Max Baumstein is a reputable businessman, a rich self-made man with a conscience - he founded a highly visible and active international organization fighting against violations of human rights. Why would he commit an act that apparently negates the principles he has striven for so long to uphold? Eventually, he reveals a secret about himself that he kept hidden from his younger wife Lina, and that in a roundabout way concerns her as well. It is the conclusion of a struggle that started many decades earlier, when Elsa Wiener, a German singer exiled in Paris, without money or relations, a refugee among many others, faced two daunting problems: surviving in a foreign city, and saving her husband Michel from the clutches of the Nazis.
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Referenced in Romy