In 1942 a young Belgian Jew, Gilles Cremieux, pretends to be a Persian to save himself from being shot. This lie saves his life, but Gilles cannot even imagine what a trick destiny will play on him now.
SS soldiers bring him to Klaus Koch, the chef in the concentration camp kitchen. Koch is planning to move to Iran after the war and is looking for someone to teach him the language. In order to survive,
Gilles pretends to know Farsi. But now he is ordered to teach it to Koch, a language of which he knows not a word. This is how the story of Gilles Cremieux and Klaus Koch begins – the Jew and the German, the prisoner and the guard, the teacher and the student. From the very beginning Gilles’ plan seems impossible. Everyday he has to make up four nonexistent words, while still remembering the old ones. Four words a day, one hundred and twenty words per month and almost fifteen hundred per year! How to invent and memorize them all?