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The harmonica winds up in a German factory where a young man named Friedrich works. One day, Friedrich finds the harmonica in an abandoned storage room. He is a brilliant musician but has a birthmark on his face. Hitler is just coming into power and the situation becomes dangerous for Friedrich and his family. When
The harmonica winds up in an American music store. Mike Flannery and his younger brother, Frankie, are in the process of an adoption by a young American woman who lost her own son years earlier. A family friend purchases harmonicas for both the boys and Mike chooses Otto's harmonica from the box.
He marries Mathilde and they have a daughter who needs medical attention that Otto can't afford. He gets a job making harmonicas for a company but their dog chews up one of the instruments. Otto delivers the harmonica given to him by the princesses in place of the destroyed instrument.
When Friedrich's father is arrested, Friedrich's sister Elisabeth contributes money to help Friedrich ensure their father's release. Just before he prepares to leave the harmonica factory, Friedrich remembers his uncle's warning that he is to take nothing of sentimental value with him. He puts his beloved harmonica and places it in a box about to be shipped out to America. Elisabeth remains in Germany while Friedrich, his father, and his uncle escape from the country.
He fears that he and Frankie are not secure in their new home and that he can earn a spot on a harmonica band. He does win but finds out that their new home is everything he and Frankie could have wanted. He eventually settles down to focus on the piano and passes his harmonica on to be donated to a group of school children.
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