Závada, Pál: Egy piaci nap/Market Day
Irén and Mária, two former friends, are separated by history. The latter's husband, a teacher from Kunvadas, is accused of the 1946 pogrom. Meanwhile, the former's husband is the secretary of the local Communist Party. From diary excerpts and letters written by the two of them, a hellish landscape is conjured before our eyes. On the morning of May 23, 1946, tensions in Kunvadas grow to such an extent that the starving masses attack the market vendors, cursing them for price gouging and haggling.
Haunted by the oratorical songs of the choir, which personifies the environment, the wives' moving reconciliation is almost accomplished when their husbands are released from prison...
18 men (min. 9 men), 9 women (min. 6 women)
Tibor Zalán (1954)
Tibor Zalán is first and foremost a poet, but has an extensive dramatic oeuvre as well. He has written a lot for young audiences, having worked as dramaturg for Kolibri Youth and Children’s Theatre. He has taught literature to children of all ages for decades before embarking on a full-time writer’s career. He then became editor for a number of literary magazines. He is a well established writer in different genres with many a volume to his name.
Fearsome Greek Warrior(an antique tale) is a play for children, recounting the story of Theseus from his birth to the slaying of the Minotaur. Theseus is depicted with humour, a conceited man of many talents. The narration is done by the different characters as we proceed – they talk about what is happening, then assume their roles in the story. We see the events unfold as Theseus defies death meeting first Peripethes then Sinis, Skiron and Procrustes before setting eyes on Ariadne and receiving the thread, that helps him return from the labyrinth after tickling the Minotaur to death.
The storytelling is light and full of humour, using the rhythm of verse and song to alleviate the sombre moments of the story, while relaying the message: a hero can become a hero also using his brains, there is no real need for a sword.
Szilágyi, Eszter Anna /Nyíregyháza Street
Eszter Anna Szilágyi is a playwright and stage director. She has been active in the independent theatre scene for a long time, producing her own projects. Her work Nyíregyháza Street was written with the support of the Open Forum of Contemporary Plays, a play development programme of the Hungarian Theatre Dramaturgs Guild. Her next project in the programme, Eldgja – a canyon of fire won the Vilmos-prize for best new play. Her style merges the poetic and the theatrical, often calling on the form of free verse. Her choice of topics are always touching on the controversial and/or philosophical. The style and topics make her plays wonderful additions to a balanced repertoire and allow for imaginative stage productions. Her personal CV is as following: ’About me? I write theatrical discourses.’
Daughters of Nyíregyháza Street [Nyíregyháza utca] (min 4(-12) f)
Nyíregyháza Street follows the path of four young women from Nyíregyháza, a town in easternmost Hungary, who are lured abroad by the promise of a better life and end up in the red-light district of Amsterdam. Their hopes and ambitions are then met with reality and we are met with the convoluted ideas and naïve dreams of members of the Rode Draad, the Dutch women's aid organisation about them. “We are submerged in the chaotic cloud of thoughts of the four young hookers and the Rode Draad's leader, Aletta van der Maet, staying always in the present.” – writes the author. Eszter Anna Szilágyi has no ambition to distinguish and/or separate the linguistic registers and cultural levels of the different characters' speech. The play also doesn't strive to create a false illusion in the mind of the spectator of some kind of eventual resolution or hope. We are at break point. The ideals of east and west, the dependent and seemingly independent have no real point to meet. This play takes a hard look at the female condition, the vulnerability and the ideals, and although it does not strive to give us relief, it still is cathartic.
Eszter Anna Szilágyi: Daughters of Nyíregyháza Street (First performed in Hungarian as
A Nyíregyháza utca in Budapest, 2018)
@ Veronika Haacker-Lukacs and Simon Collings 2022
then came Rocky,
with the bow legs,
then came Joe,
you never know where
his eyes are lookin’
but if they catch you, if you
catch them –
you two are off into
a hot oven
and you bet
he catches you
I live in a village
by the Puszta town of
in summer and winter
I run to fetch water
I was on my water-run
and a Lada pulled up
in it was Joe
that’s ’ow we say.
I know a job
a flash place
in the Netherlands
a vacant window
has come up for
you mean for sale – I ask
for a girl to sell
goods from a window
the buyers come
all happen to be men
happen to be men, why’s
that – I ask
’cos over there
purchases are done by men
the ladies at home watchin’
and can’t get there in time
but the men can
and get on with it
that’s ’ow it is over there
chill the fuck out
the goods are tip-top
an’ Netherlands forints,
grub clothes boots
an’ electricity an’
your own cupboard an’
I carry my water
so they ’ave some at home
let the littl’n drink and my stepfather
takes his beard off today,
the old lady licks her
wooden spoon, there’ll be
paprika chicken cookin’
and today’s when
the multitude eats
the first is mental
the second was sold
the third was in love
with joe, joe bling
the fourth thought she
seeing right through
things passing through
the eye of a needle
not much fun here
she’ll be the one to leave
and none other
the promotion is underway
the entry tests are underway in
the back part of the village hall
the mothers, fathers and stepfathers
coming and going
scared out of their wits about
what Netherland could do
to their little bitches
coz there is prosperin’ over there
and here is nothin, I tell you wha’
is crowds of people is
nothin’ else besides
men women all need
kids need even more
more and more
I’ll be sure to get out
get through the Netherlands
wall and out I go through the window
Ill be rich Mrs Gadjo
or Ms Gadjo
at the hair salon I’ll bleach
and curl my fab locks
I’ll have teeth and I’ll have a smile
I’ll have a handbag and
I’ll have a purse
to put in it
no one will mind
that I’m the village’s ugliest
four have been selected
in the first round to
go on the prize trip
even the European Union
supported them maybe
that’s how many
fit into the Lada
Csilla Aranka Gyöngyi took
turns on the front seat
to sit beside joe
of sweet tobacco and gucci
scent and buzzing phone
Eszter is a silent person
idiot of the village can’t understand
the dark voice
to which three others
women of action
pour a drink
light a cig
close window, open, now a little
tear breaded chicken meat
stuff between meaty lips
hold back breath when
a silky brown fart rips
it’s nearly the country border
what am I saying
no more borders
but what the hell is eszter
it’s beyond understanding why
the Netherlands needs
a Hungarian idiot
can come in handy, mind,
when a bird doesn’t
talk your guts into a knot
also at hand our passports
one for each of us
joe has them in
we also have money
ten euros each
and that will be more than
in the other country
we had a sing-song
we’re going amsterdamin’
have mercy on us
The world is too tight for me
I’m still finding my place to be
Can’t see tomorrow clearly,
I’ll die today, I’m suffering horribly!
