“There is something about sunshine that makes people believe they can stand better being alone.”-Janis Cooke Newman
The Dietrich-Eckart-Bühne Amphitheater Plaza
“We met in the plaza outside the Dietrich-Eckart-Bühne amphitheater, where the opening ceremonies were being held.” (pg 131)
The Dietrich-Eckart-Bühne Amphitheater Plaza, where Jakob invited Rebecca to meet after they had met on the train a week earlier. He found her outside in the plaza taking pictures of the Berliners feeding pigeons. This is where she then took a photo of the woman with the shriveled leg leaning against the thigh of the Josef Wackerle statues while saying “That they can both exist, and that they are both in this moment next to each other, that is my idea of perfection.” (pg 131)
Now named the Waldbühne, you can visit this open-air amphitheater for tons of concerts. Click here to see all of their upcoming events. Take a photo at the entrance with the same Josef Wackerle statues that Rebecca took a photo of.
“The December after Rebecca moved into my flat, she said she wanted to go to the Christmas Market in the square outside the Berliner Dom, the cathedral, near the Spree River.” (pg 138)
The Christmas Market, where the Jews were unwelcome with most stands holding a sign at the front “No Jews Allowed”. However, this did not stop Rebecca, she just spoke her perfect French and was able to get two glasses of glühwein for her and Jakob.
Today, you can visit the Berliner Dom and spend some time in the outside square. Take a guided tour or audio tour to learn all about the history and architecture. This cathedral is located on the “Museum Island” so take some time to stroll along the other museums and parks nearby.
“Three weeks after the SA man shot Lena, Pietr went to photograph a Nazi rally held outside the Communist headquarters on the Bülowplatz.” (pg 164)
Jakob’s friend, Pietr, three weeks after losing his love, Lena, ended up being run over by a streetcar while photographing a Nazi rally at the Bülowplatz, outside the Communist headquarters.
This square was the location of a mass demonstration against the Nazi party in 1933 right before Hitler was appointed German Chancellor. Now the square is named Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz after the Communist leader, Rosa Luxemburg. Today at this square, you will find the Volksbühne, the theater, and the Karl-Liebknecht Haus, the headquarters of the German Left Party.
“It was a warm day, and Rebecca and I were picnicking on one of the yellow benches in the Tiergarten, sharing a quarter-kilo of French pâté — courtesy of a motorcycle with a temperamental engine that belonged to a high-ranking SA officer.” (pg 176)
The Tiergarten, where Jakob took his beloved photo of Rebecca on the yellow bench. The same photo he kept with him throughout his journey to New York City.
Today, you can spend hours at the Tiergarten, close to the Berlin city center. This is one of Germany’s largest urban parks, similar to Central Park and Hyde Park. For some refreshments head to the Cafe Am Nuen See, for a waterside beer garden and cafe.
New York City
“Less than a mile off the coast of Coney Island, the submarine breaks through the waves, silent except for the sound of seawater running down its smooth sides. With a gasp, the top opens and one by one the refugees step out into the starry night.” (pg 236)
Jack’s dream plan came to life at Coney Island, where he, Jakob, Albie and Rose saved the 23 Jewish refugees from Germany.
Visit Coney Island where, today, you can go to the beach, ride the boardwalk rides, and have some famous Nathan’s Hot Dogs. Be sure to take a look at the Parachute Jump, which Jack would always talk about the light at the top, one of the only lights on at night during the blackouts. You can’t ride this now, but it has become a Coney Island landmark with beautiful light displays.
The Empire State Building
“The day I saw Rose LoPinto again, she was standing on the Observatory Deck of the Empire State Building, and at first I believed I was imagining her.” (pg 301)
The first time Jack sees Rose since the night of the refugee rescue at Coney Island, is when they are 22 years old at the top of the Empire State Building. This is where Rose tell Jack the story of her disappearance for all those years.
Today, the Empire State Building is one of the most visited places in NYC. You can go up to the Observatory Deck, the same place Jack and Rose reunited. For $72 you can get tickets to explore the Observatory decks on the 86th and 102nd floor and explore the 2nd floor museum.