Through the life stories of two German men, Black Box Germany draws a picture of West Germany in the 80s: a society riven by the legacy of World War II, which it had never fully processed.
Banker Alfred Herrhausen came from a simple but ambitious family. During the war, he attended an elite school run by the Nazis, and he quickly made a career for himself after 1945. On November 30, 1989, three weeks after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, he was killed in an attack by the Red Army Fraction (RAF). Wolfgang Grams, the second protagonist, was the son of refugees from East Germany. Growing up in the 1960s, he developed a strong sense of justice and ideas about a less materialistic society. He became increasingly radical and ended up getting involved with the RAF. In 1993, he was killed during a shoot-out with the police.
The two stories are told from the perspective of the relatives, including Alfred’s widow and Wolfgang’s parents. For them, the death of their beloved husband and son is still an open wound.