"THE BABY"

                                                                 by

                                                ALEXANDER KIMEL






















                                                                                                             1500 Palisade Avenue
                                                                                                             Fort Lee, NJ 07024

                                                                                                             Tel 201-461-0777

                                                                                                             alex@kimel.net


                                                            THE BABY
ZY-DJ-FN-JP

                                                                    ACT



                                                            SYNOPSIS

                                                            Rachel, a barren woman, suddenly discovers that she
                                                            is pregnant. In the Ghetto a baby is a kiss of death.
                                                            Rachel, categorically refuses to have an abortion,
                                                            declaring: "I would  rather die with the baby than
                                                            live without it." She carries the pregnancy hidden in
                                                            an underground bunker.

                                                            The spread of typhoid in the Ghetto complicates her
                                                            pregnancy and causes the death of her sister in law.
                                                            Despite the danger and the hardships Rachel gives
                                                            birth to a baby girl, in a bunker. The baby is given
                                                            away to an Ukrainian Madam, who saves the girl
                                                            claiming that she is a German bastard. Thanks to the
                                                            baby the parents survive and are reunited with their
                                                            daughter after the liberation.



                                                            CAST OF   CHARACTERS

                                                            Meir

                                                            About 36 years old, intelligent, hard working, and
                                                            risk taker.  A born leader.

                                                            Rachel

                                                            Sweet, devoted wife and mother, sure of herself.
                                                            About 30 years old.

                                                            Rachel

                                                            About 25 years old, attractive girl devoted to her family.

                                                            Fryda

                                                            A young widow, about 40 years old.

                                                            George

                                                            A young man, about 20 years old, Very dependent
                                                            and honest.

                                                            Henry

                                                            A prosperous businessman about 50 years old.


                                                                                                                                                I-2.


                                                            Helene

                                                            About 35` years old, very sure of herself.

                                                            Dr. Hudish

                                                            An elderly doctor, about 55 years old.  Approachable
                                                            and honest.

                                                            Gittel

                                                            About 55 years old midwife, engulfed in her profession.

                                                            Ksenia

                                                            A simple but warm hearted woman about 60 years old.



                                                             SCENE 1 INTRODUCTION

                                                            NARRATOR
The action takes place in a small shtetl, in Eastern Poland.  The  town was taken over by
the Russians in 1939, and consequently they were dislodged by the Germans in 1941.  The
same year,the Germans created the Ghetto, imposing a whole set of restrictions on the
Jewish population. A Jew could not leave the ghetto, has to carry at all times a white
armband with the Star of David.  All supplies of food, fuel and other necessities of life, to
the ghetto, where restricted.


The Jews were required to turn in all the radios, furs, jewelry, etc. Soon the Germans
started a series of killings, called "actions".  The killings, and constant humiliation coupled
with hunger, demoralized the Jewish population and destroyed the fabric of the society.


In April of 1943, Warsaw Ghetto Uprising gave the Jews an impetus to look for ways for
saving  themselves.



                                    SETTING:

                                                            The  kitchen of the Lehrer's  residence.  On the right
                                                            to the front window stands a wood burning stove.
                                                            Opposite the kitchen stands a table with three chairs.
                                                            On the left side, there is a door leading toward the
                                                            bedroom.  Adjacent to the kitchen stands a cupboard.

                                    TIME:

                                                            March 1943.


                                                                                                                                                I-3.


                                    AT RISE:

                                                            Rachel stands at the stove trying to kindle the fire.
                                                            The wood is damp and it doesn't burn, it just smokes.
                                                            The door opens and Meir walks in. With his shirt
                                                            tucked over his protruding stomach, he looks very
                                                            heavy.

                                                            MEIR
Good Afternoon Rachel. What are you doing?

                                                            Rachel turns around, watches Meir's protruding belly.

                                                            RACHEL
Meir, what happened to your stomach? It looks funny. Were you beaten?

                                                            MEIR
No, Rachel. I am just like a camel carrying food for the family. Look.

                                                            Meir pulls up his shirt, unties the knot holding up an
                                                            improvised sack, full of wheat.

                                                            MEIR
This is a supply of food, good for a month. It is wheat. Wholesome wheat.

                                                            RACHEL
Meir, where did you get the wheat?

                                                            MEIR
I bartered it for  pair of pants.

                                                            PAUSE
When I went to work this morning, I put on two pairs of pants.  One pair I exchanged for
wheat.

                                                            RACHEL
Meir, you are so  reckless. The Germans could have killed you for smuggling.

                                                            MEIR
They could have, but our choices are very limited. Either you smuggle or die from
starvation.  As a matter of fact they almost caught me.  When I was passing the gates of
the Ghetto, one German looked at me and said to the other German: "Look at this fat
Jewish devil.  Where does he get his food to be that fat?"

                                                            RACHEL
Meir. I am so worried when you work outside the Ghetto.

                                                            MEIR
There is nothing to fear.  A hundred Jew work daily  outside the ghetto and most of
smuggle food. Only  one was killed. There is nothing to fear.
                           (Pause)
I will take the wheat to Bloch's mill and convert it to grit. Delicious grit.


                                                                                                                                                I-4.


                                                            RACHEL
Bloch's mill. What are you talking about?

                                                            MEIR
Didn't you hear that Bloch found an ancient millstone and open an illegal mill. Supposedly
he does good business.

                                                            RACHEL
I heard that he is skinning poor people alive. He charges 20% in addition to the tremendous
spillage losses of the grit. It is good wheat, I think that I can manage myself.

                                                            Lea takes the sack  of wheat from Meir, pulls a pot
                                                            from the shelf and pours in some wheat, after tasting
                                                            it.

                                                            MEIR
I am going out to find some wood for the stove.

                                                            Meir exits. Lea approaches the cupboard and takes
                                                            out a mortar with a thistle and starts grinding the
                                                            wheat.  After a while she stops the grinding saying
                                                            to herself:

                                                            RACHEL
It is going very slow. Maybe I should try the coffee mill.

                                                            She approaches the cupboard and takes out a coffee
                                                            mill.

                                                            RACHEL
                           (talking to herself)
It is hard work, but I am preparing a delicious dinner for our family. Meir will appreciate
this dinner.

                                                            The door opens and Fryda and Helen walk in.

                                                            FRYDA
Good Morning Rachel.  It is such a gorgeous day.  What are you doing?

                                                            RACHEL
I am preparing supper for the family.

                                                            HELENE
Supper for the family?  On a coffee mill? It is so strange.

                                                            RACHEL.
I am preparing a really delicious meal.  I am grinding the wheat into kasha.  You take the
grit, pour a little hot water, add a drop of oil and a delicious meal is  ready.

                                                            FRYDA
It must  be  dull and frustrating work.  Where do you take the strength to do all this work?