Half-full glasses on the table
I might take a sip if I want and am able
Call my name if by chance
We meet in a different Universe!
Call my name if by chance
We meet in a different Universe!
not a package holiday
but work Gypsy
work and education
I mean how to
high and mighty Gypsy lady
in the land of the tulips
what d’you mean Gypsy
what d’you mean how to
how to fuck, bitch
what d’you mean others
suck ’em neat and
the basic lesson
of your education
tone the fuck down the redness
of your eyes turn back
your homesick feelings
from their wonderings
better not display those
in that window of yours
unless you wanna me to turn
into a tough
at the back of the village hall
which is to say the threshold of hell
into the shit-house of the tavern
if you will
that pig Rocky with
the bow legs drags me in
rips off the only pair
of decent panties
I have fingers me
why you cryin’
since day one
about the TLC my stepfather
gives my lower regions
what I know is Rocky himself would
fuck me if he could
but his wimpy dick
can’t even piss
how much did your father
get for you
let’s not go there
we’re not gonna
just coz his
is kneadin’ himself
he isn’t gettin’ off anytime soon
but I hate
that I’m comin’
let me weep
all I want is
to get the fuck off me
truth of the world
why the earth
if it isn’t ours
why the sky
if it doubly isn’t
why the country
the town the street
the village the farm
the pig and the brute
why the wretched
even those don’t exist
only the neithers and the nors
why the hearth
and why the
Hydra and Echidna
tearing at Magyar
in this alien land
the earth on which
you stagger isn’t yours
no gold boots no
faux fur that
but in a bikini
you roll about in the dark
the light isn’t yours
street street street
a community place
god, let me out
of your boxes
I’m totally stupid
because I don’t care about
I’m just like
but I don’t talk with
why should I
you can also check things out
what’s the point tho
not worth your while
and people are just
like now I wonder
if this lorry driver can show me
anything at all new
here on this bench in the back
on our way to Holland
as it happens
and I have no questions
well he can’t
such a long time
I have lived on this earth
in so many places and
with so many bodies I rolled
that what I have to do
or you do to me I
have to laugh to myself
I play dumb of course
so no one notices
but what I mean is
he holds out towards me
and tries inside me
a toilet brush and scissors
but oh his time’s
I laugh to myself
only to myself
humiliated as he is
struggles to pull his pants back on
the animal when
joe joe bling
beats the lorry door
down on us
Shiftin’ my ass around
so I’ll grab the passenger’s
seat by the evening
I wouldn’t ’av minded if
we’d crashed into
the trees linin’ the streets
my head by his head
two bloodied brows
many attempts I made
to divert his attention
from the road anyway an’
on the highway nothin’
would’av been impossible
what with the speed others
raced by at giving us
the finger but joe
didn’t give a damn
somethin’ I adore in him
somethin’ I could die for
he don’t give a damn
for me neither
’e’s sure of himself joe
and I’m sure that I
I steal looks at ’im
steal his toothpicks too
and shift around in the car
so that by the evening
I’ll be the first
I tried adjusting the up-and-down
settin’ of the window to
give a be’er temperature
but he yelled at me you
stupid bitch on the motorway
the window must be
up up up
later when we overnight
I’ll be crafty and
make sure he
chooses me first
shining bling blinking lights
you flee you run from facts through the night
coz dreams are ace wonderfully glam
but they’re just fake images it’s only a scam
shining bling blinking lights
you flee you run from facts through the night
coz dreams are ace wonderfully glam
but they’re just fake images it’s only a scam
Amsterdam will be our home
where we stay
here we stay
home is on the corner
corner shop in-out-in-out
here’s the street
endless empty cages
with us on show
two whores had a bust-up
tearin’ at each other’s hair
one of them shaved off the other’s
beat the crap outta them
so they barely dragged themselves away
they did before joe
and the next morning
in the shop window
from noon to midnight
someone will lay’em
then they rest
’coz the only thing they do is
spread their legs wide
but the things
with and to them
and the ideas
This is what we’ll call
Pál Závada – István Mohácsi – János Mohácsi
a market day
translated by Lili Mohácsi
Mrs. Mária Csóka-Hadnagy
Sándor Hadnagy, her husband, teacher in Kunvadas
Mrs. Irén Gellért-Hámos
Ferenc Hámos, her husband, the secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party of Kunvadas
Gergely Kátai, president of the Small Holders Party
Károly Würczel, member of the Social Democrat Party
Árpád, train station master
Mrs. Erna Vogel
Mr. Gyula Vogel
Ferenc Ugari, church gardener
Artúr Fogarasi, State Protection Bureau commander in Miskolc
Setting: The play takes place in Kunvadas. It begins in November 1946. The rest is flashback.
Actors should play many parts. The play is written so that one actor should play the characters of Zurga and Rosenstein, while another actor plays those of Hadnagy and Ugari.
NICKNAMES AND DIMINUTIVES
There are a number of nicknames and diminutives in the script that will be unfamiliar to English speakers. The list below includes the variations used in the play in order of increasing familiarity.The suffix “-ka” or “-ke” means “little”.
Etel [Ethel]: Etelke
Ferenc [Francis]: Feri
Frigyes [Frederick]: Frici
Gusztáv [Gustave]: Guszti
Irén [Irene]: Irénke
István [Stephen]: Pityu
József [Joseph]: Józsi
Károly [Charles]: Karcsi / Karesz
Mária [Maria]: Mari / Marika / Mariska
Nándor [from Ferdinand]: Nándi
Rózsi [Rosie]: Rózsika
Sándor [Alexander]: Sanyi
Sára [Sarah]: Sári / Sárika
Zsigmond [Sigmund]: Zsiga
Comment on the text: what you read is the script of a performance.
In this play, in order to create an energetic, lively atmosphere, actors should talk over each other. In these cases, there is a the main text, which is traditionally written; then, there is secondary text, which is delivered under the main text and is indicated in italics and in brackets after the main text with the speaker in front. Like this:
Mária How come you…? (Irén: Well…) What a lovely coat!
