In The Fixer, when Yakov reads the propaganda circulating against the jews, why does he grow uneasy?

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Czarist Russia was a country in which anti-semitism was entrenched and rampant. There were periodic pograms in which the government deliberately stirred up certain elements of the Russians, encouraging them to take out their frustrations against the Jewish population. This was a means the regime used in order to deflect attention from its own incompetence and brutality. In The Fixer Yakov has come to the city attempting to keep his Jewish background a secret. His constant fear, exacerbated by just such reports about anti-semitic propaganda, is that his identity will be discovered and that he'll be discriminated against. Once he is arrested on false charges and thrown in jail, any upsurge in the general mood against the Jews will of course make his conviction all the more likely.

The irony is that at first, before his arrest, as he begins to interact with Russians no one suspects that he is Jewish. They make remarks indicating there is something different about him, as with the one man who says sardonically, "Why is it that you speak Russian like a Turk?" but in spite of the general Russian prejudice against Jews Yakov's actual origin remains unknown until the false accusation of "ritual murder" is brought against him.

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