Landmesser had been a member of the Nazi Party, but was expelled in 1935 when he became engaged to a Jewish woman, Irma Eckler. in July 1937, he was charged and found guilty of "dishonoring the race" under Nazi racial laws and, later, arrested again and sentenced to two and a half years in the concentration camp Börgermoor.
Irma was arrested and imprisoned; she was transferred from prison to a series of concentration camps and is believed to have died in . In February 1944 Landmesser was drafted into a penal battalion and is believed to have been killed in action on October 17, 1944.
They Landmesser's children were initially put in an orphanage. Later, the eldest daughter, Ingrid, was allowed to live with her maternal grandmother and Irene went to the home of foster parents. When her grandmother died in 1953, Ingrid was also placed with foster parents.
Two lives lost; two children raised parentless. Because August and Irma loved each other and because of Nazi prejudice.