangled with piano wire and—”

“Stop, Eva.”
“We can’t bring the girl with us. Her coat is splattered with blood. She’s clearly in trouble. And she’s Polish.”
“And I’m Lithuanian. Are you going to toss me out too?” I was sick of it. Sick of hearing the phrase German Only. Could we really turn our backs on innocent homeless children? They were victims, not soldiers. But I knew others felt differently. I looked over at the girl in the corner, tears streaking her filthy face. She was fifteen and alone. The tears reminded me of someone. The memory opened a small door In my mind and the dark voice slipped through it.

It’s all your fault.

Related Characters: Joana Vilkas (speaker), Eva (speaker), Emilia Stozek, Adolf Hitler
Page Number: 30
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:
47. Joana Quotes

The bombing propelled everyone forward at a quicker pace, anxious to reach Frauenburg and possible shelter. I didn’t want to move forward. I needed to go back, to help the injured. But they would not allow it.

“What good will you be, my dear, if you are injured?” said the shoe poet. “You must preserve yourself in order to help others.”
Poet didn’t know the truth. I had already preserved myself. I had left Lithuania and those I loved behind.

To die.

Related Characters: Joana Vilkas (speaker), Heinz, “The Shoe Poet”
Page Number: 111
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:
66. Emilia Quotes

Joana still had her mother. Reuniting with her mother was her motivation. She would slay dragons to get to her. Mother was anchor. Mother was comfort. Mother was home. A girl who lost her mother was suddenly a tiny boat on an angry ocean. Some boats eventually floated ashore. And some boats, like me, seemed to float farther and farther form land.
I forced my mind toward happy thoughts—August, warmth, storks, home—anything to distract myself from the swelling pressure inside me. I walked with the others in search of the movie house. With each step, the truth drew closer.
I could not make it much longer.

Related Characters: Emilia Stozek (speaker), Joana Vilkas
Page Number: 155
Explanation and Analysis:
73. Joana Quotes

“Why are you so nervous?” said Eva. “You know you’re getting on a boat. You told me you’ve got a letter.”
“Shh.” I looked behind me to see if anyone was near. “I don’t want the others to know.”
“Why the secrecy?” whispered Eva.

“I don’t want them to think I’ll have preferential treatment or opportunity.”
“It’s a letter from the doctor in Insterburg saying you’re good at dealing with blood and guts, Joana. I’m sorry, but I don’t call that an opportunity,” she said.

“The whole thing’s unfair, Eva. You know that. Hitler allowed me into Germany. He thinks some Baltic people are ‘Germanizable.’ But for every person like me that Hitler brought in, he pushed some poor soul, like Emilia, out.”

“Do you think you have time to be moral?” snapped Eva. “The Russians are right around the corner. If you wait, they’ll be under your skirt and you’ll be dead. Sorry, but don’t waste your time with some goodwill gesture for a lost Polish kid. Get in line and get on a boat. It’s been nice to trek with everyone, but now we’re here. I don’t need a group. I need my belongings and I need a ship.”

Related Characters: Joana Vilkas (speaker), Emilia Stozek
Page Number: 174
Explanation and Analysis:
103. Emilia Quotes

Everything hurt. My strength dissolved into exhaustion.

Wasn’t a person supposed to feel better after telling the truth? Perhaps there was no peace because Joana hadn’t understood or hadn’t heard me. Was it enough to admit the lie to yourself and the heavens, or did you have to tell someone who listened?
For months I had done so well. Most days I actually believed my own story. Yes, August Kleist existed. He visited the farm for a while during my stay. He carried wood for me, climbed the ladder so I didn’t have to, shared his plums, and defended me in front of his mother. He did it all because he was a kind person. But I didn’t exist for him the way he existed for me. He left before it happened.

