A small boy discovers that being a Jew in Germany can be a dangerous thing. Fear prompts Konrad Wengler to put his faith aside and he tries desperately to forget his heritage.
He fights in the Great War and is wounded, becomes a policeman in his tiny Bavarian town, where he falls under the spell of the fledgling Nazi Party. He joins the Party in patriotic fervour and becomes a Lieutenant of Police and Schutzstaffel (SS).
In the course of his duties as policeman, he offends a powerful Nazi official, who starts an SS investigation of this troublesome police Lieutenant. When war breaks out, he joins the Police Battalions and is sent to Poland where he has to witness the atrocities being committed upon his fellow Jews.
The SS investigators have discovered Konrad's origins and follow him into Poland. He is arrested and sent to Mauthausen Concentration Camp. Suddenly, Konrad must face what it means to be a Jew and fight for survival. He has friends on the outside, a wife and a lawyer, but will they be enough to counter the might of the Nazi machine?