                                                                                                                                                I-5.


                                                            RACHEL.
Necessity is the mother of all inventions  but also of strength.  We  have to eat, and I must
find the necessary strength.

                                                            FRYDA
But how did you get the wheat?

                                                            RACHEL.
Meir got it.

                                                            PAUSE.
                           (turning to do ladies)
Ladies, would you like to taste my superb cooking?

                                                            FRYDA
Yes.  I would.  I never refuse food offers.  They are so rare.

                                                            RACHEL.
Okay.  I will prepare the dish.  Please sit down at the table.

                                                            They sit down at the table.  Rachel takes a few
                                                            spoonfuls or kasha, pours hot water and adds  a few
                                                            drops of oil.  She serves the dishes.

                                                            HELENE.
                           (After tasting the kasha)
Hm.  It tastes delicious.  Rachel you'll are a real "balabuste" , an excellent homemaker.

                                                            RACHEL.
                           (After they finish eating)
Would you like a glass of tea?

                                                            FRYDA.
With pleasure?  But Rachel, where did you get the tea.  There is no tea in the ghetto.

                                                            RACHEL.
It is not the real tea.  I burn a spoonful of sugar.  Burned sugar dissolves in hot water you
gives it a tea coloring.  It looks like tea.

                                                            HELENE.
Rachel.  This is fantastic. We surely can learn quite a lot from you.

                                                            FRYDA.
That is right.

                                                            HELENE.
I must confess that for a long time  I could  not stand you, Rachel.  I was going out with
your Meir, long before you came into the picture.  We were on the brink of being engaged.
You spoiled this.  Because of you I have a loveless marriage.

                                                            FRYDA.
                           (Looking at Helene with amazement)
Helene, don't blame Rachel. Your engagement fell apart because of the dowry. Blame your
father.  He refused to deliver the promised dowry.


                                                                                                                                                I-6.


                                                            HELEN.
That is not what I told. Meir refused the dowry.

                                                            FRYDA
Refused the dowry? That is not true.  I know very well the details.  Your father, either did
not have the money, or could not part with it. That is the truth.

                                                            (PAUSE)
At that time.  Meir was an inexperienced young man, running a miniature store, with two
sisters, and a mother to support.  I suspect that your father did not trust him with a
substantial dowry.

                                                            HELENE.
This is not what my father told me.  I was heartbroken then, and later consented to my
marriage to Henry, and here we are.

                                                            PAUSE.
Further,  Meir was always a successful young merchant.

                                                            FRYDA.
No Helene.  His success came later. I know the details because Norma, Meir's sister, was
my best friend.  Meir's supposedly said to her: "Interesting, Helen's father trust me with
his daughter but not with his money."

                                                            RACHEL.
I am sorry Helene, that I caused such an upheaval in your life. But I had no part in it.

                                                            HELEN.
I have to admit that for years, I looked down upon you, a barren woman.  Look, I said to
myself Meir got himself a nice princess.  A woman that doesn't want or can't have children.
Good for him.

                                                            PAUSE
An now Rachel, I envy you most is the fact that you don't have children.  You don't have
to worry. You don't know, what a pain it is to lose an only child.  It is indeed a piercing
pain felt every minute of my wretched life.  You are lucky.  So lucky indeed.

                                                            RACHEL
I do not know about that.  You know Helene that for a long long time, I was dreaming
about having a baby.  Unfortunately, after my abortion, I just could not have children.
How I envied them mothers walking with children or pushing carriages.

                                                            HELENE.
Rachel, you had an abortion?  I never knew about it.  How come?  What was the reason
for the the abortion?

                                                            RACHEL.
When I was pregnant, I got the measles. Because of the health of the baby, the doctor
recommended an abortion.  This sealed my fate.  Afterwards I could not get pregnant again.

                                                            HELEN.
I am sorry to hear this, Rachel.  I always believed that you didn't want to have children.
You wanted to be free.


                                                                                                                                                I-7.


                                                            RACHEL.
In life you never know.  Let's not argue about old stories.  They are like water under the
bridge.  But talking to about children, how is your husband doing?

                                                            HELEN.
Not so good.  After Walter's death he became very depressed.   He is angry at the whole
world: God, people, Gentiles, Jews, neighbors, everybody.  You can't talk to him without
causing a stream of violent anger.
                           (Pause)
 He is angry, and depressed. His moods alternate aimlessly.

                                                            FRYDA
He must be angry at himself.  From the stories that I heard he must be feeling guilty.  Very
guilty.

                                                            HELEN.
Nonsense.  What stories did you hear?

                                                            FRYDA.
I don't want to upset you.  Forget it.

                                                            HELENE.
I insist that you tell me.  Don't you think that knowing that will help me to face the reality
of my married life?

                                                            FRYDA.
I don't know if I should tell you?  I don't know if the stories are true.  People have a
tendency to talk.  Talk is cheap, but it might hurt deeply.

                                                            HELEN.
I must know the truth.  Please, tell me.

                                                            FRYDA
I heard that when the killing started, Henry ran with Walter and the boy got lost.  Henry
was so scared that he did not respond to the boys cries for help. Henry left the boy behind
and hid  in a storage shed.

                                                            PAUSE
Sorry Helene.  Remember the story is not proven.

                                                            HELEN.
It is not proven, but it explains Henry's actions. Anger at everyone.  Maybe he is trying to
justify his deeds?

                                                            RACHEL.
Helen, please don't judge them harshly.  My father used to quote Rabbi Hillel saying
"Don't judge your fellow men until you find yourself in his shoes".  Please, don't judge him.

                                                              HELEN
Do I judge him? We live in crazy times.  It is hard to be normal in  abnormal times.

                                                            RACHEL.
Helene, your husband needs understanding and support.  The man goes through stressful
times.  He is full of pain.  You have to support to him and understand him.


                                                                                                                                                I-8.


                                                            HELEN.
Rachel.  Unfortunately, I am not a saint like yourself.  I have problems taking it. I always
ask myself, why did it happen to me? Why me?

                                                            FRYDA
Helen, you are not alone in this position. I lost my husband and a child. There is not a
family in the Ghetto that is not in mourning. Count your blessings.

                                                            HELEN
Count your blessings?  Pain, acute pain is not a blessing.

                                                            FRYDA
You could also be alone, and a lonely pain is a tremendous burden.

                                                            HELEN
You are right Fryda.  I never looked at this from your point of view.
                           (pause)
I will have to go soon. Let's discuss the cooking arrangements, before I leave.

                                                            RACHEL.
As you know, the Germans cut off the food supplies, but also cut off to wood  supplies
necessary for cooking.  They're trying to starve us to death.  Even when we have the food
to cook, we are missing wood for the stoves.