Related Characters: Emilia Stozek (speaker), Joana Vilkas, Eva, August Kleist, Erna Kleist
Page Number: 238
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:
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Salt to the Sea PDF

Joana Vilkas Character Timeline in Salt to the Sea

The timeline below shows where the character Joana Vilkas appears in Salt to the Sea. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. Joana
Memory and Survival  Theme Icon
Joana believes “guilt is a hunter.” She is haunted by her conscience, which tells her, “It’s... (full context)
Family and Community vs. Selfishness  Theme Icon
Joana is traveling with a group of refugees fleeing north through East Prussia to the Baltic... (full context)
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...until he spots a frozen woman who has died by the side of the road. Joana checks her pockets for useful goods, and takes the woman’s identification papers to give to... (full context)
7. Joana
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Joana walks with a group of fifteen refugees. This group includes Ingrid, who is blind, and... (full context)
Memory and Survival  Theme Icon
Family and Community vs. Selfishness  Theme Icon
...the road died because of her shoes. He believes “the shoes always tell the story.” Joana disagrees, but the Poet looks at her feet and correctly infers that she came from... (full context)
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Joana wonders if Ingrid is in fact lucky to be blind, since it saves her from... (full context)
11. Joana
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The refugees stop for the night in a deserted barn. Joana, a nurse, does her best to treat the wounded, but she notes, “I had no... (full context)
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Joana thinks back to her training as a nurse. Medicine had been her dream, and she... (full context)
12. Florian
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...is unhappy that the barn is not abandoned, but he decides to stop there anyway. Joana comes over and asks him about Emilia and if he has any food. Florian brushes... (full context)
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Florian notices that Joana’s German is “fluent, but not native.” He also notices that she’s very pretty. Still, he... (full context)
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As Florian tries to go to sleep, Joana comes back to point out that Emilia is Polish, and that Florian did not share... (full context)
13. Emilia
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Joana comes over to Emilia to check on her. Joana can tell something is wrong, but... (full context)
14. Joana
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Florian and Emilia make Joana nervous. She knows Eva speaks a little Polish and so asks her to talk to... (full context)
Agency, Willpower, and Fate Theme Icon
...was sent to Nemmersdorf, which Soviet forces massacred just under a year ago. Eva and Joana wonder what kind of horrors Emilia has seen or experienced. (full context)
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Joana feels pity for Emilia, and understands that the extermination of Polish girls is “to make... (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.... (full context)
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Joana introduces herself as a Lithuanian physician’s assistant. This is not a problem for Florian, who... (full context)
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As Florian closes his eyes and waits for Joana to begin to operate he thinks to himself, “I’ll be dead soon.” (full context)
16. Emilia
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Outside, looking for a stick, Emilia wonders if she can tell Joana her burning secret, but decides not to because she is sure Joanna will be “disgusted.” (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... (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... (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 staying with her will slow him down, and... (full context)
21. Joana
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Joana notices Florian and Emilia have left. The rest of the group is happy that they... (full context)
24. Joana
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Joana and Ingrid walk together. Ingrid can sense that it will soon snow. Although blind, Ingrid... (full context)
27. Florian
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Florian takes a break from walking. He wonders if he should have stayed with Joana and her group of refugees. Florian keeps vacillating between wishing Emilia would leave him alone,... (full context)
31. Joana
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...the place. Everything inside the house has been destroyed, either by looters or roving soldiers. Joana sees that the family’s dinner was left unfinished on the tabletop, meaning they had to... (full context)
32. Florian
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...The two emerge from the woods, and see a manor before them—the same one where Joana and her fellow refugees are camped out, although Florian does not know this yet. He... (full context)
34. Joana
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Joana leaves the mansion to look for oak bark that will help treat the refugees’ blisters.... (full context)
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Once outside, Joana recognizes Florian and Emilia in the snow. Emilia has collapsed and Joana goes to help... (full context)
35. Florian
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After entering the manor, Joana brings Florian into a private room to look at the wound on his side. Joana... (full context)
36. Joana
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Joana joins the other refugees by the fire. Eva points out that Florian is cute, and... (full context)
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Eva comments on the destruction of the manor. She and Joana agree it was likely destroyed by Nazis who distrusted the Prussian nobles who lived there.... (full context)
37. Emilia
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Eva and Joana come over to Emilia to ask her about her pregnancy. Eva wonders if the Soviet... (full context)
39. Florian
