The Jew next door
(the screen play)
Scene 1: George’s front hall – Day.
(George looks out the front door window at the Jewish family next door, who have just come outside all dressed up.)
GEORGE: (Calling to his wife off screen)
Would you look at them!
You couldn’t guess we just lost a ware from the way they’re dressed.
G WIFE (from off screen)
It’s their Sabbath, George.
You don’t see me getting dressed up to go to church
We don’t go to church.
Well, I wouldn’t dress up if we did.
They’re acting as if everything was perfectly normal, and that people aren’t struggling.
You can bet those people aren’t struggling
They’re just as poor as we are, George
They may look like they are
But you can bet they got something stashed away.
After all, they’re Jews.
Come away from the door and eat.
They aren’t hurting anybody.
They’re hurting me.
By parading around like they are.
I feel small enough without their parading.
They are not parading. They are going to temple
Oh, they’re parading all right.
They betray us in the war and they pretend like there is nothing wrong.
Just come in and eat, George.
SCENE 2: Street exterior – day
Moses, his wife and his two children are standing on the sidewalk)
BOY: (Looking towards the neighbor’s house)
He’s watching us again, father.
Pay him no mind
Why does he watch us all the time?
Because he’s angry.
But why is he angry at us?
It is not important, children
He must have a reason.
He thinks he does.
He thinks we helped Germany lose the war.
But we didn’t, did we?
I mean, you fought in the war, Father.
Of course we didn’t.
We lost because we lost
But why does he blame us?
Because he has no one else to blame and it is always easy to blame Jews.
Pay him now mind. We have prayers to make.
SCENE 3 The street of Krakow – day
George is walking down the street and stops when he sees Moses and other Hebrews coming the other way. George ducks into a dark door way until they pass, then steps out again, touching the Nazi arm band as eh looks back in the direction the Jews have taken.
SCENE 4 Street corner -- day
Moses is talking to the other Hebrews.
Maybe we shouldn’t display our faith so openly.
We should hide who we are?
Not hide it so much as not boast about it.
If we don’t give them anything to complain about, maybe they will forget their hate
They will never forget
Things will get better. Then all this will fade.
What about the Nazis?
Perhaps they will fade away, too.
SCENE 5: Tavern – twilight
(George is drinking with some German friends)
I am trying to get over it.
But I keep remembering that we would have won the war if not for the Jews.
It is the fault of the Jews that everything has gone as badly as it has.
We’re the superior race, yet they’re the one that are acting superior.
I work hard and I’m still poor and those Jews are to blame.
We’re Aryans. We’re the superior race. Yet we’re stuck here living like dogs.
Somebody ought to do something about them Jews.
What can we do?
They breed like rats.
There’s no getting rid of them.
I’m not so sure.
SCENE 6: On the street outside their house – day
(Moses and his children are staring down at the word “Jude” painted on their door)
Who did this, father?
I don’t know. I could be anyone.
I know who did it.
Mind yourself, boy. We have no proof.
Why do we have to wear these things?
(she points to the Jude star attacked to her clothing)
Because it is the law now.
If we wear it we won’t be beaten..
That’s not true, father.
The mobs still beat up Jews.
Stop it, boy. You’re scaring yours sister.
The mob broke our windows, too, because they know we are Jews.
We will go pray.
(the three go off. Scene shifts to George watching from his window, as the camera pans back from him, we seen the paint bucket and the brush)
SCENE 7: Street corner – day
(Moses and the other Jews talking)
This madness can’t go on.
This is an enlightened country, of Beethoven and Goethe.
Lawlessness is not in the German people’s nature.
Germans like all people have always hated Jews.
Not like this.
Surely the good Germans will wake up and put a stop to it.
Perhaps the good Germans don’t want to wake up.
SCENE 8: Tavern – evening
I don’t understand it.
They just go on as if nothing has happened.
That is their way. They endure.
Why don’t they go away.
Where will they go?
Nobody else wants them either.
Then it’s up to the government to do something.
What does is Hitler if he can’t get rid of the Jews?
SCENE 9: Jew’s house – day light
(Soldiers are standing with guns as Moses, his wife and children carry out their possessions)
Where are we going, father?
To another place.
But I don’t want to leave home
Just do what you’re told.
Things will be all right.
No they won’t.
Things won’t be all right ever again
(Moses looks over his shoulder at the soldiers who are eyeing them)
We are moving and that’s the end of it.
The man next door is laughing at us.
Then don’t look at him.
SCENE 10: tavern – short time later
(GEORGE arrives as his two drinking companions jeer at the passing line of Jews)
Good bye, Jews!
DRINKER #2: (picks up a stone and throws it at and hits a Jewish man)
You come back you’ll be more of the same.
We should have done this a long time ago.
Scene 11: Inside Ghetto apartment – night
(Moses, his wife, and children settle in with other Jews)
It’s so crowded.
We’ll get used to it.
How will be live?
I hear there is work in the factories.
They won’t pay you.
I can trade for things we need outside the ghetto.
That can’t go on forever.
I hope it won’t have to.
SCENE 12: In front of tavern – day
(George and his friends are drinking when a line of Jews including Moses walks by)
Hey, the Jews are out of the Ghetto
They let them out to go to work
They have jobs?
For war production. They don’t get paid.
I don’t care if they get paid or not.
I don’t want to have to see them.
Maybe you can complain to the SS.
I’m not going to complain, I’m going to do something about it.
(George and his companions charge at the Jews and are joined by other Germans, beating Jews even though the soldiers whistle for them to stop. The Jews including Moses try to run, some are shot, many are dragged down by the mob, but some like Moses manage to flee back into the ghetto before they are caught.)
SCENE 13: Ghetto apartment – day
(German soldiers pound on the door and yell for all the Jews to get out, dragging out those who do not move quickly enough, shooting those that seem to resist. Moses, his wife and kids stagger out
But what is going on?
SOLDIER #1: (Hits Moses with butt of rifle. Moses’ face starts to bleed)
I said move, now move
What do they want, father?
MOSES (In a daze)
Don’t ask questions.
Just do what they say.
Men to the right, women to the left.
Moses, I don’t want…
SOLDIER #2 (Strikes wife)
Do what you’re told.
WIFE: (Now separated by other people from Moses and the boy)
MOSES: (Yelling over the crowd)
Don’t argue. Just go.
Look after our daughter.
(They are swept apart by the tide of the crowd, and Moses and the boy are loaded onto the back of a truck.)
This makes no sense.
JEW #1 (standing beside him in the truck)
It is not supposed to.
They tell us to work, so we work.
They tell us to move, so we move.
What do they want of us now?
Jew #2: (Pointing)
Isn’t that your neighbor, Moses?
GEORGE (shouting from the sidewalk)
Die, Jew, Die!
SCENE 14: Camp Barracks – Morning
(Germans shout for a roll call)
They are making the selection.
They have more Jews coming in from Hungary and have to make room.
Some of us have to leave
Leave? For where?
Scene 15: Train depot – day
(Moses and the others are loaded onto cattle cars. Moses pauses on the ramp looks back.
What is it?
I thought I saw my neighbor.
(They go into the dark interior, crowded in)
I suppose it’s lucky there are so many of us or we might freeze along the way.
Some are near dead already.
What do we do now?
It is what they wanted from us all along.
(The train pulls off to the sound of praying Jews and the hiss of steam, and the scene faces as the train vanishes into the distance.)