Here Irén’s “Well…” and Mária’s “What…” are spoken simultaneously.
If there are many people are talking at the same time, like during the trials or the mob scenes, all the secondary text is in italics and in brackets.
Hámos I, Ferenc Hámos, as well as the secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party of Kunvadas, (Zsigmond Rácz: He’s doing it again.) (Etel Radai: I would’ve skipped this.) (Tibor: Again…) with great shock and even deeper love, I welcome our three surviving comrades.
Here, Hámos is interrupted and tries to talk over the crowd – as he naturally would.
Train station (flashback)
Zsigmond Rácz Hey… (Árpád: No.) Give me some tobacco.
Árpád Fuck no.
Zsigmond Rácz For one cigarette.
Árpád You’re not getting any. I don’t have enough for myself.
Zsigmond Rácz Don’t be such a Jew! Come on…
Árpád No. (Train is heard.) That’s the local train. (Rácz: Or the freight train.) Or that. I’ll go and drop the crossing gates.
Zsigmond Rácz They’re already down, I had to go around them, too.
Árpád Oh, then I forgot to pull then up. At least I saved two trips.
Zsigmond Rácz Does the local train still stop here?
Árpád If I wave, Zsiga, it does. (He waves his disk, the train stops.) Kunvadas, Kunvadas. Welcome, dear passengers, welcome. (Train leaves.)
Mrs. Erna Vogel, Gyula Vogel and József Rosenstein are standing on the tracks.
Zsigmond Rácz No one.
Árpád Of course.
The Three Jews Good afternoon. Good afternoon to you all.
Árpád And these are?
Zsigmond Rácz Why are you here? No one comes here.
Gyula Vogel This is where we came from.
Zsigmond Rácz From here?
Gyula Vogel Indeed, sir. (Erna Vogel: From here.) (Rosenstein: That’s life.)
Árpád But you came back. (The Three Jews: We did.) (Erna: Here we are.) Here? Why?
Zsigmond Rácz Yeah.
Erna Is Vogels’ house still standing?
Zsigmond Rácz Vogels, Vogels… What Vogels?
Árpád The Jewish Vogels? (Zsigmond Rácz: Yeah!)
Erna On Stork Street.
Zsigmond Rácz It’s standing, it’s standing! (Árpád: Up and about… it’s standing.) But good luck finding Jews here. (Árpád: Yeah!) They took them away a year ago. All of them.
Árpád To Germany. (Zsigmond Rácz: Nah, then off to Switzerland.) (Snickers.) Poor things, they’re all gone now.
Zsigmond Rácz Because they died. (Árpád: Every one of them.)
Gyula Vogel Not all of us died. (Rácz: Oh yes, they did…) We’re here.
Árpád You? (Rosenstein: Yes.) You’re Jews? (Vogel: We are.)
József Rosenstein Yes.
Gyula Vogel We are. (Erna Vogel: Yes.)
József Rosenstein We’re Jewish.
Árpád Wow… Won’t you look at that… well! Hey, Zsiga, they’re back! (Zsigmond Rácz: What the hell!) Hey guys! The Jews are back! The Jews are back!
Kónya (Outside.) Moose? Fucking moose! Give me my gun!
Zsigmond Rácz Jews! (Árpád: Jews!)
Kónya (Outise.) Oh! Etel, the Jews are back. (Etel Radai outside: What?)
Tarcsai The Jews are back!
Kónya I heard moose. (Radai: And I didn’t hear anything!) The Jews are back. (Tarcsai: It’s them!) (Zsigmond Rácz: These?) (Árpád: Them!)
Mayor Welcome, welcome! (shakes hands with the three Jews)
József Rosenstein Hello, Tibor!
Mayor Hello, Hello! (Tarcsai asking Etel Radai: Who are they?)
Sándor Hadnagy They look awful… (Ferenc Hámos: Mr. Hadnagy, please!) What can I say? They do.
Etel Radai I’m telling you; I don’t know!
Kónya They’re skinny, but still Jews.
Zsigmond Rácz They are. (Ferenc Hámos: Naturally.)
Mayor (Silence.) There we go! (Silence.)
Irén Erna? (Mayor: No!) (Kónya: No way.) Never mind, sorry!
Tarcsai The Vogels? (Árpád: So, they are the Vogels, after all?) (Etel Radai: No, they aren’t the Vogels.) They really aren’t, I’m just stupid.
Erna Yes, we are. Irén.
Etel Radai Right, Erna Vogel. (Tarcsai: No!)
Ferenc Hámos Of course, Erna… (Looks at József Rosenstein.) Then you must be Gyula! Gyuszi…
József Rosenstein Almost. (Ferenc Hámos goes on to Gyula Vogel.)
Gyula Vogel Gyula.
Ferenc Hámos We know, Gyula!
Mária It was pretty obvious that he’s Gyula. (József Rosenstein: It is him.) (Sándor Hadnagy: Mariska, dear!)
Kónya Get off the rails! You could get killed.
Sándor Hadnagy You look just great! (A few others: Uh-huh.)
Mária Are you hungry? (Tarcsai: Yes! Yes!) (Hadnagy: Tibor! Tibor!)
Mayor East, west, but where is best? (Árpád: Home…) (Silence.) Yes, yes. Home.
Sándor Hadnagy So… how was it? (Mária: Sándor!)
Ferenc Hámos How can you ask that? I can’t believe this! (Hadnagy: What did I say?)
Mayor Yes, we know. Simply terrible. Gas chambers. Wow! (Etel Radai: What gas chambers?) (Zsigmond Rácz: Tibor, they’re here!) (Etel Radai: Yes, yes, they’re right here.) Here. On behalf of our village, from the bottom of our hearts, I welcome you (All: Yes, yes.) back home… (All: Yes, yes.) back to our village, (All: Yes, yes.), suddenly appearing (All: Yes, yes.) Jewish citizens! (Kónya: Do we clap now, Tibor?) No need. (faltering claps)
The Three Jews Thank you! Thank you so much. (Zsigmond Rácz: No problem.)
Ferenc Hámos I, Ferenc Hámos, as well as the secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party of Kunvadas, (Zsigmond Rácz: He’s doing it again.) (Etel Radai: I would’ve skipped it.) (Tibor: Again…) with great shock and even deeper love, I welcome our three surviving comrades. (Mária: He just can’t control himself.)
