Max Stricker, an old anti-fascist, is taking a class of eighth graders to visit the former concentration camp of Buchenwald. But the students are more interested in making mischief than learning about history.
When Max realizes that a group of students has secretly gotten off the train, he follows them and challenges them to a bet: they have only five marks each to make it to Weimar on their own before the next evening. The students accept the challenge, some sticking together as a group and a few setting off on their own. Before their adventures are over, the troublemakers have learned a few lessons about team spirit and responsibility, while also gaining new respect for Max.