1. Who are Christopher De Monti and Ervin Rosenblum, and how do they know one another?
Christopher De Monti is a journalist from Switzerland who is living in Warsaw and reporting on the war for his Swiss News Agency. Ervin Rosenblum is a Polish Jew, and is De Monti's photographer.
2. In what year does the book open, and what is the political setting?
The novel opens in 1939. Nazi Germany has already overrun Austria and Czechoslovakia, so most Poles fear that Poland will be next. It seems likely, because Nazi military forces are growing at Poland's boarders.
3. Who is Dr. Franz Koenig, and how does he feel about Dr. Paul Bronski?
Dr. Franz Koenig and Dr. Paul Bronski are colleagues at the University of Warsaw. Koenig has always believed he deserves Bronski's position of Dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Warsaw, so Koenig is happy when Bronski is drafted in the war. Koenig is an ethnic German, who attempts to hide his anti-Semitism but certainly not his dislike for Bronski.
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