Wilhelm, his younger brother Friedhelm, Charlotte, Viktor and Greta say their farewells in the summer of 1941 in Berlin, with the promise to meet again after the war. Little do they know how long that will be, nor how much the unfathomable experiences, deprivations and terrors of the war will change them. It is the experiences of friendship and betrayal, belief and disappointment, illusion and insight, guilt and responsibility, which will change their lives forever. Wilhelm and his brother have been ordered to the eastern front, Charlotte will do duty as nurse in a field hospital there. In Berlin, Greta makes a name for herself as a singer, with the help of a high ranking party official. Her Jewish boyfriend Viktor is betrayed and deported to a concentration camp in the east.