Irén So, what’s it like being back home, hm?
Erna It’s the same. (Kónya: Ernácska!) (Etel Radai: Well, we’ve moved.) When they took us away, you were at the station, too, (Tarcsai: Me?) (Etel Radai: Who?) the same as today. (Kónya: Of course!)
Gyula Vogel Erna, this… we don’t need this…
Erna You guys put us on that train, Gyula!
Etel Radai Who? (Ferenc Hámos: Namely?) (Kónya: No, no, you don’t remember well.) (Gyula Vogel: I know, Erna!) (Zsigmond Rácz: I wasn’t even here.) You were here, too. Don’t you remember? (Kónya: No, no, no. Time heals everything.)
Gyula VogelWhat’s the point of always remembering? (Zsigmond Rácz: I wasn’t even here.) (Árpád: At all.) (Zsigmond Rácz: Fairy tale.)
Erna Our daughters, Gyula… (Gyula Vogel: I know.) My father and mother… My siblings. They never came back.
Árpád It’s not like I killed them. (Zsigmond Rácz: What, you’re saying I did?) (Etel Radai: No one said that, Árpád!)
Sándor Hadnagy Those who collaborated with the Nazis are already facing the People’s Court.
Ferenc Hámos Not all of them.
Sándor Hadnagy Thank you, Mr. Hámos, (Mária: He was acquitted!) but I was acquitted.
Mária Sándor, you were acquitted. (Hadnagy: I know.)
Ferenc Hámos That was spitting democracy in the face. (Zsigmond Rácz: Democracy!) (Zsigmond Rácz spits.)
Irén Wait… Hey, it’s Józsi! (Ferenc Hámos: Józsi?) Józsi Rosenstein … (Shakes hands with Tibor.) (Kónya: The stork!)
Árpád Józsi with the lumberyard? (Seems to recognize him) Józsi the elder, right?
József Rosenstein His son.
Árpád You look… great!
József Rosenstein Hello, Irén. (Irén hugs him.) (Tarcsai: What now?) (Etel Radai: They’re crying or whatever.)
József Rosenstein Hello, Mari.
Mária Hello, József… (Hadnagy: Hello, Józsi!) You know Sándor… (Irén: He’s Józsi Rosenstein.) (Ferenc Hámos: I know.)
Sándor Hadnagy Yes, I know… (József Rosenstein: Hello, Sándor.) Mari. (pulls Mária to the side)
Irén We got married.
József Rosenstein Congratulations. (Irén, Mária: Thank you!) Feri… (Silence.) (Tarcsai: Bad news!) Your mother…
Ferenc Hámos I know, Józsi. We’ve heard it.
József Rosenstein As soon as we arrived. On the first day. (Etel Radai: Gas chambers…)
Irén We survived in Budapest, right, Feri? We got fake papers.
Mayor Where do you live now?
József Rosenstein Well… nowhere yet. We’ll live here, where we once lived.
Gyula Vogel Our house is here. We’ll live at home.
Etel Radai Where?
Erna Well… here.
Gyula Vogel There. On Stork Street. (Zsigmond Rácz: Árpád!)
Etel Radai Hey now! What do you mean, ‘there’? (Árpád: There’s no way ‘there’.)
Mayor Árpád, Etel, our lucky survivors do not yet know that the property – that once was actually yours – is unfortunately now the home of other people. (Hadnagy: Unfortunately.)
Ferenc Hámos The Hungarian Communist Party demands (Zsigmond Rácz: Oh no!) (Etel Radai: Hey now!) (Tarcsai: Who?) that the belongings of the Jews who came back must be returned, according to the law. (Mária: Says Hámos?)
Mayor But Mr. Hámos! How can I drive decent Hungarian families out of their homes, make them beggars, just because a few Jews came back? (Tarcsai: More came back than left.)
Sándor Hadnagy We must find a solution, Ferenc, but returning belongings, as such, in the current situation…
Ferenc Hámos The Independent Smallholders’ Party once again stands by the fascists. Congratulations, Mr. Hadnagy! (Kátai: In the name of the Independent Smallholders’ Party, I will not tolerate this!)
Árpád So now the Jews along with the Communists are taking my house? For Christ sake, where should I go? (Etel Radai: Calm down!)
Zsigmond Rácz In this case, dear Feri, (Kónya: Feri Hámos!) you should give back Józsi Rosenstein’ house, too, where you moved in. (Kónya: Are you deaf, Feri?)
József Rosenstein You did what? You took our house? (Árpád: They did, they did!) (Tarcsai: The Hámos family!) (Ferenc Hámos: That’s not exactly what happened, József…)
Irén That beautiful big house was standing there all empty, Józsi…
Ferenc Hámos I’m not the only one who moved there, József. (Kónya: Then who else, Feri?) The office of the Communist Party did, too.
Irén And me.
Ferenc Hámos You too, Irén. I love you. But the Party! Where should the Party move?
József Rosenstein Back into your mother! (Etel Radai: Hey now!) (Irén: Go where?)
Ferenc Hámos My mother died, József… this tone of yours just isn’t you! (József Rosenstein: I’m sorry.) But can the Party move? (Kátai: The Independent Smallholders’ Party could!) (Rosenstein: Give my house back!) Guys, guys! Tibor, I’ve got it! József, surely you have relatives that won’t be coming back? (Silence.)
József Rosenstein A few, Ferenc. (Etel Radai: Wait a minute, this isn’t good! Tibor!)
Ferenc Hámos See? Well then. We’ll force the illegal house squatters out and you can move right in. Easy. (Kónya: Of course!) (Tarcsai: We can’t take you in, Etel!)
Etel Radai And the Jews had it again.
Kossuth Street – may 20, late morning
Tarcsai Oh my God! Oh my God! (Kónya: They’re gone!)
Etel Radai Two of them! (Tarcsai: Two?) (Kónya: Gone, gone!)
Rózsika (to Mária.) Two children! (Pityu: We know!)
Zsigmond Rácz What the fuck! (Etel Radai: I’m telling you, two of them!) (Rózsika: What did they ever do?)
Tarcsai Whose kids? (Pityu: Does it really matter?) (Rózsika: Good Lord…)
Etel Radai I don’t know, Kónyi, (Kónya: What, you think I would know?) they disappeared from one of the ranches. (Zsigmond Rácz: What ranch?) (Zurga: Not even ranches are safe anymore…)
Kátai I got mine! (Árpád: I don’t have kids.)
Rózsika If mine disappears, I’ll beat him to death! (Pityu: Of course!)
Mária Sándor, for the love of God, we’ll be late for the trial! (Kátai: Don’t worry, Mária, the trial isn’t going anywhere.) (Rózsika: The kids are gone, Mari!)
Sándor Hadnagy What can I do, Mariska? Jump over the police?
Kónya I’m sure it’s the Gödöny kids. (Etel Radai: I don’t know.) (Rózsika: Oh my God!) They have two of them. (Rózsika: Exactly two? Heavens…) (Tarcsai: Good heavens!) (Etel Radai: Heavens! I’m telling you, two kids are gone!)
Tarcsai It must be them. I don’t know if poor Berta will survive this.
Kátai I’m not telling them, that’s for sure!
Zsigmond Rácz Well… the Jews came back, you know. (Árpád: Of course!) (Pityu: Obviously.)
Tarcsai The Jews? (Hadnagy: I don’t think…) (Etel Radai: The Jews!)
Zsigmond Rácz Who else? (Kónya: They came back!)
Rózsika The Jews? No, I don’t think so. (Mária: Guys, the trial…)
Tarcsai It’s obvious! (Kónya: Back, back!) Rózsika! (Etel Radai: Unbelievable.)
Sándor Hadnagy Listen. Kids! (Zurga: Yes, the kids.)
Rózsika Yes, yes, sir. (back to the others) Maybe the two kids just wandered off.
Kónya Sure they wandered off. (Tarcsai: Where to?) (Tarcsai: From here? Why would they?) (Rózsika: Anywhere!)
Zsigmond Rácz It could be, although they’d be back home by now. (Etel Radai: True!) And why aren’t they home yet? (Tarcsai: Why?) (Kónya: Why? Why?) (Radai: Tell us, tell us!) The Jews have their matzah-covered fingers in the kids, (Kónya: You see!) believe you me! (Kónya: We believe you! Go away, Árpád.)
Kátai They caught a few Jews in Budapest who ground children’s meat into sausages.
Mária It can’t be! (Kónya: No way!) (Radai: Good Heavens!) (Hadnagy: Gergely, friend, I don’t think such awful rumors…) (Tarcsai: What kind of sausage?) (Zsigmond Rácz: Doesn’t matter.)(Tarcsai: Yes, it does!) (Etel Radai: Heavens!)
Kátai I don’t know what the truth is, I’m just stating facts. (Hadnagy: Guys, Jews don’t eat sausage!) Where there’s smoke, you know. (Árpád: That’s bullshit.) (Zsigmond Rácz: Not eat it, just make it.) (Tarcsai: They’re Jews, after all.) (Rózsika: It’s not true!) (Kónya: Don’t lose you head, Mr. Hadnagy.)
Rózsika (to Kónya, who is eating sausage.) How can you eat at a time like this? (Zurga: They eat lamb meat.) (Kónya: For example.) (Zurga: Personally, I don’t like it.) (Kónya: Why?)
Pityu Don’t they need children’s blood to reconsecrate the synagogue? (Árpád: Yes, yes!)
Zsigmond Rácz For that, too. (Tarcsai: Gross!) (Hadnagy: No, they don’t! Pityu!)
Etel Radai What kind of sausage is that, Kónyi?
Kónya Sausage, sausage. It’s pretty good. Want some? I got it yesterday. It’s pretty good. Anyone? (Tarcsai: Sausage, sausage!) (Árpád: Gimme a bite.) Of course.
Etel Radai Well, Kónyi… (Árpád steps back from Kónyi.)
Kónya What? (realization) No… (Tarcsai: Yes.) (Zsigmond Rácz: Probably.)
Sándor Hadnagy No, Kónya, no…
Kónya Yes, Sándor! Yes, Mária! I feel sick… (Pityu: Kónyi’s sick, help!) (Rózsika: Is anyone here a doctor?) I’m sure it’s the sausage…
Etel Radai There’s children’s meat in the sausage! Take it away, take it away!
Tarcsai Kónyi got sick from the sausage! Make him throw it up! (Pityu: Come on, Kónyi!) Just go on and vomit. (Pityu: Open wide!)
Kónya I can’t throw up! I never could. (Pityu: You will now.) (Árpád: You want us to throw up? You ate children!)
Zurga Picture yourself vomiting.
Etel Radai Shove something down his throat!
Kónya Don’t shove that down, Pityu! Don’t! (Pityu: He bites!) (Mária: Guys, the trial…) Sorry, Pityu!
Zsigmond Rácz Give the man some pálinka! [Pálinka is fruit brand.]
Kónya Pálinka! Pálinka! (Takes a bottle of booze from the protesting Etel’s basket.) They just said so! (Drinks.) Yes… it’s a bit better now… (Etel reaches for the bottle.) Just a sip, Etel! (takes bottle back)
Mária Children’s meat in the sausage… guys, come on? (Zurga: It’s right here in the sausage.) (Etel Radai: They’re Jews!) (Pityu tries to dirnk from Kónya’s bottle.) (Kónya, to Pityu: No! It’s medicine!)
Sándor Hadnagy This is unbelievable. (Kónya drinks.) (Kátai: That’s why it’s true!)
Rózsika Of course not. (Pityu: Then what made Kónyi sick?) (Zsigmond Rácz: You’re a literature teacher, this isn’t your specialty.)
While the commotion is brewing, Mária tells this to Irén in the frame story.
Mária (to Irén) Rácz told us then that there would be a pogrom in Kunvadas as well. (Irén: Those words? Pogrom?) (Zsigmond Rácz: Guys, guys!) With those exact words, Irén, pogrom!
Zsigmond Rácz Guys! Hey, listen! I’ve seen something like this happen in Slovakia before the war. It started just like this. Well, those Jews got what they deserved. (Kónya: I’m sick, Etel!) (Árpád: I don’t feel good, either!) What happened there will happen here. Tomorrow morning, the Kunvadas Jews will also get what they deserve. (Kónya: I’m sick.) (Árpád: Me, too.)
