Elisabeth, whose father is a Party functionary, has grown up in a secure and privileged environment. Her understanding parents are always prepared to answer Elizabeth's questions to herself and about life.
When her father suddenly dies, Elisabeth feels lonely and abandoned, especially because her brother has long since severed all ties with his father. Their ideas of life were worlds apart, making a separation inevitable. Even Elisabeth's friend Stefan and the uncompromising teacher Boltenhagen view her father with considerable criticism.
By confronting these opposing attitudes, Elisabeth learns to form her own conclusions. She has the chance to demonstrate her new maturity when she attends a mandatory FDJ rally.