A long and serious novel of the unrest of post war Germany, with the beginnings and growth of the Nazi movement. An interpretation of Germany's period of travail, in the story of a man who has made his fortune in America and comes back to spend his old age in his little village of Sieben wasser, bringing his daughter, and purchasing an old estate which he plans to rejuvenate with modern methods. His young helper is a member of the Party, but an idealist, so that he defends his chief when the Party wrecks the harvest festival. Irene, the daughter bears his son, and he commits suicide because of the scandal connected with his failure to the Party. The Bauerles return to America, broken-hearted at the loss of their faith in their fatherland.