Ambitious Joseph Süss Oppenheimer (Conrad Veidt) rises out of the Jewish ghetto in the 1730s Duchy of Wurttemburg through shrewd business deals and by becoming indispensable to the lecherous, cruel Duke Karl Alexander (Frank Vosper). However, when Joseph defends a Jewish man against the duke, his betrayal sends him to prison, where he is to be executed unless he renounces his Jewish heritage. Shocked to learn that his father was not a Jew, Joseph nonetheless refuses to betray his heritage.
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