(a screen play)
A candle lighted in the dark to the sound of prayer – then broken into a train whistle, which bridges into next scene
SCENE 1: Train Depot – Day
(a train pulls into the yards – various shots of faces, and then a shot of Meyers putting on his glasses as he peers at the cobble stone plaza from the step of the train. Tables and chairs are being set up. Meyers waits for his turn on line, comes to the table, where the clerk glances up at him.
I’m a professor of history and literature
Non essential. No Bloshine. Stand over there.
(Clerk points to a line of people near the wall. Meyers goes there, glances around. He sees Nazis beating up several Jews who apparently don’t understand the commands or are too slow to obey. Then he sees Hattenback.
MEYER (calling out)
Frank Hatenback, is that you?
(HATTENBACK (glances at him, frowns, then brightened and hurries over.)
A long way from the
University, eh Frank?
What are you doing here?
I’m a jew.
I do what I’m told.
The Nazis say I have to come to Krakow, I come to Krakow.
But now they tell me I’m an unessential worker.
Damned these times when a man like you should be considered unessential
I don’t know if there’s ever been a good time for a jew,
But these times are particularly unfortunate.
This is not a place for a Jew or a Gentile
Gentiles don’t move to Krakow
HATTENBACK: (Grabs Meyers by the arm)
We have to get you out of here.
MEYERS: And these other Jews?
I can’t save everybody.
I’ll be lucky if I get you out
And where would I go that they wouldn’t bring me back?
Look, I have friends here, industrialists who might be able to help you.
I know in particular who owes me a favor.
Let me see what I can do to straighten out this unessential nonsense with the Nazis.
(Hattenback leads Meyers back to the clerk)
This man is a skilled metal worker.
He belongs on the other line.
(The clerk stamps Meyers papers then hands them back and points to the new line)
SCENE 2: A well to do apartment outside the ghetto. – day time
Carl travels through the city in the
back of a large car and sees jews being evacuated to the ghetto
A kid screams “Good bye Jews” as Carl’s car pulls up in front of the apartment building
As jews continue to pass along the street outside, Hattenback enters the building, climbs the stairs and comes into the apartment, looks around and nods.
(Carl looks around the apartment with the Landlord.)
I hope this meets your needs.
It is very acceptable
(He seems a Jewish icon on the shelf)
Who is it that live here before?
Some rich Jews
And they no longer need it?
Not where they are going.
All the Jews have been relocated to the ghetto.
SCENE 3 – Ghetto Apartment – Day
(Meyers looks around the crowded and dirty rooms)
It could be worse
How could it be worse?
We could be dead.
(He sits down at the table with a pen and paper)
I must let Frank know that I have been settled safely.
You say you can get it out of the Ghetto to him.
For a price.
Who is this soldier that you would pay to thank him?
A former student of mine at the university.
He was a very promising young man
And now he is a Nazi.
He wasn’t bad when I knew him, and I don’t think he’s bad now.
Otherwise he wouldn’t have gotten me work at the factory.
They are all bad.
But I’ll get the note to him.
SCENE 4: Camp headquarters – MORNING
(Hattenback enters and salutes)
You were supposed to be here yesterday.
I got caught up in the traffic -- all the roads are clogged with Jews
It’s going to get more crowded here.
We have more Jews coming in .We have to make room for them.
Make room? How
We move some to Auschuitz. For disposal.
When does all this stop?
When there are no more Jews.
Call the roster in the
Here is the list.
(hands Hattenback a clip board – Meyers’ name is on it)
SCENE 5 Prisoner Barracks – MORNING
(Meyers wakes to blowing whistles and yelling guards, soldiers rushing through the barracks telling everyone to go outside.)
What are they doing?
They are making the selection
They have to make room.
Some of us have to leave
SCENE 6 Train Car day
Meyers and other are shivering inside
This makes no sense.
When they tell us to work, we work,
When they tell us to move, we move
What more can they want of us?
They want us to die
Many of us here are dead already
I suppose it’s lucky there are so many of us in here or we might freeze.
So what happens next?
(The guards closed the doors on the box cars. But just as the train starts to move, someone calls Meyers by name from outside)
Meyers? Moses Meyers?
MEYERS: (Goes to the small opening)
I’m in here.
Stop the train!
He’s in here.
(The train stops. The door opens. Hattenback is standing there with two guards. He is signing a paper.)
MEYERS: (As he walks away with Hattenback)
What are you doing here, Frank?
I’ve come to get you out.
And I should leave all the others because I am lucky enough to know you?
Be reasonable, Moses.
Sometimes it has to be everyman for himself.
If that was true, then you wouldn’t be here.
Don’t turn my logic around on me.
Just come along while there is still time.
I’m not leaving.
Don’t be your usual stubborn self with this. – we’re talking about your life.
Even if there was some place to run to, I wouldn’t go.
But you should leave.
Someone might mistake you for a Jew and shoot you.