Like a phoenix from the ashes, former nightclub singer Nelly (Nina Hoss) survives her internment at Auschwitz and returns to Berlin after the Allies liberate the city from the Nazis. The only survivor of a wealthy Jewish family, Nelly uses her family fortune to pay for reconstructive surgery to fix the disfigurements she suffered at the camp. After healing, she returns to Phoenix, her former cabaret, to seek out her husband-musician Johnny (Ronald Zehfreld). Johnny, who believes Nelly is dead, does not recognize his wife; nor does Nelly reveal herself – she also does not “recognize” the brutish, impatient Johnny as the man she once loved. But Johnny is in his own need of reconstruction, and enlists Nelly in a strange plot to impersonate his “deceased” wife.