Rózsika That’s awful! (Rácz, Pityu, Kónya, Radai, Tarcsai, Árpád: Rózsika!) I’m sorry…
Zurga You can stuff your sorries in a sack. (Tarcsai: A sack, a bag.)
Sándor Hadnagy Guys, guys, this is a pogrom! (Kónya: Rózsika, one more word and you’re dead.)
Zsigmond Rácz Not a pogrom – we just divert the river back to its riverbed.
Árpád A simple Jew-beating.
Etel Radai We’ll get those sausage makers!
Tarcsai What kind of program?
Zurga We’ll step on the Jews’ balls!
Sándor Hadnagy (to Mária, who, together with Irén, is watching the scene) Mariska… Mariska! Where are you, bunny?
Mária (rejoins the scene) I don’t know, Sándor… my mind just wandered. (Hadnagy: Mariska, how can your mind wander at a time like this?)
Zsigmond Rácz Let’s say they take me to court. (Kónya: These people are capable of anything.) (Etel Radai: Fucking Jews!) I’ll say I’d been a partisan against the Germans. (Árpád: Were you a partisan, Zsiga?) Fuck no. And I’ll tell the judge that the Russians hired me to be the father of the pogrom. To start a wave of emigration among those lager survivors. (Etel Radai: Jews!) (Tarcsai: Yeah!) So they’d fuck off to Palestrina.
Árpád The train is leaving, Jews.
Zurga Return to sender.
Kónya I just understood it now, Zsiga. This is great! Cheers! (They drink.)
Etel Radai So those Russians are the ones stirring shit again, huh? (Radai: Fucking Russians!)
Zsigmond Rácz And the Jews. (Kónya: Fucking Jews.) Because when children are disappearing left and right, it doesn’t hurt to teach the bearded men a healthy lesson. (Tarcsai: Sausage, sausage!) (Kónya: Fucking bearded men! Except you, Zsiga. Sorry, Pityu, and you, Sándor! Rózsika!) (Rózsika: Sorry.) Because I think, and I hope that I’m wrong, (Kónya: Please, no!) but they must have been the ones to swallow those kids, (Tarcsai: No way!) (Hadnagy: Zsiga…) because they need Christian blood for their matzah. (Kónya: Fucking Christians!) (There is silence.) (Kónya: Wait, no. Etel! I’m sick.) (Kónya drinks again.) Well, it happened in Slovakia, too, and not only once. So we hung quite a few of them there.
Sándor Hadnagy You hung Jews?
Zsigmond Rácz They did. (Kónya: They.) And other things like that.
Mária (to Irén, as above) And then he took out a dagger this big and said that he had used it against the matzah-eaters before. (Irén: Good Lord!)
Zsigmond Rácz I used this against the matzah-chewers!
Mária (to Irén, as above) And then Sándor grabbed Rácz and asked him (Sándor Hadnagy: Go away, Árpád!) whether he was only talking big or really was a filthy murderer.
Sándor Hadnagy Hey, Zsiga, (Zurga: Sándor! Sándor!) (Etel Radai: Hey, now, Mr. Teacher!) are you only talking big or are you really a filthy murderer?
Kónya Don’t answer him, Zsiga! (Kátai: We’re with you on this, Sándor!)
Zsigmond Rácz You think these hands have been soaking only in ivory liquid? (stabs dagger into a bench) Fucking Jewish bench, take that!
All You don’t know yet who I am,
Whose son, whose son I am,
Just one look at the butcher knife –
I’ll stab you all, I’ll cut you up with it!
Just one look look at the butcher knife –
I’ll stab your necks, I’ll cut you up with it!
Do it, do it, do it well,
Come on, let’s send them to Hell!
Just one look at the butcher knife –
I’ll stab you all, I’ll cut you up with it!
Just one look at the butcher knife –
I’ll stab and cut out your ugly heart!
In front of Würczel’s house. Night of may 20
Kónya (continued) that fuck you, (Tarcsai: Come out!)take your statement back already, (Rózsika: Give it to him!)Karcsi Würczel! (Etel Radai: Are you home, Würczel?) (Tarcsai: Come on out!) (Pityu: We brought you a present!)
Tarcsai Come out!
Zurga Are you deaf? (Árpád: He has ears.) (Zurga: Oh, we’re gonna be so fucked!) (Zsigmond Rácz: Let me through!) (Rácz starts carving the door with the dagger.) (Etel Radai: Whoa!)
Rózsika (softly) Stick your nose out the door, Old Man Karcsi! (Everyone looks at her.)
Tarcsai You’re doing better, Rózsika.
Árpád Still pretty bad, though.
Tarcsai You’re making great progress! She’s making great progress, Árpád, (Árpád: This piece of shit…)but try a little louder this time! Are you trying to break her wings?
Rózsika Stick your… (Tarcsai: I can’t hear you!)(screaming) Stick your nose out the door, Old Man Karcsi! (Árpád: Or do you want me to do the sticking?) (Rózsika attacks Zsigmond Rácz with an umbrella instead of the door.) (Kónya: Rózsika!) (Zurga: Are you deaf?) (Zsigmond Rácz: Wow, Rózsika!) (Rózsika slams her umbrella on the door, then picks it up.)
Tarcsai Come out!
Kónya Are you deaf? As we were saying, Würczel, have a stroll with us to the Party Headquarters and sign, as a Social Democrat, you motherfucker, the same paper the Smallholders and the Peasant Party have already signed. (Tarcsai: Should we go in?)What are you doing, Zsiga?
Zsigmond Rácz (still carving the door with his dagger) We’ll get in sooner or later, you motherfucker! (Tarcsai: Come out!) (Zurga: Oh, we’re gonna be so fucked!)
Würczel I’m coming out, Kónyi! Zsiga, I’m coming out. (opens door, stares at the dagger) Good evening.
Rózsika Hi, Old Man Karcsi!
Kónya Good evening, Mr. Würczel. (Zurga: Hallo, Károly!)
Árpád It’s just us. (Tarcsai: And Etel.) (Rózsika: And me, Rózsi, too.)
Zsigmond Rácz Hey, Karesz. (handshake)
Würczel What do you want me to sign? (Árpád: Anything…)
Etel Radai Don’t tell me you have no idea, you piece of shit!
