1957: at the Villa Hügel Bertha's health declines ominously. Alfried, who still can’t bring himself to be reconciled with her, is also distraught after their argument. He talks to Harald about their memories of childhood, and what Krupp means for them both.
1920: luckily the Krupps have escaped unscathed from the unrest in the Ruhr region, and they are spending the summer at Blühnbach Castle, the family's Austrian hunting lodge. Here that Bertha gives birth to her sixth child, Waltraud. The children find it a liberating experience to spend so much time in the open air, far from the strict regime at the Villa Hügel. But for the adults the business of running the company leaves little time for relaxation. The transition to "peace production" is not easy, and Gustav is forced to make thousand of workers redundant. Alfried, who has until now been educated by a tutor at home, wants to go to school. He longs for contact with "normal" children of his age. But the distance between him and other boys appears insurmountable.
1932: going to university in Munich represents a new and unfamiliar freedom for Alfried (25), which he relishes to the full. While he spends his time soaring over the clouds in a light plane and is regarded as a "good match" at carnival parties, back at the Villa Hügel some fundamental changes are taking place. Fritz Thyssen drums up support for Hitler, while he and other industrialists donate huge sums of money to the Nazi Party. After hesitating at first Gustav Krupp also comes to see the rearmament contracts Hitler is placing as a chance to move the company forward.
In 1936 Alfried falls head over heels in love with the beautiful Anneliese Bahr. For the first time in his whole life he is really happy - but his love appears doomed. Bertha and Gustav make it quite clear to him that the unstable merchant's daughter, who has already been married and divorced, would not be a suitable wife. When Anneliese becomes pregnant Alfried throws over the traces and marries her in secret. The couple are happy for a short time - but as soon as they arrive back in Essen their joy comes to an abrupt end. At every opportunity Alfried's parents openly show their younger daughter-in-law that she is not welcome here. Not even the birth of Arndt, their first grandson and the future heir to the Krupp Empire, prompts them to accept Anneliese properly. In 1938 Hitler reaches the peak of his power, and a flag with a swastika is flown over the Villa Hügel. Initially Bertha had refused to welcome the "proletarian" Hitler as a guest at the villa, but by now the Krupp factory is working flat out producing arms for the Nazis. Alfried, as head of the Armament Department, is too busy with business affairs to realise exactly how much his wife is suffering under Bertha's frigid treatment. He and his wife become increasingly distant. While his younger brother is called up in 1939, Alfried is exempt from service at the front because his work is essential for the war effort. By now Anneliese has virtually lost the will to live, and Alfried's parents force him to reach a fateful decision. This results in a deeply upsetting conversation with Anneliese one night…