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Joana brings Florian some soup and they discuss the song. It’s in German and Joana doesn’t... (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... (full context)
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Florian gets up to go to the bathroom. He takes his pack with him. Joana suggests he leave it but Florian refuses. As he walks across the room the Poet... (full context)
40. Joana
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Joana and Ingrid discuss the journey ahead. Ingrid knows she will be stopped at a checkpoint,... (full context)
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Joana goes off to look for supplies. She begins to climb to the second floor but... (full context)
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Joana turns to go upstairs again, but Florian stops her. He tells her “No one should... (full context)
42. Florian
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...Eva believes he is a deserter. Florian tells her that he’s not a deserter, and Joana argues Emilia needs to stay with the group and ride on their cart because she... (full context)
44. Joana
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Joana wonders where all the refugees came from. She wants to help people but there are... (full context)
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Joana and Florian discuss the future — they decide to march across the ice at night, when... (full context)
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...are required to carry identification documents, including “name, photograph, nationality, race, birth, and family details.” Joana darkly observes, “Our papers determined our fate,” and “no papers, no future.” (full context)
46. Florian
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...and calls him “Herr Beck.” He begins to ask Florian if he is traveling with Joana and the others, but an aerial attack and series of explosions interrupts their conversation. (full context)
47. Joana
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In the aftermath of the explosion, children scream and soldiers yell. Joana wants to help the injured, but the soldiers and the Poet usher her towards safety.... (full context)
49. Emilia
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Florian has disappeared in the chaos. Emilia tries to look for him but Joana holds her back. She insists the group stay together, approach the military checkpoint where their... (full context)
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Joana gives Emilia an identity card that she found on the body of a Latvian woman... (full context)
51. Joana
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Joana and her group of refugees approach a registration checkpoint. Joana feels “Homesick. Exhausted. Full of... (full context)
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Ingrid asks Joana what the man at the checkpoint looks like. Joana tells her he is young and... (full context)
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Resting in a converted cathedral after registering, Joana intends to write a letter to her mother. She reminisces about “how much [she] had... (full context)
53. Florian
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...he hides inside of the church organ so as not to be seen. He watches Joana but tries not to become too invested in her. (full context)
54. Emilia
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The Poet wakes the refugees in the morning so they can cross the frozen lagoon. Joana plans to tell any Germans that Emilia is on her way to meet her boyfriend.... (full context)
55. Joana
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Joana wonders where Florian has gone. She pretends to herself that she cares about his wound,... (full context)
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Joana and her group are some of the first to cross the ice. Ingrid insists on... (full context)
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Suddenly, Russian planes appear overhead. They fire bullets at the ice and Ingrid falls through. Joana, who has fallen to the ground, tries to crawl towards her but the cracks in... (full context)
56. Florian
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Florian had followed behind Joana and the group secretly. When the planes fired down at the ice he ran to... (full context)
59. Joana
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It takes several hours 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... (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, meanwhile, was... (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.... (full context)
63. Florian
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...the port city, which is a relief. However, as he turns to leave, he sees Joana, Klaus, Eva, and the Poet. Joana looks at him as if saying, “you owe us,”... (full context)
65. Joana
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...(who is carrying a goat she intends to eat in a baby carriage) tips off Joana and the others to an old movie theatre that they could sleep in. After the... (full context)
66. Emilia
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...of August. Emilia wishes that her mother could have met August as well. She knows Joana still has her mother, and understands that reuniting with her mother is Joana’s primary motivation.... (full context)
67. Florian
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...single man he won’t be allowed at all. He thinks he might have to ask Joana for help, and reveal another secret in exchange for her assistance. (full context)
69. Joana
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...city to the movie house. Florian helps pick the lock on the movie house door. Joana asks him to leave it open for future refugees who need a place to stay (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 suggests Joana... (full context)
71. Florian
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...house, Florian has barricaded himself inside the production booth. From his perch, he can see Joana making her way up to him. He knew she would come to see him and... (full context)
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Joana inspects Florian and they flirt. She tells him she calls him “the German” because she... (full context)
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Florian wonders if Joana is married. She says she isn’t. He silently thinks about the song “Lili Marleen,” and... (full context)
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Joana reveals that Emilia reminds her of someone (her cousin Lina). Florian realizes he can manipulate... (full context)
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Joana reveals that she left a signed note in the Prussian mansion saying she’d borrowed their... (full context)
73. Joana
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The next morning Joana and her group leave the movie house for the port. Joana feels guilty because she... (full context)
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Eva continues that Joana doesn’t have time to be moral. Personally, Eva was happy to meet Joana and the... (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 the ships. Joana... (full context)
75. Alfred
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Alfred feels “the fates of fortune had found me.” He brings Joana to the ship’s doctor, Dr. Richter. He agrees to register her and her patients to... (full context)
76. Joana
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Joana is happy for an opportunity to help, but unhappy to leave the group behind. The... (full context)
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Joana grabs Alfred before he walks off and tells him that the group she has been... (full context)
77. Emilia
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Emilia sees Joana leave to help the soldiers and wonders, “Why did everyone leave me?” Still, she recognizes... (full context)
80. Joana
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Joana does her best to treat the many wounded soldiers flowing off the ambulance train. Dr.... (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... (full context)
85. Joana
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The crowds in Gotenhafen have doubled over the course of the day. Joana’s stethoscope acts as a magnet for the sick or malcontent. Joana eventually puts it away... (full context)
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Joana runs into Eva, who is looking for the wagon full of her belongings.  Joana worries... (full context)
87. Florian
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Florian waits impatiently for Alfred to arrive. He also wonders about Joana, and whether she will come for him. Florian looks at a German propaganda flyer he... (full context)
88. Alfred
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...it to get on the ship. Florian evades the question but asks Alfred to find Joana, and tell her that Florian needs to see her. Florian is surprised to find that... (full context)
89. Joana
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Joana worries Dr. Richter will be angry with her, because she abandoned her post to look... (full context)
90. Florian
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Joana is annoyed to arrive and find that Florian did not have an emergency. Still, she... (full context)
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Joana accuses Florian of only talking to her when he needs something, but he changes the... (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 city, Joana... (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 Emilia’s boarding passes, and so is better able to forge his own. He thinks... (full context)
96. Joana
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Dr. Richter allows Joana a moment to “freshen up.” She barely recognizes herself, and is happy to clean herself... (full context)
98. Joana
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Back in the maternity ward aboard the ship, Dr. Richter observes, as Joana has, that Emilia is traumatized. He wonders if Joana has lost anything during the war.... (full context)
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Joana pulls a cot next to Emilia’s so they can sleep side by side. Emilia reminds... (full context)
99. Alfred
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...go to the infirmary. Alfred likes this idea, as it will let him spy on Joana(full context)
100. Emilia
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Joana falls asleep quickly, but Emilia is kept awake with the pain of contractions. She sings... (full context)
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...with her now, and asks, in Polish, “I’m going to die now, aren’t I, Mama?” Joana wakes up when she hears Emilia speak, and helps sit her up in bed, which... (full context)
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Emilia is suddenly wracked with intense pain. Joana becomes busy preparing Emilia to give birth, and urges her to think of August. Not... (full context)
101. Joana
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Joana can barely understand what Emilia, “gripped with pain and terror” is saying in a mixture... (full context)
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Alfred comes into the infirmary and Joana sends him to get Dr. Richter. However, the doctor does not come quickly enough and... (full context)
103. Emilia
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...was supposed to feel better after telling the truth. She wonders if it was because Joana didn’t understand her and asks herself, “Was it enough to admit the lie to yourself... (full context)
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Joana brings Emilia’s baby to her. Dr. Richter asks if she has a name yet, but... (full context)
105. Joana
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Joana thinks over what Emilia said to her during labor. She understands what Emilia was trying... (full context)
106. Emilia
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Emilia wakes up. Joana tries to get her to move around a little bit, but she resists. Joana finally... (full context)
107. Florian
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Before they go to the next inspection point, Eva appears, carrying the Poet’s carpetbag and Joana’s suitcase. She managed to get passage on a different ship and says her goodbyes, unsentimentally... (full context)
108. Joana
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Emilia pretends to sleep. Joana knows she must raise her spirits and convince her to nurse, for the health of... (full context)