Kónya Why the fuck are you swearing, Etel? Old Man Karcsi is here! And you, Karcsi Würczel, (Tarcsai: We’ll go in, Rózsika!) would you be so kind as to sign the paper that’s supposed to prove Sándor Hadnagy’s democratic feelings. (Tarcsai: Come out!) We’re inside already, Sárika, for the love of God! (Tarcsai: I know, I’m not stupid, okay?) Good! Sign it already, Karcsi Würczel!
Würczel Forgive me, Kónyi, (Kónya: Because?) but I can’t sign that paper.
Etel Radai No? (Pityu: What do you mean, no?) (Árpád: He said no!)
Kónya And why the hell can’t you, Karcsi Würczel?
Würczel I can explain. (Kónya: Yeah?Yeah?) (Zurga: Yeah, yeah! We’re all ears, Károly.) Because my conscience won’t let me. (Etel Radai: What?) (Zsigmond Rácz: don’t be such a shitty person!)
Kónya You have conscience? (Pityu: You have a soul?)
Würczel Well, Pityu, you’d be surprised. (Pityu: Then… then…)
Kónya Then, you, Würczel… (Pityu: Yeah!) If you have nothing to hide, why did you hide from the Hungarian people? (Árpád: And from us!)
Würczel Kónyi, I wasn’t hiding, I was making coffee. (Tarcsai: At night?) (Kónya: Coffee, my ass.) (Zsigmond Rácz: A shitty person.)
Etel Radai Where did you get coffee, Karcsi? (Zurga: I bet he got it black!) (booing) You can’t hide from us!
Kónya Get it, Karcsi? Your false testimony came and bit you in the ass!
Zsigmond Rácz Get him!
Kónya Come, little Social Democrat Karcsi, come!
Etel Radai Move your Social Democratic flat feet!
Tarcsai You're signing it!
Zsigmond Rácz Everyone, cary him off!
Würczel As we were approaching the Headquarters, Your Honor, (Zsigmond Rácz: I wasn’t even there!) I could hear them murmuring even from the post office. The street was so crowded, we could barely walk. (Etel Radai: Yeah, there were a few of us.) And they were simply going wild… (Kónya: I don’t know!) (Rózsika: We were chatting.) So, when they noticed me…
In front of the Smallholder Party’s Headquarters, the night of may 20.
Rózsika We brought Würczel! (Tarcsai: Good for you, Rózsika, you’re doing great!) (Kónya: We brought you, Würczel, what are you staring at?) (Pityu: You’re here!)
Tarcsai So, what should we do with him? (Árpád: Yeah, yeah!)
Etel Radai What else? Let’s beat him up.
Zurga I’m going to the market tomorrow.
Pityu Do you know why you’re here, Würczel? (Kónya: Answer the question, Karcsi!) (Etel Radai: You know, don’t you?) (Rózsika: I can’t hear you!)
Würczel Well, now that you’ve asked…
Etel Radai You’d better know! (Zurga: Oh, we’re gonna be so fucked!)
Tarcsai Defaming honest Hungarians? (Zsigmond Rácz: And us!)
Etel Radai Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?
Kónya Defaming Sándor Hadnagy!
Zurga Oh, we’re gonna be so fucked!
Würczel They surround me menacingly. Then, they attack me. They beat my head and my face with their fists, with sticks, and with rakes. They crush my jaw; they knock out my teeth. They beat me and kick me until I’m blue. I fall to the ground and one of my ribs cracks. Then, I faint.
We are back.
Zsigmond Rácz Silence, please! Silence! Everyone who’s a Hungarian must listen! (Kónya: Listen here, Hungarians!)
Etel Radai Let’s listen to Zsiga Rácz! Listen! (Kónya: The great Rácz speaks to us!) (Tarcsai: I’m listening, I’m listening!)
Zsigmond Rácz Tomorrow is a Tuesday. (Rózsika: A new Tuesday!) The weekly market.
Etel Radai That’s where we’ll be! (Kónya: Sharks!)
Zsigmond Rácz And maybe (Etel Radai: Maybe?) there will be a bit of Jew-beating.
Tarcsai We’ll be there! (Zurga: I start selling at dawn.)
Kónya All true Hungarians will be there!
Würczel Only when I reached into my mouth and pulled out five bloody teeth did I realize that they beat me not as a Social Democrat, but as a Jew.
The interparty conference
Kátai So about these regrettable… no, sad events, this is the opinion of the Smallholder’s Party…
Würczel Károly Würczel, Social Democrat Party. (Tarcsai: We know.) Please, this pogrom (Tarcsai: It wasn’t a program!) was planned in advance. (Etel Radai: Oh no, no!) (Zsigmond Rácz: Who?) The phone lines were cut, (Kónya: Karcsi Würczel!) (Pityu: You still had electricity.) (Tarcsai: Who’s climbing up there for that?) and they occupied the escape routes. (Hadnagy: It's bullshit.) (Mária: Don’t say a word, Sándor!)
Etel Radai But the phones are working, Mr. Würczel, bless your heart. (Pityu: You still have electricity.) (Kónya: You’re thirsty for more, Karcsi Würczel?)
Würczel I’m not finished yet… (Tarcsai: You will be!)
Ferenc Hámos They occupied the roads! It’s the truth! (Zsigmond Rácz: All of them?)
Kátai We’re speaking of a spontaneous uprising here.
Ferenc Hámos Were the roads occupied or not? (Pityu: What an idiot!) Were they, or weren’t they? (Kónya: They sure were!) (Tarcsai: You’re mind’s occupied with this, Hámos!) (Kónya: It sure is…)
Irén They were on the streets! (Etel Radai: We were, but we didn’t occupy them.) (Pityu: We were there, we were!) (Kónya: Everyone was!) (Rácz: I wasn’t even there.)
Mária No offense, Irén, how does that prove that it was planned? (Irén: It was planned.) Say something, Sándor!
