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In this drama, a crippled German veteran of WW I attempts to reconcile his recent experiences with his former ideologies in this drama. After the war he goes back to his hometown on the German-Polish border to his old teaching job.
Time passes and he becomes increasingly cynical and bitter; he then finds himself increasingly drawn to dark, oppressive ideologies that cause his fiancee to abandon him. He then rapes a female student and finds himself thrown out of his village. It is not long before he joins the Nazi party where he quickly rises in the ranks.
By the time he returns to his village, he has become a terrifying Nazi commandant.