Two German deserting soldiers Bruno Grauber and Reiner Schultz are trying to avoid capture by the Canadian and Yugoslavian armies entering Auschwitz at the end of World War II. They are captured. Their fellow German prisoners of war discover that they are deserters. They are put through a formal trial for cowardice organised by Von Bleicher. They are sentenced to death on the "fifth day of peace". A Canadian General persuades the Canadian officer in charge of the prisoner of war camp to allow the execution to be carried out for the higher purpose of preserving army discipline.