In 1944 Romania, the Wehrmacht is being steadily pushed back by the Red Army. A Wehrmacht squad led by Major Kurt Fleischer are engaged in heavy fighting while Fleischer is summoned for a new and dangerous mission. Fleischer is ordered to take Professor Anna Kappel from the Ahnenerbe together with SS Sturmbannführer Heinrich Metzger into a forest, widely believed to be haunted, to find some ancient relic. Fleischer is dubious about the mission, all the more so because Kappel is his former lover while Metzger is his enemy, but complies.
Upon entering the forest, Fleischer and his men encounter a Red Army squad fleeing in terror from some unseen enemy and gun down all of the Russians except for the sniper Natalya Kovalenko. The sniper Dieter Baum chases after her and during a struggle, she dissolves into dust. The demented SS Standartenführer Ackermann is found wandering the forest and he warns them all to leave before he is shot down. Fleischer and his men find the body of professor Bernd Dietrich of the Ahnenerbe crushed by a tank in part of the forest where it is impossible for tanks to operate.
As various strange events take place, tensions rise between Fleischer and Metzger. Fleischer tells his adjunct Fuchs that it would be better for Germany to lose the war rather to ruled by men like Metzger whom it is revealed to have hanged a number of Jewish children a few weeks earlier. Fleischer discovers that there was a previous mission into the forest led by Dietrich and Ackermann that had disappeared and confronts Kappel.
She tells him that Dietrich was convinced of the existence of a race of “Aryan god-men”, described as superhuman beings with god-like powers who have been living in the forest for millions of years, and the purpose of the mission is to find a relic that will permit the SS to have the “god-men” use their powers to help the Reich win the war.