Jonas, a young man on the run, arrives in Berlin just in time to save Ruth's life. Evicted from her apartment, the sarcastic but warm-hearted aging Jewish cabaret singer saw no other way out than suicide. Meanwhile Jonas, driven by a secret, is also fleeing from his love and his future.
As Ruth recovers, she and Jonas form a bond informed by her own tragic love for a non-Jewish man in post-WWII Germany - a love burdened by the legacy of the horrors perpetrated by Nazi Germany. As Jonas discovers Ruth's past and takes part in her present, his attentions and the passionate, lusty Yiddish songs of her youth help her find the way back to life.
In turn, when Ruth learns Jonas is incurably ill, she helps him find the strength to tackle his fears.