Refusing to do the Nazi salute, 1936.
The man was later identified to be August Landmesser who joined the Nazi party in 1931, believing that doing so would help him land a job during a poor economy. However, in 1934, as fate would have it, Landmesser fell in love with a Jewish women named Irma Eckler.
A year later they became engaged but their marriage application was denied by newly enacted Nuremberg laws which prohibited marriages between Jews and non-Jews. This however, did not deter them from having children, and Eckler gave birth to their first daughter, Ingrid, in 1935.
Two years later, Landmesser and his wife and daughter attempted to flee Germany to Denmark but were apprehended by authorities. Landmesser was charged with “dishonoring the race” but was later acquitted due to lack of evidence and was just ordered to end his relationship with Eckler.
However, he refused to abandon his wife and was eventually arrested again in 1938. This time he was sentenced to hard labor for 3-years at a nearby concentration camp. It was the last time he would see his wife and daughter.
Eckler was sent to prison where she gave birth to their second daughter, Irene. From there, she was sent to a concentration camp where she was eventually murdered in 1942.
Landmesser was released from his duties in 1941 and was eventually drafted to fight against the Allies. He was sent on the most dangerous missions due to his “criminal past”. He was eventually killed in action in Croatia in 1944.
The two daughters were placed with foster parents and survived the war.