This film deals with complex themes of the sexual and political awareness of youth within the context of Bohemian anti-fascism in 1938.
The town of Reichenburg, near the German border and predominantly inhabited by Germans, is a prime target for annexation into the Third Reich. Erich has joined the resistance against National Socialism, and his lover Hilde follows him to Reichenburg, where she takes a position as a housemaid in the home of a German joiner. The joiner's young teenage son secretly observes the two lovers' passionate meetings and falls in love with Hilde, who to him, embodies the feminine ideal.
However, Erich eventually must break off his relationship with Hilde because it conflicts with his role in the anti-fascist opposition and the need to maintain secrecy. When Hilde receives news of Erich's death, she descends into an uninhibited lifestyle in an attempt to forget. When she realizes the impact of her behavior on the boy, she takes an interest in him and introduces him to the secrets of love.