                                                            HELEN
You are right.  Yesterday, Henry brought an old wooden wardrobe, took it apart and we
used for cooking.  The wood didn't burn well and smelt horribly.

                                                             FRYDA.
So let's combine our resources, and cook on  one stove.  It could be done, if we limit or
cooking to two pots per family.

                                                            RACHEL
You know friends, something bothers me. All the kitchens in the alley are located at the
entrance doors, and are visible from the street. There are many starving families in the
alley and the sight of 6 pots with cooking meals could be very disturbing and shall I say
...cruel.

                                                             HELEN
We will have to cook behind closed doors. This is not a problem. But how are we
coordinate the time?

                                                            RACHEL.
We start every day at noon time.  Two pots per family.

                                                            HELEN
Agreed.  Tomorrow at noon time at my house.

                                                            Helen exits and Fryda is also preparing to leave.

                                                            RACHEL.
Could you wait while I prepare a bowl of kasha for the orphan.


                                                                                                                                                I-9.


                                                            FRYDA
Which all orphan are you talking about.  There are many orphans in the ghetto.

                                                            RACHEL.
It is Shlomo, the son of Mottle the Taylor. He is homeless, laid up with typhoid, and
laying on the bare ground, in the alley.  Imagine a kid with high fever laying on the ground.
I feel so sorry for him.
                           (pause)
In the Ghetto everybody is wrapped up in his own pain, his own fears and his own problems.
There is nom place for compassion for the less fortunate.

                                                            FRYDA
You are so right. I feel guilty of this. Of course I will take the grit.  You are so kind Rachel.
I guess that without your help, that poor kid  would have died a long time ago.

                                                            RACHEL.
God helps people that help others.  I strongly believe in that. I learned that from my father.

                                                            Rachel gets up.  Takes of wooden bowl, pours kasha
                                                            and pours hot-water on top of it. She gives the bowl
                                                            to Fryda. Helene exits, while Fryda lingers on and
                                                            turns to Rachel.

                                                            FRYDA
Rachel, what is the matter, with you? I sense some tension. Did you have a fight with Meir?

                                                            Looks on her with puzzlement.  Thinks for a while,
                                                            and speaks softly.

                                                            RACHEL.
No Fryda.  I did not have a fight with Meir.  We seldom fight, but.... don't tell it to
anybody... I afraid that I am  pregnant.

                                                            FRYDA.
Pregnant?  Oh my God!  This is impossible.  You can't be pregnant.  This might be a disaster.

                                                            RACHEL.
It could  be a disaster.  After 10 years of trying to have a baby.  In vain,  yes in vain.
Pregnancy now, is a kiss of death.  Yes, I know it, but I am pregnant and I can't help it.

                                                            FRYDA
Rachel.  How have you determined that you are pregnant?

                                                            RACHEL.
I missed periods for three months in a row.  In addition, I feel changes in my body.  I am
pretty sure of this.

                                                            PAUSE
Worst of all, there is no doctor in the ghetto. All were killed by the Germans or were taken
to the forest by the Partisans. I really do not know what to do.  Whom to talk to?  Where
can I get help?

                                                            FRYDA.
Wait a minute.  I think that I have good news for you.


                                                                                                                                              I-10.


                                                            PAUSE
I heard that there is a new doctor in town, Dr. Hudish. As the story goes, he jumped the
death train from Kolomyja, when the train was passing through our town.  He settled in
the ghetto and started his practice. I can find out where he lives.

                                                            RACHEL.
Please, do so.

                                                            FRYDA.
But shouldn't you tell Meir about that?

                                                            RACHEL
I am not going to tell him now.

                                                            FRYDA
Why not? He should know about it. Shouldn't he?

                                                            RACHEL
In due time he will know. Now, he will pressure me for an abortion. I will tell him later
when it will be to late for an abortion.

                                                            FRYDA
Ain't you taking big responsibilities? It is not fair for Meir.

                                                            RACHEL
For years I was trying to get pregnant. No results. I was a barren woman longing to fulfill
my purpose of life, to have a baby.
                           (pause)
Every time I saw a woman with small children or a young woman pushing a baby carriage,
I felt humiliated, rejected, worthless. Day and night I was dreaming about a baby.  Each
time my period approached I was dying a thousands deaths. Fryda, you cannot understand
my sufferings.

                                                            FRYDA
How do you feel now?

                                                            RACHEL
I am scared but elated, fearful but determined. Yes, I am determined to take my chances
and keep going to the end.
                           (pause)
Bedsides, Meir is all wrapped up with his deals and scheming  business.

                                                            FRYDA.
What kind of business?

                                                            RACHEL.
He is trying to organize a resistance group.  He wants to escape to the forest, and so forth.

                                                            FRYDA
I did not know this .  I will find out Dr. Hudish's address. I will be back.

                                                            Fryda exists, and Rachel returns to her grinding job.

                                                            END OF SCENE


                                                                                                                                              I-11.


                                                            //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

                                                            SCENE 2 - ORGANIZING RESISTANCE

                                    SETTING:

                                                            Same setting of the Rachel's kitchen. The number of
                                                            table chairs increased to five.

                                    TIME:

                                                            A few days later.

                                    AT RISE:

                                                            Rachel's Kitchen. David and Eva sit at the table
                                                            when Meir walks in.

                                                            MEIR.
Good evening. Where is Rachel?

                                                            EVA
She went out with Fryda.  She will be back soon.

                                                            PAUSE
What's the matter Meir?  You look very tense.

                                                            MEIR
I had a hard day.  You know it is spring time.  I was watching how nature awaken from
the winter slumber,  bursting with life.  The grass is pushing through the snow, trees are
blooming.  Only we Jews are preparing for death.  This is so tragic.
                           (Pause)
I feel like 4000 years of Jewish history is coming to an end and we are fiddling helplessly.
We are like marionettes dancing to the German tunes.

                                                            EVA
Whatever else can we do? Meir meet my friend David.  I told him about you organizing a
resistance group and he is very interested to join.

                                                            DAVID
My name is David Stein and I am very glad to meet you, especially that you are the brother
of Rachel.

                                                            MEIR
David Stein.  Are you the famous Jewish Fascist?

                                                            DAVID
Yes, I am the Jewish Italian fascist.

                                                            EVA
I never heard about it.  Please tell me.

                                                            DAVID
It is a long story. Do you have time for it?


                                                                                                                                              I-12.


                                                            MEIR
Yes, please tell us. I never heard the details.

                                                            DAVID
I wanted to study medicine and as a Jew I could not do it in Poland, so I vent to Italy.  I
studied medicine in the University of Bolognia. In Italy, at that time, if you belonged to
the Fascist party you paid less tuition and received 50% discounts on train tickets.  Having
nothing to loose I joined the party and received  a Fascist Party Member Card.

