The film is dedicated to the so-called Frankfurt Auschwitz trials – under such a title trials of the guards, warders and other staff of Auschwitz concentration camp, which took place in Frankfurt am Main in the 1960s, entered German history. A young and idealistic public prosecutor Johann Radmann reveals information exposing the criminal activities of the former staff of the concentration camp. With the support of the prosecutor-general Fritz Bauer, he starts an investigation, which leads to horrific results for the main character, and also changes his ideology. The main theme of the film is the conflict between those who want to forget the past for the sake of national reconciliation in conditions of “economic miracle” and those who strives to the establishment of justice.
Berlin, Germany, 1961. It is time of building of the Berlin Wall. GDR swimming champion Harry Melchior illegally moved to West Berlin. But his beloved sister Lotte and his family stayed in the East. His friends also had relatives in the GDR, who are waiting to be taken to the West. Harry offers to his friend, an engineer Matthias Hiller, to design and build the tunnel to East Berlin. Young girl Friederike ‘Fritzi’ Scholz joins them, wanting to “get” her bridegroom, but Harry suspects her of betraying. However, he changed his opinion after Fritz saves his life in the tunnel collapse.
Meanwhile, the Stasi never sleeps. Head of the Office for Combating illegal emigration Colonel Kröger recruits Hiller’s girlfriend Carola who was caught while trying to escape to the West (Hiller managed to escape). Carola getting close to Lotte, who has received news from Harry…
June, 1941. Five friends meet each other in a little cafe in Berlin to send three of them off to the war. They are young, they think that the whole world belongs to them, they just have it to take over. And then some terrible things happen. Friends will survive in the in miserable conditions of the Eastern Front and German Home Front, will pass a violent battles and hospital, will known the bitterness of defeat and the pain of insight. Characters are not perfect, but they sought to survive in this horrible war. Four years after their little celebration on the eve of the war, they will meet each other again and realize, how much they have changed. This movie is about the the personal tragedy of everyone, who lost a moral fight with himself and about impossibility to live as before. About the moral choice of each of us in our lifetimes.