Trümmer literature in post-war Germany
Nina, a young social sciences student, is working on a study of her grandfather, a literary critic in the year 1945, and his commitment to the Trümmerliteratur ("rubble literature") in post-war Germany. Together with Patrick the historian, she gets stuck into researching that period in contemporary history.
The high point of the film is Nina's attendance at a staging of the main work of Trümmerliteratur, Wolfgang Borchert's "The Man Outside" by the Vorpommern regional theatre. Texts by Alfred Andersch and Hans Werner Richter, lyrics by Günther Eich and Wolfdietrich Schnurre, prose by Heinrich Böll and Wolfgang Borchert form the literary basis of the film.
There besides it deals with the importance of post-war cabaret (Erich Kästner). Impressions from life in the post-war period as depicted in historical film material and three Berlin exhibitions complete the picture.