Gasping for breath in a cattle truck occupied by 119 other men, a young Spaniard captured fighting with the French Resistance counts off the days and nights as the train rolls slowly but inexorably toward Buchenwald. On the five seemingly endless days of the journey, he has conversations that send him into daydreams about his childhood or set him fighting Resistance battles over again. He describes the temporary holding prison where the names of distant concentration camps are spoken of in whispers - their individual horrors discussed, rated, contemplated. In chilling detail, the trip with those 119 men - some fearful, some defiant - is evoked, along with his own confusion, anger, and bitter resignation. When at last the fantastic, Wagnerian gates to Buchenwald come into sight, the young Spaniard is left alone to face the camp.