Stuck in Germany 1940-1943

I was there.

In 1941 Walter met his true love, Leonie. As Jews, they had to wear the Star of David, but Walter and Leonie agreed to take it off. They were cheeky and courageous and went to places where only "Aryans" were welcome.

The Jewish construction school was shut down; the Jewish community employed Walter. At the beginning of 1942, an order came from the Gestapo: all craftsmen were now to start working for them.

In January 1943 Leonie and Walter's first son, Uri, was born. They agreed that nobody would be allowed to deport them. Instead, they would go underground. When that day came, Leonie and Walter burnt the cards that were marked with "J" for "Jew". To conceal their identities, they started to call their son Peter, and Leonie used Gerhard as her surname. In order not to arouse suspicion, Walter decided to call himself Franz after his father-in-law, and sometimes Frank.

Walter Frankenstein (1924), Germany

Walter Frankenstein (1924), Germany

Consider here the situation for Walter when he was forced to go underground

Love and Resistance

Walter talks about his love for Leonie, and their resistance to the Nazi regime.

1) Listen to Walter as he talks about his love for Leonie, and their resistance to the Nazi regime. Answer the question.

  • 1a. To do resistance isn't always about violence. How did Walter and Leone show their opposition to the Nazi regime?

The Meeting with Eichmann

Walter talks about the meeting with Eichmann.

2) Listen to Walter as he talks about the meeting with Eichmann. Answer the question.

  • 2a. One day at work, Walter met Adolf Eichmann. Look for more information about this man, and then answer the question: What was Eichmann responsible for during the Holocaust?

We Go Underground

Walter talks about going underground.

3) Listen to Walter as he talks about going underground. Answer the question.

  • 3a. Leonie and her son Uri were picked up by SS men and put onto the back of a lorry for deportation. Two women, among others, became witnesses to the event. How do you interpret their comments?

The Situation of the Jews in Berlin 1940–1943

A slideshow that explains the situation of the Jews in Berlin 1940–1943.

4) Watch the presentation explaining the situation of the Jews in Berlin 1940–1943. Then answer the questions.

  • 4a. In the course of the war, German Jews had to suffer further, severe restrictions in everyday life. Give a few examples.

  • 4b. What was the official explanation of why the Jews were sent to "the East"? Why did they give this explanation? What did happen to them?

Extra Material