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Christa Andres, the house mistress in a reform school for delinquent girls, guards the secret of her past: as a young girl who was corrupted by Max, a procurer, she served a prison term for prostitution. Now Christa volunteers for the task of rehabilitating 16-year-old Erika Schoner, a rebellious youngster known as a troublemaker at the school. The product of a broken home, Erika wants only to return to her boyfriend Fritz, a young pimp who led her into prostitution. Reminded of her own youth, Christa makes every effort to break down the girl's hostility. Tensions at the school culminate in a riot, and Erika escapes. As Christa sets out to find Erika, Max reappears and threatens to reveal Christa's past unless she provides him with information he can use to blackmail the well-to-do parents of some of the girls in the reform school. Rather than betray her young charges, Christa kills Max. As she is being led away by police, she spots Erika in the crowd of onlookers. Erika perceives the meaning of Christa's sacrifice.