The story begins in
Berlin during the last weeks of WWII (April, 1945) when U-Boat
captain Lieutenant Gunther Kruger, his cousin Sergeant Josef
Beyer, and a German Army engineer, Lieutenant Willi Dietrich,
form an uneasy alliance to steal 8-tons of gold from their
Nazi leaders. The Nazis had looted the gold during their occupation
of Europe between 1938 and 1944, and were preparing to ship
it to Argentina by submarine after they realized the war was
lost. Gunther, Josef and Willi successfully steal and bury
the gold in a bunker on the Austrian border just days before
the war ends. But Gunther is unable to join them in Austria
because of an injury to his left eye. As a result, he does
not know exactly where Willi and Josef buried the gold. He
is planning to meet up with them later in Dachau where they
would surrender to the Americans and await the war's end in
a POW camp. After burying the gold, Willi places the location
information (camera, logbook & topographic map) in his
briefcase. As Willi and Josef head north toward Dachau, a
young American soldier (Sergeant Rolie Summers) encounters
them on a forest road in Southern Germany. After a firefight,
Rolie discovers Willi's briefcase and decides to keep it.
Josef was killed in the firefight, and Willi was found bleeding
to death in a ditch with his right arm blown off. A year later
in post war Germany, Rolie is serving as an MP in Dachau during
the War Crimes Trials when Gunther finds and murders him.
But Gunther fails to learn the location of the bunker.
35-years later in 1980, Rolie's son, Sam Summers, discovers
Willi's briefcase at his grandmother's home in Massachusetts.
Sam, a Coast Guard Officer, is home on leave to settle his
grandmother's estate when he finds it. He also rekindles his
relationship with Jenny Sterling, his high school sweetheart.
After finding the briefcase, Sam and Jenny seek interpretative
help from a German-speaking professor who lives in town. The
professor is missing his left eye, and his name is Gunther.
Sam, Jenny and Gunther travel to Austria in search of the
bunker guided by the old German documents. They find the bunker
and gold when Gunther suddenly pulls out a pistol. Just as
Gunther is about to kill Sam and Jenny in the bunker, a one
armed man mysteriously appears.