Inside the dark and dingy bunker, Askat found harrowing reminders of the past. Though many of the floorboards had fallen away to reveal rusty pipes underneath, there were still old canisters and decaying debris strewn around some rooms—a reminder that this space was lived in.
Before underground bunkers, the legal and social rights of Jews were slowly but steadily being restricted in Germany. Throughout the 1930s, several anti-Semitic laws were passed. In 1933, Jews and other “non-Aryans” were barred from civil service. Jews were also barred from owning farms. Jewish lawyers were abruptly disbarred, and judges were dragged from their courtrooms and beaten.