                                                            MEIR
The Italians accepted Jews into the Fascist Party?

                                                            DAVID
The Italians are easy going people, not like the Germans.
                           (Pause)
During the March action, when 40% of the Jews were killed, I was caught together with
my parents.  I showed the German officer my Fascist Card and he let me go. Unfortunately
he did not let my parents go.  They perished.

                                                            EVA
Very interesting story.  Do you still have the card?

                                                            DAVID
No. The card expired and I sent it to the Italian embassy in Warsaw for validation and
never got it back.  I am not a Fascist  right now.
                           (pause)
Meir, returning to your statement what do you suggest we do?

                                                            MEIR.
All our energies are expended on finding food.  We are forgetting that the Germans are
preparing the liquidation of the ghetto, and we do nothing to save ourselves. We have to
do something. We have to  save ourselves.

                                                            At this moment a group of men enter the scene. Meir
                                                            is very excited and greets them all.

                                                            MEIR
Welcome neighbors, welcome. I am glad with this turnover. Very happy indeed.

                                                            Suddenly the door opens and Arnold runs in. He is
                                                            very excited.

                                                            ARNOLD.
Did you hear the latest news? It's is fantastic!

                                                            MEIR.
What is the news?  The war ended?  Germany surrendered?

                                                            ARNOLD.
No.  The news is not that good.  The Jews rose up and fighting the Germans in the Warsaw
ghetto.  I heard it on the German radio.  The Jewish fighters are controlling the ghetto.
Isn't this fantastic news?
                                                            (more)


                                                                                                                                              I-13.


                                                            ARNOLD. (CONTINUED)
                           (pause)
The spell is broken. The Germans are not 10 feet tall, but people of flesh and blood, like
we. They could be killed. This is a big event, and event of historical proportions.

                                                            DAVID
Meir.  Here, is an answer to your problems.  I think that we should follow their  example
and prepare  to fight the Germans here, in the ghetto. Let's put this Shtetl on the historical
map.  We won't survive but we will be remembered by the future generations.

                                                            MEIR
David, I think you are dreaming.  They are about 2000 Jews left in the ghetto, and about
200 men in the arms bearing age. We have no organization, no support, and no weapons.
Are we going to fight the Germans with broomsticks?  We will be overwhelmed and
wiped out in a few minutes.  Is this what we want?

                                                            DAVID.
I believe that in a surprise attack, one fighter with  a rifle can kill five Germans, the
Germans will run away, and all their plans will be disrupted. It could be done.

                                                            MEIR.
It is not that the easy to surprise the Germans.  You have to be a seasoned and experienced
fighter to do it. You need weapons and lots of ammunition.

                                                            EVA
David.  You once had the opportunity to kill a SS-man,  and you did not do it.  Remember.

                                                            ARNOLD.
David tells us the story.  Please,   tell your story.

                                                            DAVID.
It happened about two months ago. As you know Radzynski, the Volksdeutcher, initiated
a new procedure.  The Germans rope off, one block at the time, and cart away all the
belongings of the Jews.  They claim that they cannot wait for the belongings to be soiled
with blood when the Jews will be killed.
                           (pause)
I had a revolver hidden in the kitchen stove, and when the German blocked off the adjacent
block, I jumped out trough the window, with the gun in my pocket. I jumped out and . ...
landed in front of the  SS man, conducting the operation.
                           (pause)
In his magnificent black uniform, with his hat with blazing insignia the SS man looked
like an Angel of Death.

                                                            PAUSE
Looking at him I said to myself, I never used a gun, but I can surprise him and kill him.
But, in  danger one thinks very fast, and I thought - I will surprise the German and kill him
and the next day the Germans will kill 2000 Jews.

                                                            PAUSE
OK I thought -  The Jews will be killed anyhow. What is the difference?


                                                                                                                                              I-14.


                                                            PAUSE.
But,  then I thought life in the ghetto is very precious.  A day in the ghetto is like a month
in normal times.  A month in the ghetto is like lifetime.  I'd will be shortening the life of
2000 jews.  They will go to their graves cursing my name. Do I want this? No. I did not
shoot. I told him that I am working for a German company and I have to go back to work.
I turned around and left.

                                                            PAUSE
Meir.  You might be right. Fighting is not that easy, so what is the solution?

                                                            ARNOLD
Fighting is not easy but it can save lives.

                                                            MEIR
How do you see it? Explain it to us.

                                                            ARNOLD
Fighting is not easy, but it can cross the German's plan and motivate people to run away to
hide in the forest.

                                                            MEIR
Why couldn't they do it now, before the actions?

                                                            ARNOLD
You know it Meir, that it is very difficult to give up the "comfort" of the Ghetto, to face
the constant dangers on the outside. Under fire you run for your life. Those are facts of life.

                                                            MEIR
Maybe if we have a supply of weapons this could be a solution. Without weapons it is a
waste of time. It is like daydreaming. But where could we get weapons?

                                                            HENRY
We have to buy them.

                                                            MEIR
From whom?

                                                            HENRY
This is the question.

                                                            EVA
To change the subject. Did you hear about Sevastopol?

                                                            MEIR.
The one in Crimea?

                                                            RACHEL.
No.  That one in the ghetto.

                                                            PAUSE
I heard today that a group of Jews are building an extensive underground bunker for about
eighty people.  They call it Sevastopol. They tapped into electrical cables and will have
electricity.  They also have sewer connections, and provided with food to last about one year.


                                                                                                                                              I-15.


                                                            ARNOLD.
It sounds interesting.  How long are they working on it?

                                                            EVA
For about one year.  The work goes on, day and night.

                                                            ARNOLD
Could we start such a project? It could be located under the alley

                                                            MEIR
I doubt it.  It is not feasible.

                                                            EVA
Why is it not  feasible?

                                                            MEIR
First of all, we don't have enough time.  Secondly, where we will take water?

                                                            EVA
We can store it in barrels.

                                                            MEIR.
Do you know, the quantities a water that we need?  For about 20 people, using half a liter
of water per day, for consumption only.  We will need about 1500 gallons of water to store.
Enormous quantities of water. In addition you need water for cooking, disposal of refuse,
etc. I don't think that this is feasible.

                                                            EVA
Why can you build a temporary bunker supplied with the necessities of life for only one-
month? After one months we could run. We could run to hide in the forest.

                                                            HENRY.
How is it going to help us?  Do you expect to war to finish in one month?

                                                            EVA
No.  I don't expect a war to finish in one month.  I believe that the coming action will last,
at most one week.  Later, the Germans will withdraw.

                                                            PAUSE.
After they are gone, it will be easy to escape.