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Alfred comes to speak to Joana. She assumes he needs help with his hands, but instead he asks if she would... (full context)
109. Florian
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...name. Florian feels guilty about implicating her, but nonetheless tells the soldier her name is Joana. Having only seen his identification papers, the soldier wonders why Florian isn’t serving in the... (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.... (full context)
111. Joana
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Joana tries to hold Emilia’s baby near her and inspire some sense of motherly love. Alfred,... (full context)
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Joana understands that Emilia clung to Florian because he “saved her from the Russian in the... (full context)
113. Florian
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Joana is shocked at how good Florian was with the baby. Florian is going to go... (full context)
114. Joana
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Joana takes a moment to consider her kiss with Florian. Did she kiss him to thank... (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... (full context)
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...blonde Nazi reveals that Florian is a courier for Gauleiter Koch, and that Florian claimed Joana was assigned, by Koch, as his personal nurse. The soldier also tells Joana about the... (full context)
122. Joana
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Joana is furious with Florian. She considers how she is Volkdeutsche, of German ancestry, and wonders... (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... (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... (full context)
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Joana is not convinced, even when Florian promises to prove to the blonde Nazi she was... (full context)
126. Florian
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Florian wonders if Joana is telling the truth, and if Koch really has been wired. It is now nighttime,... (full context)
128. Joana
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In the maternity ward, Emilia tells Joana she’s named the baby Halinka, after her mother, Halina’s nickname.  (full context)
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...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. Keys needed.... (full context)
134. Joana
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Florian visits Joana in the maternity ward again. He needs her help cutting his hair into the crew... (full context)
135. Florian
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Joana clarifies that she believes her actions indirectly led to the death her cousin. When she... (full context)
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Joana knows her uncle died in a Soviet gulag, and believes Lina, if she is still... (full context)
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Joana has finished cutting Florian’s hair. They discuss what they’ll do once they land in Kiel.... (full context)
136. Emilia
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Emilia watches Joana return to the maternity ward, smiling. Emilia knows something is happening between Joana and Florian.... (full context)
138. Florian
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...married for 55 years, and suggests Florian has found a kind of real love with Joana. (full context)
139. Joana
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Joana is excited to see Florian again soon. As she thinks this, the ship is rocked... (full context)
140. Emilia
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...as the ship is rocked by loud bangs. She crawls looking for her baby and Joana. (full context)
143. Joana
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The ship immediately tilts and the room begins to slide. Joana wants to wait for orders from Dr. Wendt and Dr. Richter, but Emilia, with Halinka... (full context)
144. Emilia
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...call out to other women to get their coats and evacuate. She knows she and Joana must move now, or risk getting trapped below deck, either by waters or the densely... (full context)
147. Joana
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...speaker system urge passengers to remain calm. Dr. Wendt runs into the room, and instructs Joana to ignore the speakers, and to evacuate all the women to the deck and onto... (full context)
151. Joana
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Climbing onto the deck, Joana cannot find Emilia. She helps direct pregnant women towards Dr. Wendt and Dr. Richter, who... (full context)
152. Alfred
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...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 crowd. He helps Joana... (full context)
157. Joana
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This chapter is only three sentences. Joana thinks, “The baby. The wandering boy. What was I to do?”   (full context)
161. Florian
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Florian slumps down next to Joana and Klaus. He thinks, “Fate is a hunter. Its barrel pressed against my forehead.” (full context)
162. Joana
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Joana closes her eyes but can still see the chaos and tragedy replaying behind them—thousands of... (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, and wonders how she... (full context)
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Joana considers Emilia, how she pushed Klaus into the boat, sacrificing herself, and begins to cry. (full context)
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Joana wonders if her mother, who loved Lithuania, will be able to return and reunite with... (full context)
169. Joana
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...and then waits as the rest of the refugees make their way on the deck. Joana climbs up ahead of Florian, but her foot slips, and she accidentally knocks Florian into... (full context)
171. Joana
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Joana is thrilled that Florian has been rescued. Even as other people run across the deck... (full context)
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Florian tells Joana he could hear her from beneath the water, but she is confused. She didn’t instruct... (full context)