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Leo & Claire (2001)

Leo und Claire (original title)
In 1933 Nuremberg, successful Jewish businessman Leo Katzenberger owns an apartment building and runs a shoe store. A devoted family man, he has a good relationship with his loving wife ... See full summary »


Joseph Vilsmaier
2 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Michael Degen Michael Degen ... Leo Katzenberger
Franziska Petri ... Irene Scheffler / Seiler
Suzanne von Borsody Suzanne von Borsody ... Claire Katzenberger
Alexandra Maria Lara ... Käthe Katzenberger
Axel Milberg ... Hausmeister Maisel
Jochen Nickel ... Paul Steinheil
Andrea Sawatzki ... Helga Steinheil
Dietmar Schönherr ... Anwalt Dr. Richard Iphraim Herz
Jürgen Schornagel ... Richter Dr. Oswald Rothaug
Jasmin Schwiers ... Lilo Katzenberger
Rüdiger Vogler ... Max Katzenberger
Kai Wiesinger ... Verhört Irene Seiler
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Roland Beiküfner Roland Beiküfner ... Beamter
Michael Brandner ... Fritz Haeberlein
Michael Hanemann Michael Hanemann ... Otto Ehrlicher


In 1933 Nuremberg, successful Jewish businessman Leo Katzenberger owns an apartment building and runs a shoe store. A devoted family man, he has a good relationship with his loving wife Claire. As the climate in Germany grows increasingly dangerous, bombshell Irene moves to the neighborhood. After forming an unlikely friendship, his relationship with Irene is immediately regarded with suspicion. His refusal to live his life in secrecy leads to trouble and before long he is arrested. Accused of having an affair with Irene, he is tried and executed by the German government. Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance



Official Sites:

Odeon Film AG [Germany]





Release Date:

18 April 2002 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Jude und das Mädchen See more »

Filming Locations:

Bavaria, Germany See more »


Box Office


DEM 10,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR


See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

a solid, well-made, moving film based on actual events
28 August 2001 | by ymkleinSee all my reviews

I saw this at the Montreal Film Festival, which this year is showcasing German cinema. Leo und Claire is based on a real story, the account of a German Jewish manufacturer who was tried and executed for having sexual relations with a young Aryan woman. But this is really a love story, and the new title, which focuses on the relationship between the man and his wife, Claire, puts the emphasis in the right place. Although Leo was innocent of the charge, he was certainly guilty of being Jewish in Nazi Germany and the film has the courage to deal with the complicity of "ordinary Germans" in the persecution and destruction of the Jews. As well, although the viewer's emotions are gripped by Leo's trial and sentence, no one watching the film will overlook the irony that in some terrible way, he got off lucky compared to what probably happened to his wife and those of his family who were still in Germany, of which nothing specific is known. The participation of Leo's daughter, Lilo, now an old woman resident in Israel, where she lived through the war years, makes the film that much more immediate.

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