Robbery, murder, rape. After the war, West Germany was the scene of a great deal of brutal crime. On the German-Belgian border, children risk their lives for something to eat. In Bavaria, a woman is abused by US soldiers. Amidst the ruins of Hamburg, inhabitants make a shocking discovery. What lengths would people go to back then? And how did criminals exploit the chaos?
The documentary shows how strained life was in the West zones, and how a society in tatters struggled to find new values. The death penalty itself is put on trial. In Tübingen, the final execution takes place in February 1949 following a judgement by the West German authorities. The foundation of the Federal Republic three months later heralded the dawn of a new era.