                                                            MEIR.
Maybe it is a good idea.  But it is to late for this. We don't have the time, and we don't
have the space to hide the dugout dirt. The Germans will discover us in no time. Such
digging requires months of preparations. We don't have the time.

                                                            PAUSE
It cannot be done. Period. We should built a bunker in the forest and not in the ghetto.

                                                            HENRY.
I believe that the best way to survive is to find a peasant willing to hide us.  I am always
on the lookout for good peasant, willing to take the chances.


                                                                                                                                              I-16.


                                                            MEIR
Maybe this is a solution for you.  You have the money.  Nevertheless, finding a  reliable
peasant is not so easy.  How do you know, that he will not kill you and take the  money?
You are so helpless. You are at his mercy.  Nevertheless, I wish you good luck.

                                                            DAVID.
I am trying to convince Rachel to escape the ghetto and hide on Aryan papers. I know, a
priest, who is willing to supply us with Christian birth certificates. Unfortunately, she is
afraid.

                                                            ARNOLD
I believe that a Christian birth certificate is not enough.  Nowadays, you had to have a
Kennkarte issued by the Gestapo. A Kennkarte is a personal identification certificate with
a picture.  Without it you are dead. It is impossible to get it.

                                                            MEIR.
It could be a solution for David and Rachel if they have the  guts.  Maybe.  For for the
majority of people all those "maybe" ideas are of no use. I have a concrete plan.  I know a
Jewish horse trader, who has many friends in the surrounding villages.  He spent his life
in those villages.

                                                            PAUSE
He told me that the son of his friend, Anton, works as a forest ranger.  He collected a big
arsenal of weapons abandoned by the Poles and Russians.  He is willing to sell us those
weapons, at the right price, of course.  He will help us build bunkers, so supply us  with
food.  But we need money.

                                                            DAVID.
How much money?

                                                            MEIR.
About $300.

                                                            DAVID.
Three  hundred dollars?  This is a fortune, a great fortune.  Where are we going to take the
money?

                                                            MEIR
We don't need all the money at once. For the first stage $100 will do.  I believe that we
have to start  organizing a group of young people.  Each member or the group will have to
contribute a certain amount of money.

                                                            PAUSE
Later we will approach a few people with means, promising them acceptance to the group,
subject to the contribution of funds. We will get the money. Where there is a will there is
a way.

                                                            HENRY
I am trying to find a peasant willing to hide us.

                                                            DAVID
You don't have to join us. Also you can joins us and if you find a peasant you can leave.
There are no strings attached. You might also loose the opportunities to be saved in the
forest by waiting for the right peasant.  Think about it.


                                                                                                                                              I-17.


                                                            DAVID.
I propose that Meir be selected as a leader. It is his plan, his connections, and besides, he
is one of the few Jews who served in the Army and has military training.

                                                            HENRY.
Meir, I believe the your ideas are ridiculous.  Look, the whole civilized world is fighting
the Germans and have difficulties.  Here comes Meir, with his 10 fighters.

                                                            PAUSE
Meir you don't have a chance!  You will be killed in no time.  You are wasting your time
and worst of all losing opportunities.

                                                            ARNOLD
What opportunities are you losing? Do you have any better plans? Please tell us.

                                                            MEIR
                           (Heatedly)
Henry is right. We might be killed in the forest. In the ghetto we will be killed for sure.
                           (pause)
Maybe we will die fighting.  But we will create symbols of resistance for future generations.
Those symbols will be needed for the renewal of Jewish life after the catastrophe.

                                                            HENRY.
Symbols of resistance.  This is sheer nonsense.  Asking people to die to create symbols of
resistance. This is a symbol of nonsense. It is for the birds.

                                                            MEIR
Not exactly.  It is connected with Jewish history.  In Antiquity, the Jews were ferocious
fighters. Little Judea was a big headache for the Roman Empire. It shook the foundations
of the Empire. In Partan wars the Jews were the best mercenary soldiers.  Imagine, Jews
as mercenary soldiers. They had this unbelievable fighting spirit.

                                                            HENRY
What happened to this Jewish fighting spirit?

                                                            MEIR
After the Romans destroyed Judea, they dispersed the Jewish people and started the
diaspora.  In the diaspora, the Jews could not fight.  So, they used symbolism and passive
resistance to survive.

                                                            HENRY.
How does this relate to our present situation?

                                                            MEIR.
It relates, because the Jews gave up militancy and became masters of survival.  Through
submission to persecutions they became very strong people. A mighty oak tree breaks
during a hurricane while the flexible reef bends only down.

                                                            HENRY
So what happened now?  How come this strength disappeared now?

                                                            MEIR.
With Hitler's methods of total destruction this submission to persecution does not work.
It is time to change.  It is time to fight back.


                                                                                                                                              I-18.


                                                            HENRY.
Do you think that you fighting back will work?  Tell me how?

                                                            MEIR.
It is a drastic change of symbolism.  It is a wake-up call for us and for the future Jewish
generations.  A call for the abandoning of the passivity, sticking to old notions and old
symbols and return to active fight for survival, as practiced by other people.

                                                            HENRY
Meir, it is too late to change horses midstream. If you tell me that you are going to organize
a survival group, I will understand.  But organizing a resistance group, doesn't make any
sense. The Russians lost  a million of people in one failed offensive.  The proud England
s taking daily punishment from the German Air Force, and can't help it.  Here comes Meir
to the rescue, without weapons, people and an organization.  Excuse me, this is sheer
nonsense.

                                                            MEIR
Despite Henry's objections, I am going to organize a group, the resistance group. We might
it call a Survival group. It is only a matter of name.  Whoever wants can join me.  It is a
free choice.

                                                            ARNOLD.
It sounds good.  I lost all my family during this passive symbolic stage. I will gladly die
fighting.

                                                            MEIR
Let everybody who wants to join raise his hand.
                           (Everybody except Henry raise their hands.
                           (pause)
It looks like that the majority is joining. Congratulations.  The resistance group is born.
                           (Turning to David)
David bring out the bottle and a few glasses.  We have to drink L'Haim.  To life!  To life!

                                                            HENRY
Everybody is joining.  I think that I will join too. And as an wealthy individual I pledge to
contribute 100 dollars to the cause.

                                                            DAVID.
Lets drink to Henry. He deserves a toast.

                                                            END OF SCENE

                                                            -----------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                            SCENE 3 -  PREGNANCY

                                    SETTING:

                                                            The kitchen of the Lehrer residence.

                                    TIME:

                                                            Three weeks later.


                                                                                                                                              I-19.


                                    AT RISE:

                                                            Rachel is washing dishes.  Meir enters.

                                                            MEIR.
Good morning Rachel.  It is early morning and you are already at work.  Rachel, what are
you doing?

                                                            RACHEL.
I am trying to figure out the menu for dinner.  Do you think that it is easy to cook when
there is nothing to cook with?

