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Orphaned by the war, Inga, a Polish refugee, lives in Berlin with a professor and his family--an old grandmother, the professor's sister, and a son, Theodor. Another son, Paul, Inga's sweetheart, is still at the battlefront. Near starvation and living in cramped quarters, they show with weary faces the hardships they have endured. The professor takes a job correcting papers, and Theodor becomes a waiter. Paul returns, weakened from the war. He begins to work in a shipyard while Inga works in a shop, but he falls ill. During his convalescence, Paul and Inga decide to marry, although the family discourages them, pointing out the lack of money, inadequate housing, and the declining value of the mark. Paul procures a piece of land and secretly grows potatoes and builds a cottage, while Inga prepares her dowry by mending furniture in a secondhand shop. When the potatoes are ready to be harvested Paul brings some home, and with the liverwurst Theodor has brought, they have a feast. Grandmother brings out a wedding gown she has made for Inga. The next day Paul and Inga take a cart to harvest the potatoes. As they are returning, a group of hungry, desperate men attack them in the woods and take the crop. The couple are disconsolate, but they are comforted by the knowledge that they still have each other. In an appended ending "one year later" the couple are shown prospering in their new cottage.