Günter Walcher, 40-years-old, is a hardworking, apolitical West German businessman caught in a moral conflict. He is offered a promotion to become the head of a division—on the condition that he find a reason to fire Zacharias, a communist and the work council chairman.
Although Walcher does not share Zacharias’ political views, he thinks highly of him as a person.
Walcher thinks back on another time when he was led to do something he knew was wrong. When he was a boy, he’d been a member of the Hitler Youth and become involved in a Russian boy's death.
This memory does not make him question the request now being made of him, however. He is again open to corruption.