                                                            MEIR
I believe that you will find a way out.  You are such a fantastic homemaker. By the way
our group passed the first hurdles.  I hope that we will  succeed.  We got already  some
money pledged and established contact with Anton, the Ranger.   Things are looking up.
We should survive and God's willing we will survive.

                                                            RACHEL.
Meir, you are very much optimistic. Survival is along shot away. Meir, I am afraid to tell
you the other news.  You will be shocked.

                                                            MEIR.
                            (Worried and taken aback)
Are you all right Rachel?  Are you sick?  What is it?

                                                            RACHEL.
I am not sick,.. but.. I am pregnant.

                                                            MEIR
                           (surprised)
Pregnant!  It is impossible!  It can not be true.

                                                            RACHEL.
                           (Sadly)
Everything is possible.  You know the old Jewish saying: If God wants, you can shoot
with a broom.

                                                            PAUSE
After all those barren years, I'm unexpectedly pregnant.  I feel like Sarah, that had Isaac in
an advanced age.  God played a joke on me, and now everybody will have a cheap laugh.

                                                            MEIR.
Are you sure of this?  You must be mistaken!  How can it be?  We tried for years and years,
and suddenly poof. You are pregnant.  Are you sure of it?  I can't believe it.

                                                            RACHEL.
I am sure.  Yes, yesterday I went to see a doctor, Dr. Hudish. He confirmed my suspicions.
It's a fact we have to face. A situation we have to adjust.

                                                            MEIR.
Rachel, do you realize what the baby could do to us now?.


                                                                                                                                              I-20.


                                                            RACHEL.
I know.  A baby in the ghetto is the kiss of death.

                                                            MEIR
Rachel, you have to interrupt the pregnancy.  It is insane to  think otherwise.

                                                            RACHEL.
                           (emphatically)
Meir.  I am not going to have an abortion.

                                                            PAUSE
A baby is a kiss of death.  An abortion in the ghetto is sure death.  I have no choices.

                                                            MEIR.
Couldn't Dr. Hudish perform an abortion?

                                                            RACHEL
No.  He told me that he doesn't have neither the experience nor the instrumentation.

                                                            PAUSE
"You can go to a midwife," he told me, "but that would be very dangerous.  We don't have
even aspirins."  Meir, we have to proceed with the pregnancy.

                                                            PAUSE.
You know Meir, my mother used to say that each baby brings a different type of happiness
to their parents.

                                                            PAUSE
And what happiness can the baby bring to us?.  The gift of life.  Meir I feel it in my bones
that the baby will redeem us. It will help us to survive.

                                                            MEIR.
You are dreaming.  Rachel!  I gift of life?  Even without the baby our chances of survival
are very low.  With a baby they are none.  Rachel you have to get  an abortion. I insist that
you get an a abortion.

                                                            RACHEL.
                           (moving closer to him)
For 10 years I was dreaming about having a baby, and it's now that I would rather die with
the baby than to survive without it.

                                                            MEIR.
Rachel.  What shall I say to my friends from the group? They elected me their leader to
save them from the inevitable death in the ghetto.  Sorry boys.  My wife is going to have a
baby.  We have to wait with the resistance.  Sorry.

                                                            RACHEL.
Meir.  I can proceed with the pregnancy alone.  Your sister Eva will help me.  You can
dedicate yourself to the resistance, to the group.  You can go on collecting money, buying
weapons, building bunkers.  Go for it!  If you succeed -I will join you.  If you, God forbids,
fail -- you will join me.  I think it's a fair proposition.

                                                            MEIR
Rachel, you are stubborn. I am really dumbfounded. I don't know what to tell you.


                                                                                                                                              I-21.


                                                            RACHEL
Meir I believe "bashert" the predestination by God's will.

                                                            MEIR
Rachel, stoop fooling yourself. God's will?
                           (pause)
Last March i said Kaddish, the prayer for the death, at the mass grave, where 3400 Jews
were brutally murdered. When I saw this enormous pit full of bodies, some still alive, I
asked myself, why is God allowing such atrocities? Why doesn't the Almighty intervene?
                           (pause)
I realized at this moment that either God doesn't have the power to stop it, or He doesn't
care. Rachel, stop kidding yourself about God's will and have an abortion.

                                                            RACHEL
Meir, you and your ideas. For thousand of years we survived because of our faith. The
faith kept us alive. Wasn't it God's will, otherwise how can you explain this miracle?

                                                            MEIR
It was not a miracle, just a delusion. Delusions kept are a live through the waves of
persecutions and sufferings. Now, it is time to stop those delusions and get back to reality.
                           (pause)
Your continuation with the pregnancy endangers the lives of our family and the lives of
our neighbors. It is time to stop the nonsense and concentrate on survival.

                                                            RACHEL
Meir, stop kidding yourself. It was under  your influence that I had an abortion years ago.
You know how I desired a baby. I am not going to interrupt this pregnancy.
                           (pause)
You can go ahead with your dreams about resistance. I will manage the pregnancy alone.
                           (pause)
I believe that your dreams about resistance are just dreams. We have two contradicting
dreams. My dream based on 2000 years of tradition, proven by our survival and your
dream based on wishful thinking.

                                                            At this moment the door opens and  Henry and
                                                            Helene walk in.

                                                            HELEN.
What is the noise?  We heard high voices.  Is  is something wrong?

                                                            MEIR
A lot is wrong.  Can you imagine that Rachel is pregnant, and refuses to have an abortion.

                                                            HENRY AND HELEN.
                           (In unison)
Pregnant.  Oh my God!

                                                            RACHEL.
I also know all your arguments: baby, kiss of death.  Leave me alone.  I believe in
"Bashert" - Destiny.  It is God's will, and it's my destiny.  I accepted it.


                                                                                                                                              I-22.


                                                            HENRY
                           (Coming closer)
Rachel, think about the baby.  What a life do you expect for the baby?  Hunger, sufferings,
death.  Isn't it better to cut it now?  Gittel, the Midwife helped many women in your
situation.  Why don't you try her?

                                                            MEIR.
She is stubborn.  She you will not listen to good advice.

                                                            RACHEL.
Gittel killed quite a few women.  I will not be one of them.  Listen people.  I prefer to die
with the baby, than to live without it.  You don't understand the feelings, the quest for love
and life of a barren woman.  Things that I dreamed of for years, are happening right now,
and I accept them with gladness.  Yes, with al the gladness of my heart.

                                                            EVA
                           (Approaches and embraces Rachel.)
I understand you.  I accept your decision.  May God bless you.

                                                            HELEN
You are selfish Rachel!  You are very selfish woman.  Did you hear what happened with
the Bloch's baby during the last action?  The baby started to cry, when the Germans were
above the bunker.

