Mother Krause, her daughter Erna and her son Paul live in a tenement in the poorer section of Berlin’s Wedding district. Mutter Krause is a quiet, long-suffering old woman who earns what little she can by delivering newspapers. However, Paul is an alcoholic and spends all her money on drinks. She can't pay back the money she owes the man whose newspapers she delivered and he threatens her with arrest. She must then pawn her last valuable possession, a treasured memento of her late husband. Communism appears as a rescuing force but maybe too late.