Pál Závada a market day

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

Zsigmond Rácz

József Kónya

Etel Radai

Sára Tarcsai

Frigyes Zurga

Árpád, train station master



Mrs. Erna Vogel

Mr. Gyula Vogel

mayor (Tibor)




Mrs. Józan

Mrs. Sirató



József Rosenstein

Mrs. Gold

Mr. Gold

Mrs. Neuberger

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.


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

Gergely: Gergő

Gusztáv [Gustave]: Guszti

Gyula: Gyuszi

Irén [Irene]: Irénke

István [Stephen]: Pityu

József [Joseph]: Józsi

Károly [Charles]: Karcsi / Karesz

Kónya: Kónyi

Mária [Maria]: Mari / Marika / Mariska

Nándor [from Ferdinand]: Nándi

Rózsi [Rosie]: Rózsika

Sándor [Alexander]: Sanyi

Sára [Sarah]: Sári / Sárika

Zoltán: Zolika

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.

Irén               Erna!

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!


The trial


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!


Only him.

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!


Only him.

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!