                                                            PAUSE.
Trying to silence the crying baby, the mother inadvertently  choked it to death.

                                                            RACHEL
                           (Defiantly)
Life is full of surprises.  What happened to the Bloch family will not happen to me.  I do
have a strong faith and I believe that the baby will bring us luck and that we all will survive.

                                                            HENRY.
Rachel, you are quite stubborn.  What the about us?  You are endangering the lives of all
of us.   We do share the bunker.  Don't we?  And this fateful bunker saved the lives of 20
people.  Twice.  Here this bunker.

                                                            He points his finger to to the cupboard, where the
                                                            entrance to bunker your is located.

                                                            EVA
Henry, nobody is forcing you to use our bunker.  You can build yourself another.

                                                            HENRY.
Maybe we will.  Helene let's go.  This is a no-win situation.

                                                            EVA
Henry,  wait a minute.  Your arguments are faulty.  There is no need for another bunker.
The situation in the ghetto has changed.

                                                            PAUSE.
Previously, the Germans made sporadic actions, killed or have taking away a few thousand
Jews. And later to life returned to normal.  We were allowed to live to the next action.
                                                            (more)


                                                                                                                                              I-23.


                                                            PAUSE. (CONTINUED)
Now, this is over.  Next action will be "Judenrein".  The killing will proceed until all Jews
are gone. The bunker will not save any lives. It can only extend your life for a day or two.

                                                            MEIR
Rachel is right.  Henry, if you want to live, run to the woods. This is exactly what we are
going to do

                                                            HENRY
I don't agree with you. If you survive the first blows of the action you have a chance to run
away and hide in the forest. Without a bunker you have no chances of survival.  You are
dead.

                                                            END OF SCENE

                                                            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                            SCENE 4- PREPARATION FOR THE FOREST

                                    SETTING:

                                                            The it Kitchen of the Lehrer's family.

                                    TIME:

                                                            A month later.

                                    AT RISE:

                                                            At the opening about four people are milling around
                                                            the kitchen.  Meir enters.

                                                            MEIR.
Good evening  everybody. I see that you all are here. The news is good.  Our group
increased by about 10 people, and many more volunteers are waiting in the wings.  But we
also have some problems.  The whole ghetto is talking about the group.  Our success is
exaggerated.  As the story goes.  We are fully armed, with machine guns, hand grenades, etc.

                                                            PAUSE
There is a danger that there Germans will be alerted and will go after us.  So let's keep a
low profile.  No bragging, no comments. Lets keep a low profile.

                                                            HAIM
We also have to be careful with our purchases.  I was looking to buy a backpack, and this
guy asks me if I belong to the group.

                                                            PAUSE.
I dropped the search for a backpack, and used a sack with strings attached, like the peasants
do.

                                                            MEIR
Let's get to our business.  Are you ready to go to the forest?

                                                            (All answer in unison.)


                                                                                                                                              I-24.


                                                            Yes, Meir.  We are ready.

                                                            MEIR.
Looks, at the assembled in silence.

                                                            So we have all the necessary stuff.  Shovels for
                                                            digging, food for two weeks, camouflaging garb,
                                                            sleeping blankets.  Everything looks OK.

                                                            PAUSE
You look good.  At night you look like Ukrainian Partisans.  Now we will divide into two
groups, and under cover of darkness we will leave the ghetto. By the way try to
communicate in Ukrainian. Get used to the language.

                                                            DAVID.
Where do you think is the best place to leave the ghetto?

                                                            MEIR.
At the brook behind Budzynski's house, at the milk market. This place where the peasant
sell the milk. There,  it is easy to jump over brook and the surrounding bushes provide
some security.
                           (Pause)
I suggest that David, Leo and Arnold go first, and after thirty minutes the rest will follow.
Now, lets us discuss the marching route and the meeting place.

                                                            ARNOLD
Let's make sure that tomorrow morning we all meet at the right place.

                                                            MEIR
                           (Reading from notes.)
After jumping the brook we proceed to the railroad crossing that is not far from the railroad
station.

                                                            PAUSE
After the crossing we proceed the main road for about 3 kilometers, to the first fork in the
road.  We take the left road bypassing the village of Zarwanica.  The village has an active
Ukrainian freedom movement and is heavily armed. We have to avoid them and bypass
the village.

                                                            PAUSE
Next we follow the bypass route, a dirt road, for about 1.5 kilometers to the point where it
meets the main road. We turn left into the main road.

                                                            ARNOLD
I have a question, Meir.  How do we measure the distances in kilometers?  Can you give
us some landmark signs?

                                                            MEIR
I am afraid not. The distances are taken from old military maps. There are no landmarks
indicated on those old maps. You have to use your judgment.


                                                                                                                                              I-25.


                                                            PAUSE
At the main road you make a left turn and follow the winding road to the forest. Before
reaching the forest the road divides into a few trails. Take the most traveled trail that will
lead you to the Ranger's house.

                                                            DAVID
The directions are very simple.  We should be able to find the Ranger's house without
problems.

                                                            MEIR
                           (Checking the time on his watch.)
It is time to go. Good luck. See you tomorrow in the forest.  Be careful.

                                                            The first group picks up their backpacks and slowly
                                                            leaves the scene.

                                                            MEIR
                           (Interrupting the silence.)
In about twenty minutes we will leave. Anybody wants a glass of tea? It will fortify  us for
the journey.

                                                            He gets up, approaches the cupboard, takes out
                                                            glasses and pours hot tea from the tea kettle.  They
                                                            start to drink when a few loud shots are heard,
                                                            followed by orders barked in German.

                                                            MEIR
Oh my God. They caught them.  The German bastards caught them. This is the end!

                                                            The group sits in silence, each man engulfed in his
                                                            thoughts, when suddenly the door opens and David
                                                            walks in, followed by the rest of the group.

                                                            MEIR
Thanks God you are alive.  What happened? Did they see you?

                                                            DAVID
Meir, they did not  shoot at us. They did not see us. As we approached the brook, we heard
a series of shots.  We immediately took cover. A few minutes later we saw that the
Germans killed a Jewish smuggler.  From a distance we could not identify him.

                                                            MEIR
Let's hide the gear in the bedroom. If the police comes to check we will pretend that we
did got together to pray. It will take about 30 minutes for the situation to return to normal.
Then we will leave, as planned.

                                                            END OF SCENE

                                                            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                                                                                                                              I-26.


                                                            SCENE 5 - IN THE FOREST

                                    SETTING:

                                                            A clearing in the forest, surrounded by tall trees and
                                                            dense vegetation.

                                    TIME:

                                                            Next day in the morning.

                                    AT RISE:

                                                            In the opening three people sit on logs in a forest
                                                            clearing.

