The subject of this historical drama is a splintering Berlin in the years of 1948 and 1949. Played against the backdrop of social upheaval, the characters in the drama come to epitomize the best and worst of each pole of the political sphere. A 17-year-old hoodlum by the name of Gladow (Ullrich Wesselmann) works hand-in-glove with a local white-collar criminal to rob and pillage every day and night, defying capture. While he and his gang of thugs are terrorizing the people of Berlin, the Soviets are trying to make the blockade of their region of control impermeable. The future casts long shadows over the drama, as Berlin's problems take the shape of times to come.