Breaking bread


SCENE:  A bakery in Germany 1939


Image of black boots stepping over shards of broken glass

Behind shot of man wearing Nazi arm band walking into a bakery where the word “Jude” is written on the window.

Saul stands behind the counter, a few loaves of bread before him in the glass cases




            Is that really you?

            How many years has it been?

            I almost mistook you for your father you look so much like him.

            I suppose age has turned us all into our fathers.

            I always knew you would follow in your father’s footsteps and become a police officer, just as I have become a baker like my father and his father before him.

            I am a good baker, though I think my bread is not as good as my father’s was.

            Good Germans don’t buy my bread the way they brought is, even though the same Jewish bloods ran through his veins as mine.

            You act so cold, Carl. Have I offended you in some way?

            You can’t possibly believe all the lies people tell.

            Not you, who have broken bread at my table, who always treated me as an equal, like a German, not just a Jew.

            Yes, I know that times have changed, but why cannot we still be friends?

            You are not one of the crazy people who run through the streets, even if this is not the same Germany our fathers knew.

            No pack of goose stepping savages can come between me and you or me and my country.

            Come break bread with me.

            Let us talk about better times when we were boys, about the plans we made, how you and I, gentile and Jew, believed we would conquer the world together.

            Why should I pack my things?

            I fear no mobs no matter how much glass they break – even if I do not understand why they hate me.

            But sometimes I do feel very small inside, and very alone, and miss my father strength.

            I always admired my father.

            I loved to watch his powerful hands kneed the bread dough.

I loved to watch each loaf go into the oven and come out more than it was when it went in, its smell so full of life it made me feel alive.

            I always thought you loved these things, too.

            But now you come in here wearing the same black boots they wear, stepping over the shards of glass they have broken, telling me you need to take me and my family away – for our protection.

            How can you expect me to leave the life my father and his father lived?

            Am I not the same good German I always was, my father was, and his father before him?

            If you say it is for my own safety, I’ll go – short train ride or long.

            If it was anybody other than you asking, I wouldn’t go.

            How can a man I have broken bread with betray me?


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