In this autobiographical film, a young man and his family have fled East Germany in the early 1950s for the increased opportunities they perceive to exist in West Germany. Part of a huge influx of refugees (up to 20,000 per day), they are given quarters, along with many other refugees, in a mansion formerly occupied by wealthy Jews before the war. A diverse lot, the one thing they all have in common is how completely unprepared they are for life in the West. After their high expectations are shown to be unrealistic, some of the new residents return to the East, and everyone (including the boy) experiences some nostalgia for what they have lost.
~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide