Vera is a child living in a caravan on a circus site shortly after World War II. Physically and mentally abused by an alcoholic mother and her violent lover, Vera is befriended by Hans, a kind, gentle, handyman horribly disfigured in the war. Suspecting Vera is being abused, but having no proof, Hans lovingly shows her how childhood should be. A special bond, as strong as father and daughter, grows. But then he is murdered.