A Frenchman, Marcelo Desnoyers, travels to Argentina in 1870 and marries the elder daughter of Julio Madariaga, the owner of a ranch. Eventually, Marcelo; his wife; and his children, Julio and Chichi, move back to France and live in a mansion in Paris. Julio turns out to be a spoiled lazy young man who avoids commitments and flirts with a married woman, Marguerite Laurier. Meanwhile, Madariaga's younger daughter has married a German man, Karl Hartrott, and the Hartrotts move back to Germany. The Desnoyers family and the Hartrott family are thus set against each other with the onset of the First World War. What will happen to the family now? Will there be any reconciliation or will the war destroy them all?