Baron von Goret is an impoverished landowner, whose estate is about to go into receivership. And so, for that reason, he wishes to marry off his son Hermann with his well-off girlfriend Helga. But Hermann is in love with the farmer’s daughter Dorothea. He leaves his father’s estate with her and makes his way to Berlin to make a name for himself. He’s not successful in this and, so as not to stand in his way, Dorothea leaves him. Hermann’s aunt brings him back to his father’s estate, where, depressed over losing Dorothea, works tirelessly to clear the estate of all its debts.