During World War II, in France, some men are captured and thrown into a prison camp. One day, the German officer informs them, that three of them will be shot in the morning, and they are to decide among themselves, which three it is to be.
They draw lots, and the well-to-do lawyer, Chavel, is among the chosen three. But rather than give into fate, he offers his entire wealth to any man willing to take his place. The penniless Janvier, who has a poor health, sees the opportunity to save his mother and sister from poverty and hardship.
When Chavel is released, he is devastated by shame and regret for what he has done.
He has given up all his possessions in exchange for life – but he then goes on to dedicate his life to pay for his deed in an unexpected way.
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