Three good friends — Marta Schmidt, Leisel Fuchs, and Heidi Schiller graduated from secondary school in 1939. Growing up in Nazi Germany brought them through the youth programs for girls, which will have a profound influence on their entire lives.
During the summer following graduation, Marta and Heidi leave Germany; Marta travels to Paris to study art, while Heidi takes a nanny job in Poland after her parents discourage her dream of becoming a ballerina. Leisel remains at home after her Nazi father dashes her aspiration of attending the University to become a mathematics teacher. Instead, she is sent to a bride's school to become a “proper” wife to an SS Military officer.
As the next six years unfold, the girls experience entirely different paths of happiness and heartbreak, as Europe endures the most devastating war the world has ever seen.