The last days of the second world war: while the Allies are approaching Nazi leaders are hiding in Altaussee, a small Austrian village. World famous pieces of art of incredible value, plundered from all over Europe, were embedded in the salt mine for the future „Führermuseum” in Linz.
Guarded by soldiers, miners drag the valuable paintings into the tunnel, a massive subsurface museum. Amongst them: Sepp Rottenbacher (Fritz Karl), who is hoping for the war to end and otherwise stays out of everything. Meanwhile, his friend Franz Mitterjäger (Harald Windisch) and his wife Elsa (Brigitte Hobmeier) secretly look after partisans and deserters, who are hiding in the mountain range. Rottenbacher’s passive behaviour makes Elsa even more angry and she accuses him of cowardice.
Despite all precaution, Mitterjäger is observed by the “Gestapo”. Rottenbacher is able to warn his friend, but in the end, he can’t save him – and has to decide, on which side he stands. Just before surrender, the fanatic regional leader, Eigruber (Philipp Hochmair), commands the detonation of the salt mine as he wants to exterminate all artwork rather than leaving it to the enemy. Rottenbacher finally takes a stand and accepts the responsibility he has for Elsa and the village.
Leading the miners, he resists Eigruber, for the destruction of the mine would also destroy the villager’s basis of existence. No matter their conviction, they now resist together - supported by the opportunistic “Gestapo” leader Dr. Ernst Kaltenbrunner (Oliver Masucci) - and march towards the demolition squad, to try and save their mine in the last moment from destruction…