Johanes Urzidil (1896-1970) studied in Prague, could speak Czech and was a friend of Franz Kafka and Franz Werfel. From 1922 to 1933, he worked as a press councillor of the German Embassy in Prague; he married the daughter of the Prague rabbi Gertrude Thieberger and in 1939 emigrated to England. He ultimately settled in the USA and worked for the Voice of America. The central character of Urzidil’s short story The Last Peal is a maid whose masters are forced to flee from the Nazis. They leave behind for her not only a flat and its furnishings but also money. Yet the girl’s sudden and unmerited happiness begins assuming almost macabre outlines. The maid’s sister moves into the flat and together with her Nazi lover starts to ruin her life. And while the Jewish tenants are gradually removed from the house, the sister enjoys the cash and someone else’s property. The tragic finale, in which the maid murders her sister, depicts the desperate attempt of a person trying to find a way out of hopelessness. The short story has been adapted and staged by the theatre and film director David Ja?ab, the former artistic director of Prague’s Theatre of Comedy.