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Wilhelm Spengler, a German-American restaurateur, falls for Gretta, an unprincipled adventuress, and Wilhelm's wife, already sick from overwork, dies of a broken heart. With the advent of Prohibition, Gretta persuades Wilhelm to become a bootlegger; he amasses a fortune, sending his son, Tom, to the best schools. Upon graduation from college, Tom, who celebrates by getting drunk, goes blind drinking his father's bootleg hooch. Wilhelm is arrested in a raid, and Gretta runs off with his money and another man. His fortune gone, his son blind, and himself serving a prison term, Wilhelm's spirit is broken. He wins an early release for good behavior and becomes a waiter in a beer garden. One day he comes across his son, cured of blindness, and they are happily reunited.