A young intellectual, Hugo, joins the Communist Party out of a sense of idealism, only to see his principles manipulated by party leaders. He is given the assignment of killing Professor Hoederer, a party deviationist. However, he grows to admire the man and begins to have doubts about morals and revolutionary politics. But jealousy - Hugo thinks Hoederer has made love to his wife, Jessica - takes matters out of the political realm.
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