It is wartime. Antwerp is in the grip of violence and distrust. Wilfried Wils regards himself as a poet in the making but at the same time he has to get by as an auxiliary policeman. The beautiful Yvette falls in love with him; her brother is a daredevil who sticks his neck out to help the Jews. Wilfried's artistic mentor Meanbeard is keen to see all the Jews annihilated. Wavering uneasily between two worlds, Wilfried tries to survive as the pursuit of the Jews continues relentlessly. Years later he tells his story to his great grandson.