The Secret Miracle
How we cite our quotes:
A rhythmic and unanimous sound, punctuated by the barking of orders, rose from the Zeltnergasse. It was sunrise, and the armored vanguard of the Third Reich was rolling into Prague. (1)
Right from the first paragraph, we get the historical context for this story. We also get a sinking feeling in the pit of our stomachs. The Third Reich was notorious for targeting and persecuting Jews during World War II, so we know where this is headed.
On the nineteenth, the authorities received a report from an informer. (2)
In Nazi-controlled Europe, you could be reported to the authorities just for being Jewish.
He was unable to refute even one of the Gestapo's charges: His mother's family's name was Jaroslavski, he came of Jewish blood, his article on Boehme dealt with a Jewish subject, his was one of the accusing signatures appended to a protest against the Anschluss. (2)
The charges against Jaromir aren't really crimes: he's in trouble with the Nazi authorities primarily because he's Jewish. During World War II, the Nazis sought to control and eventually wipe out the Jewish population of Europe in an act of genocide known as the Holocaust.