The show begins with the arrival in Terezin of seventeen-year old Loreliei, younger brother Wolfie and their grandfather, Jacob. The three find themselves in the midst of a group of Jewish prisoners rehearsing a musical number (Too Many Artists) scheduled to be performed for the upcoming Red Cross inspection. It tells the tale of the Golem ("Golemspiel"), a mythical 16th-century superhero conjured up by a famous Prague rabbi, to bolster the spirits of the Jews in the face of their enemies. The director, Kurt Gerard, is a famous cabaret performer and Lorelei happens to be one of his "hugest fans."

The scene shifts to the public square where Commandant Rahm and his subordinate, Officer Heindel have ordered all prisoners to watch a public hanging. Afterwards, he issues an ultimatum calling for them to participate in the "Beautification" of Terezin - a ruse to prevent the anticipated inspectors from seeing the horrific conditions that actually exist - or face deportation to the East.

As an artist, Lorelei is pressed into painting "pretty pictures" which meet with the approval of Rahm and Heindel (Signs of Life). Her fellow artist, Jonas, chastises her for being co-opted by the Nazis, telling her real artists paint the truth of what they see; when he is put on one of the sinister trains that leave regularly for the "east," Lorelei comes to her senses. At night, she starts making sketches of what life is really like in Terezin (Another Picture) and urges the other artists to do likewise. They learn the truth about the "east" when a train full of Polish children comes to Terezin from Auschwitz (Home Again Soon). Now that they know the fate that awaits them, the inmates determine that their only hope is show the Red Cross inspector the truth about Terezin by slipping their drawings to him during his visit. Jacob volunteers for this task but is apprehended before he can approach the inspector who sees only what he wishes to see - the beautiful "model" city Hitler has given to the Jews (A City for the Jews.)

Devastated, Lorelei turns for comfort to another inmate, Simon, with whom she has struck up a romance (By Your Side). When she learns the Nazis are interrogating her grandfather about what they deem "atrocity propaganda," she begs Kurt to help her smuggle the pictures out of Terezin; he reluctantly agrees (To Make a Man). After Heindel intercepts a packet of sketches, she asks Kurt to abandon the smuggling operation and hide the remaining contraband pictures in safe places around the camp ("Pieces of Paper"). Realizing their deaths are imminent, Lorelei and Simon consummate their love ("Almost"). Heindel finds some of the sketches, shoots Simon, sends Kurt east on a transport and orders Lorelei and Wolfie to the camp prison. Soon after, the Russians arrive to liberate the camp.

A few weeks later, Lorelei awakens to find herself in the infirmary attended by her friend Berta who says she plans to go back to her normal life and act as if none of this had ever happened. Berta encourages Lorelei to do the same, especially now that she is pregnant. Surprised to learn she is carrying Simon's child, Lorelei vows to make a life for herself (Find a Way to Live) and that none of what has happened will be forgotten or be in vain.

Epilogue: Much of the "atrocity propaganda" was ultimately recovered and can be seen on display at the Terezin Memorial-Ghetto Museum today. A disc containing a compilation of some of these pictures as well as other artwork done by Terezin inmates is available on request for venues wishing to mount a lobby display or art exhibit in conjunction with performances of the play.