Yom Kippur (Hebrew: יוֹם כִּפּוּר or יום הכיפורים, IPA: [ˈjom kiˈpur]), also known as Day of Atonement, is one of the holiest days of the year for the Jewish people. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days.
Members of the hidden Jewish community of Berlin had come to the reluctant conclusion that they could not afford to observe Yom Kippur, precisely because it was known to Nazis as a major date in the Jewish calendar and therefore a time when their fasting would be most likely to be noticed and betray them. Rather, they made a silent apology to God for their necessary sin, and observed minor and less well known dates of the Jewish calendar.
Yom Kippur was celebrated by the German re-enactors who played Jews in the tourist village of Wawolnice. While the dictates of their job required this, certain of the group, including Veit Harlan and his wife Kristi Söderbaum, observed the holiday with sincerity. They fasted when they returned home, although they made sure to turn on their oven and wash dishes for the benefit of any microphones in their flat. The next day, Harlan apologized to everyone for any offense he might have caused. He couldn't help but contrast this with National Socialism's inability to admit to any mistakes.