“And childless he had died, save for the promise that hung at the Christian belt of Hedvig. Guido had lived as all Jews do, who, cut off from their people by accident or choice, find that they must inhabit a world whose constituents, being alien, force the mind to succumb to an imaginary populace.” (pg. 5).
This passage speaks to survival tactics. At the time, to be Jewish, one was forced to “succumb” or accept the conditions of an anti-Jewish world. “Imaginary” adds a sense of fatalism: it does not matter how well a Jew can blend in, that construction of the world is fake. Despite his later attempt to disavow himself of Judaism, Guido remains Jewish.