In the eastern parts of Poland in the late 1930s, Poles, Ukrainians, and Jews live side by side. 17-year-old Polish Zosia lives in a small village on the countryside. She is in love with a Ukrainian boy from the same village, but tensions between the various ethnic groups are starting to rise av world politics reaches the village. When World War II breaks out, the good neighborly relations are soon replaced by suspicion and hatred. Zosia is forced to marry a Polish widow, and soon she and her small child find themselves in the middle of a burning war. Hatred is an epic Polish depiction of the six years of terror that marked the country during the Second World War.