Joana, one of the main characters, is traveling with a group on a road reserved for the military trying to flee East Prussia. The story is set during World War II.
Florian and Emilia, two out of the four main characters, meet each other in a forest cellar after Florian saved Emilia from being shot by a Russian.
The last of the four main characters is Alfred who is a German soldier working on a ship determined to please Hitler and imagining he's in a relationship with a girl from back home.
Three of the main characters end up meeting in a barn to stay for the night after Emilia followed Florian and Joana led her group to shelter.
After Florian and Emilia left the barn in the middle of the night, they end up at the same abandoned estate where Joana's group is.
Ingrid, a blind girl traveling with the group, gets shot down by Russian planes while trying to cross the ice to get to the Wilhelm Gustloff. Joana tries to go out and save her but gets pulled back by Florian.