Hadnagy Mari! Mr. Würczel, I spent the whole day…
Kátai Kátai Gergely, Smallholder’s Party. (All: We know, we know.) (Zsigmond Rácz: Where’s the order?) (Tarcsai: Go on, Old Man Gergely.) (Kónya: He’s introducing himself again.) I’d like to have the following two points entered in the records. First, the interparty conference would like to express regret over these regrettable events, (Würczel: Event?) as well as compassion, honest condolences, (Kónya: Well…) and so on, in an appropriate from, of course. (Kónya: Like that? Sure.) (Hámos: That’s the bare minimum.) Second, the interparty conference calls upon all Israelite citizens of Kunvadas, (Pityu: The Jews.) (Tarcsai: Exactly.) since they’re unable to fit into the community’s democratic life, (Hámos: What?) (Würczel: What are you talking about?) and their presence is a source of constant strife in the community… (Irén: Who’s the source of strife again?) (Etel Radai: You!) (Tarcsai: Exactly!) they are called upon to move as soon as possible – no, even better, within six hours – to another settlement, (Hadnagy: And that was number two!) (Würczel: This is disgusting!) (Tarcsai: Rózsika, I can’t hear you.) (Zsigmond Rácz: To Palestine!) because the parties will not take responsibility for them.
Etel Radai Just like that?
Kónya Finally, someone has the guts to say it!
Mária Hey, Gergely! You really want to chase them out?
Kátai Of course not! They should leave.
Mária You can’t say that! (Rózsika: Yes, he can.) (Etel Radai: He just did.)
Kátai Someone has to say it, Mária.
Würczel Kátai, this isn’t a Nazi conference you’re at! (Árpád: Who’s the Nazi?) (Kátai: How dare you!)
Etel Radai The majority shares Gergely Kátai’s opinion.
Zsigmond Rácz So those of you who can’t live with us in peace can leave!
Etel Radai The ones who were the cause of this unrest. (Kónya: They induced it!) (Tarcsai: Thank God!)
Hámos It’d be better if you stopped stirring up the masses, Kátai.
Kátai Okay. Who accepts the proposal? (Kónya: Let’s vote!) Let’s vote! (Etel Radai: Everyone.) (Kónya: Of course!) (Etel Radai: I’ll vote for yes.) (Tarcsai: What don’t you get, Pityu?) (Pityu: Nothing.) (Kónya: When should I put my hand up?)
Mária You’re not voting, Sándor!
Sándor Hadnagy Leave me alone!
Kátai And now! (They vote.) (Hands go up. The majority is in favor.)
Etel Radai There you go!
Zurga Oh, we’re gonna be so fucked…
Tarcsai So? Hámos? (Kónya: Karcsi Würczel!) (Árpád: We’re done here.)
Ferenc Hámos You can’t approve of this!
Würczel I can’t believe it! (Tarcsai: Try harder, Würczel!) (Kónya: Karcsi Würczel!)
Kátai I have concluded that the unambiguous majority is in favor of it. Does anyone call for counter-verification? (Árpád: What counter-verification?) (Hámos: No, no more votes.) (Kónya: What’s that?) (Zsigmond Rácz: There won’t be one.) (Mária stands up.)
Ferenc Hámos The Communist Party rejects this vote!
Würczel So does the Social Democratic Party!
Kátai That’s democracy, Hámos. (Zsigmond Rácz: Go home, Jews!)
Ferenc Hámos I’ll file a complaint! (Kónya: File all you like, Hámos!) (Tarcsai: Oh no, I’m so scared!)
Kátai Oh yeah? Finally, the third point…
Würczel Excuse me, Mr. Kátai, there were only two points.
Zsigmond Rácz Don’t fuck with points, Würczel, they’ll only breed more. (Tarcsai: He’d fuck a point, too, if he could!)
Kátai And finally, the third point: the interparty conference calls upon the Communist Party’s secretary Ferenc Hámos and his wife (Etel Radai: As Jews, too!) to leave the village immediately. (Tarcsai: That’s the spirit!)
Würczel Kátai, you can’t just do that. (Tarcsai: Rózsika, do you think you’re active enough now?)
Mária Why point out the Hámoses specifically, Gergely?
Sándor Hadnagy The Hámoses should go away! (All: Yes!) (Tarcsai: Why?) (Kónya: Just go.) (Rózsika: The door’s wide open.) (Hámos: Why don’t you go, you fascist agitator?) This is exactly what I was afraid of, and I was home all day long!
Würczel By then, the seeds of hatred had already been sown. (Hadnagy: Seeds of hatred…)
Kónya Did they grow up big and strong?
Würczel Yes, Kónyi, and they’ve been reaped, too. (Kónya: Oh no! No!)
Ferenc Hámos (rises) Let’s just say that Mr. Hadnagy stayed home all day (Etel Radai: Cock-a-doodle-doo!) (Irén: While blood stains the streets?) just to avoid the reasonable suspicion (Etel Radai: Hey, now!) (Irén: Coward!) of being the intelligence behind agitating the pogrom! (Tarcsai: I’ll kill him!)
Sándor Hadnagy Who’s agitating who now? (Hámos: You, of course!) (Mária: Sit down, Sándor!) You Lenin’s boy! (Kónya: Yeah, him!) (Hámos shoves Hadnagy.)
Ferenc Hámos You, you Hitlerjugend! (Hadnagy shoves back.) (Irén: Leave him alone, you fascist!)
Sándor Hadnagy You Internationale choir boy! (They shoo Kátai away.) (Mária: Sándor, leave the choir boy alone!) (Etel Radai: The Jews shoved Old Man Gergő!) You’re shoving Old Man Gergő now? (Kátai: The Jew shoved me.)
Ferenc Hámos You SS fucker! (Árpád: You can leave the SS alone, thank you very much!) (Irén: Fascist!) Baldy! (Würczel: Feri, we really don’t need this now.) (Kónya: This goes on all day, all night…)
Sándor Hadnagy Who’s the baldy? (Hadnagy grabs Hámos.) Who’s the baldy, huh? (Hámos is on the ground. Hadnagy falls on him.)
Ferenc Hámos You! You! Help!
Irén Sándor Hadnagy is killing Jews once again! (Zsigmond Rácz: Give it to him, Mr. Hadnagy!) (Kátai: The Jews are shoving me!)
Mária Sándor, Sándor, don’t get into politics! (Würczel: Sándor, this isn’t you!) (Kónya: We’ll knock out the rest of your teeth, Karcsi Würczel!) (Irén: Pogrom, pogrom!) (Würczel, Zurga, Mária, and Irén separate them.) (Zurga: Oh, we’re gonna be so fucked…) (Irén bends down to Hámos.) (Irén: I’m here, Feri!) (Hámos: Help! Help!)
Mária Get the hell out of here, Irén!