The Good Place is a moving testimony of a childhood in Chemnitz, Germany, which ends abruptly in 1933 with the onslaught of the Nazi reign of terror. It ends with hopeful observations and commentary on a brief return after nearly 60 years, a return filled with surprising encounters and puzzling tales about the citizens of the new Chemnitz.
The first part highlights Mautner's early childhood, told from the child's point of view, painting an authentic picture of Jewish life in the Chemnitz of the twenties and early thirties. Then comes the hard year of Hitler's rise to power and she is forced to go into exile with her family:
"Once in exile, your childhood is over. But we are free. Yet exile robs you of your friends, your laughter, your joy. You are suddenly old with the pain of torn roots. It's like a toothache that
spreads through your entire body."
The second part Mautner deals with a return to Chemnitz at the end of the century, the experience of that brief visit and many unusual encounters with citizens of her former hometown.