Page 152. " It was just another day, 1918 "

French Attack on German Trench, WW1
Public DomainFrench Attack on German Trench, WW1 - Credit: U.S. National Archives
The mayor’s son was killed in the First World War, along with nearly ten million other soldiers.

Page 157. " they noticed Fritz Hammer – one of their older counterparts. "

Hammer and Sickle
Public DomainHammer and Sickle
Fritz Hammer leads Liesel and Rudy to the stealing gang leader, Arthur Berg, who is himself a metaphor for Communism – redistributing the wealth among the poor. The symbol for the Soviet Communists was a sickle and a hammer, so Fritz Hammer is a fitting name.

Page 161. " they found one pfennig on the ground. "
100 Pfennigs made up 1 Deutsche Mark, the German currency between the 9th Century and 2001, when the Euro was introduced.
Page 169. " he rode his bike to church, carrying goods to the priests. "

The Nazi Party and the Catholic Church had a fractious relationship throughout Hitler’s rule. Although initially supportive, by 1937 the Pope had condemned Nazi ideology. All priests who spoke out in Germany were imprisoned in concentration camps. In 1941, the Nazi Party decided to break up all monasteries in Germany.

Page 173. " a few weeks later, Arthur Berg moved to Cologne "

Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeCologne - Credit: Deutsches Bundesarchiv
During the war, Cologne was subjected to 262 air raids, which destroyed the city centre and caused 20,000 casualties among civilians.