As the end of World War II approaches, the Allied armies overrun Nazi Germany in the spring of 1945. After attempting to desert, Heinrich, a decorated Wehrmacht veteran, is apprehended and hanged by the Waffen-SS under the command of a fanatical lieutenant colonel.
Elsa saves him and takes him to the farm where she lives with her brother Paule. The SS arrive in the surrounding village and start searching a wrecked home that was previously inhabited by Jews in quest of a significant amount of concealed gold.
A group of SS soldiers raid the community in search of supplies and come to Elsa’s property. The SS harass Elsa and mistreat Paule, a person with Down syndrome, as Heinrich hides in the attic. Heinrich saves them, and while the SS squad is murdered, the sergeant manages to flee. Paule, Heinrich, and Elsa depart the farmhouse and take cover in the woods. However, Paule returns the next day and is apprehended by the remaining SS because he is unable to part with his dairy cow.