World War II was the time. Auschwitz was the place. Survival was the prize. Boxer Salamo Arouch (Dafoe) is interned in the Nazi death campwith his family and friends. For the amusement of his captors, Salamo is forced to fight his fellow inmates brutal contests that send the loser to the gas showers. Salamo's prowess in the ring is both his salvation and his nightmare, as his "victories" condemn others to death. Still he fights on, hoping he might somehow save his father his friends perhaps even his soul.