TITLE: At the End of Silence
GENRE: Women's Fiction
Eleven people gather around the shortwave radio sitting on the coffee table in the Loewes' front room. They crowd together--adults clustered on the sofa and chairs, children standing--to listen to the broadcast from President Beneš on Radio Prague. The squat wooden box commands the attention of the room. A hush descends as the broadcast begins, and they listen with rapt concentration. Ruth Loewe stands behind the sofa. Before the guests arrived she spent a few extra minutes coaxing her wavy brunette hair into a pretty ponytail. She likes how it shows off her striking brown eyes, probably the only feature she wants drawing attention. She leans forward, straining to hear the crackling broadcast:
“I am talking to you at a moment of international difficulties, the most serious since the World War, which have entangled not only Europe but also the greater part of the world.
…We wish to contribute to a settlement of European problems in general and to the establishment of good relations with all our neighbors, especially with Great Germany--”
Ruth's father, Aron, interrupts the broadcast.
“That's ridiculous! What settlement? Handing over part of our country? The Sudeten Germans support a Nazi leader and are preparing to secede from the state at this very moment. Is that the establishment of good relations?”
With his serious expression and the small spectacles perched on his nose, he looks like a professor. His dark hair, close-cropped and combed back neatly, completes the image.