Leo’s home in 1930s Germany
This is the living room of the Stein’s home in November 1938. Their apartment shows the Steins as an average German family. They are no different to other Germans in their lifestyle and pastimes. There are family photos of weddings and holidays. Leo’s toy box contains the typical toys of the time.
Only some Jewish items in the flat gently hint at their Jewish heritage. The Mezuzah at the door frame grants God’s protection to the people in the house. The dinner table is set for traditional Shabbat –the Jewish day of rest.
But over the past five years life has changed. Under Nazi rule antisemitism has become state policy. New laws have turned Jewish people into second class people. Jews are excluded on racial grounds from society. The radio plays a central role in spreading Nazi ideas through propaganda.
The way Jewish people are treated by the people around them has changed. More and more Germans have accepted Nazi ideology. Former friends and neighbours now act hostile and hateful.
In his diary Leo comments on the growing concerns of the adult family members. Even worse, his best friend Fritz is scolded by a neighbour for playing with Leo: because he is Jewish!