I was there.
During 1943–1945 Walter and Leonie had to go from one hiding place to another. On several occasions, they were close to being discovered. Many friends helped out and found places where they could go.
Leonie's mother could feel somewhat secure since she was married to a Christian man. However, she was discovered by a neighbour that noticed she had not used "Sara" as a middle name on her identity paper. She was arrested and soon after sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
In 1944 Leonie and Walter's second son, Michael, was born. Leonie concealed her identity by giving the name of a Christian schoolfriend. When the authorities couldn't find the proper documents, they started asking awkward questions, and Leonie didn't dare stay but went back to Walter in Berlin.
Walter Frankenstein (1924), Germany
Without Identity Papers
Walter talks about what it was like to be hiding.
1) Listen to Walter as he talks about the situation when he and Leonie have to hide in Berlin and other places. Answer the question.
1a. Walter and Leonie were in great danger. The Gestapo could show up at any time and demand identity papers. How did they manage not to get caught?
Leonie’s Mother is Arrested
Walter talks about the situation when Leonie’s mother is arrested.
2) Listen to Walter as he talks about the situation when Leonie's mother is arrested and sent to Auschwitz. Answer the question.
2a. Beate and other Jewish girls and women were required by law to use the add the name "Sara" as a middle name. Why do you think the Nazis wanted them to do that?
Walter talks about people that helped him and Leonie to cope with living under hiding.
3) Listen to Walter as he talks about the people that helped him and Leonie to cope with living under hiding. Answer the questions.
3a. During the war, many Jews lived illegally in Berlin, and there were also several resistance organizations. Walter mentions some people who did much to help him and other Jews. What did they do?
3b. Although the Nazis tried to separate people into "us" and "others", there were those who wanted to help. What reasons do you think there may be for this?
Leonie Leaves Leipzig
Walter talks about the situation when he and Leonie have to go from one hiding place to another in order not to be discovered.
4) Listen to Walter as he talks about the situation when he and Leonie have to go from one hiding place to another in order not to be discovered.
The Situation of the Jews in Berlin 1943–1945
A slideshow that explains the situation of the Jews in Berlin 1943–1945.
5) Watch the presentation explaining the situation of the Jews in Berlin 1943–1945. Then answer the questions.
5a. Why did some Jews remain as forced labourers in Berlin? What were they mainly forced to do? Eventually, some of them decided to "go underground" and hide. What made them make this dangerous decision? Motivate your answer!
5b. Why was it more dangerous for Jewish men than women to hide in Berlin?