Vienna, at the height of the Great Depression. Like so many others, Hans has no work, no money, nowhere to live. Having lost his livelihood as a taxi driver, he decides that the only solution is to kill himself. But just as he is about to drown himself, he sees a young woman dive into the river, obviously with the same intention. Without a thought, Hans pulls the woman out of the water and does his best to comfort her. Her name is Anna and she is only 18, but like Hans she no longer has the strength to go on living.