                                                            MEIR.
What happened to David's group?  Are they still alive? It is so hard to wait, wait, wait.

                                                            HENRY
Nothing happened to them.  Probably, they got lost.

                                                            MEIR.
It is almost 10 o'clock.  By now you should have found their way here.  What are we going
to do?

                                                            HAIM
Couldn't we start building the bunkers ourselves?  Why waste time?

                                                            MEIR
We cannot start the building the bunker  before we settle things with Anton, the Ranger.

                                                            HENRY
Meir, let's take a chance and pay him the money.

                                                            MEIR.
We can't.  Leo has the money.

                                                            HENRY
That is not good.  By the way do you trust Anton?  I have a leery feeling about him.

                                                            MEIR.
What do you mean by a leery a feeling?

                                                            HENRY
He never looks you straight in the eyes.  From my experience, such people are not
trustworthy.

                                                            MEIR.
He was highly recommended by Shlomo, the Horse Trader. He knows well his father.  He
is quite a gentleman.

                                                            HENRY
But how does this reflect on his son?  Even a father cannot vouch for his son.  Can he?


                                                                                                                                              I-27.


                                                            MEIR.
There is no certainty in anything we are doing nowadays.  But what choices do we have?
None.  We have to trust him.

                                                            PAUSE
After this beautiful breakfasts at Anton's, I feel like in Paradise.  The sun is shining so
bright, the birds are singing so loud, the air is so refreshing, and most importantly, I have
no fear.  I walk here like a free man, without the nagging fear, the constant companion in
the ghetto.

                                                            HAIM
I'm glad to be here, but I feel no exhilaration.  I always remember, my family that vanished
like dissolved in the air. I miss them so much.

                                                            MEIR.
Haim, let's think about the future and not the painful past. We are here to prepare a refuge
for our families . Don't you forget this!

                                                            Voices are heard in the distance.


 Hello. Hello. We are here.

                                                            MEIR.
This is David's voice.  They are here!  They are here.
                           (loudly.)
Hello.  Hello.

                                                            And a few minutes later the group appears at the
                                                            clearing.  They all carry backpacks, only Leo is
                                                            without one.

                                                            MEIR.
Leo, what happened to your backpack?  What happened to you?  Did you get lost?

                                                            DAVID.
One thing at a time.  Before I start our tale, I had to have a drink of water.  I'm dying from
thirst.

                                                            Meir gives them a water bottle.  They all drink,
                                                            thirstily.  Afterwards, David  sits down on a log and
                                                            starts speaking.

                                                            DAVID.
After we jumped the ghetto border at the brook, we proceeded quietly to the railroad
crossing.  We found the crossing closed, because a German troop transport train has
broken down or was sabotaged. People gathered at the crossing, talking with the Germans.

                                                            PAUSE
We could not stay there, without creating a suspicion, so we moved into a side street
walking around the stalled train. When we reached a place where the tracks were clear, we
crossed the tracks, and in the darkness of the night, we got lost.  Before long, we found
ourselves walking through a village.


                                                                                                                                              I-28.


                                                            PAUSE.
Imagine, three of us of us walking through a sleepy village, when the dogs started to  bark,
bark, bark.  The whole village was awakened and started to chase us. Suddenly the small
windows of the peasants hut started to light up and heavy set men with thick clubs
appeared on the road and  started to chase us.

                                                            PAUSE.
Zydy! Zydy! Zydy! Jews. Jews. Jews.
                           (they yelled)
Let's get them. We ran as fast as we could.  Suddenly, we saw fiery flash  followed  by a
thunder of a shot. They where shooting at us.  We ran fast like deer. Leo could not keep
up with us, so he dropped his backpack.  At the of the village, we reached the main road
and turned left, instead of turning right.  And we got lost, lost completely.

                                                            LEO
We wondered a whole night, trying  to reach the forest.  Without success. Finally, in the
morning, we saw a group of peasants riding to the marketplace.  We told them that we are
Ukrainian Partisans lost in the forest. They gave us a ride, and took us to the Rangers house.
And here we are.

                                                            MEIR.
What a tale!  I am glad that you are here.  I am glad that we are all together.

                                                            PAUSE
You must be hungry. We have food to share.

                                                            Meir pulls up the backpack, pulls  out  a loaf of bread,
                                                            and gives it to do group. Then he turns to Henry.

                                                            MEIR.
Leo, do you have the money?

                                                            LEO
Of course I have the money.  I did not keep it in the backpack.

                                                            MEIR.
Finish eating, and let's go to see Anton.
                           (Turning to the group.)
You in the meantime can clean out the place and start digging the bunker. The the entrance
to the bunker will be located behind this big bush. Just over there.

                                                            HAIM
Meir, don't forget to ask for two pails. We need them to carry the dug out dirt. Don't forget.

                                                            MEIR.
Okay.  We will be  back in a cinch. In the meantime, you clean up this place and start
digging.

                                                            Meir and Leo exit the stage. The  group starts the
                                                            cleanup and later we see them digging behind the bush.

                                                            After a one-hour Meir and Leo come back, loaded
                                                            with two pails and a Italian rifle.  Meir sits down and
                                                            yells to the diggers.


                                                                                                                                              I-29.


                                                            MEIR.
Hey boys, come here.  Look what we have here.  Isn't this a beauty?  It is a treasure.

                                                            DAVID.
We are coming right away.

                                                            They emerge from the bushes, and Meir shows of
                                                            the gleaning riffle.

                                                            MEIR.
We have two pails and a gun. a brand new Italian rifle, never used before. Isn't this a
beauty?  It is a treasure.

                                                            They started cautiously examine the gun.  Curling it
                                                            like a baby.

                                                            HAIM
I never held a gun in my hand. I never liked guns, but this one is like a baby to me.  Beautiful!

                                                            MEIR
Okay boys.  We have to work to do.  You'll return to the digging, and I have a few things
to discuss with David.  We will join you shortly.

                                                            The group returns to digging, while David's and Meir
                                                            stay behind.

                                                            MEIR
What are we going to do with the gun?  We can't take it back to the ghetto, and he cannot
leave it with Anton.

                                                            DAVID.
Why?

                                                            MEIR.
Because I don't trust him.

                                                            DAVID.
How can you do business with a guy, you can not trust?

                                                            MEIR
We don't have many choices. Who wants to do business the Jews, nowadays.  We are
cursed people.  Anton is an exception.

                                                            DAVID.
We can do bury the gun in the bunker.  Who will find it there?

                                                            MEIR
Maybe this is a solution.

                                                            Suddenly, Leo appears from behind the bushes.


                                                                                                                                              I-30.


                                                            LEO
This forests has sandy soil, compressed sandy soil. We will never built a bunker here.
You take out a pail of sand, and immediately the hole is filled with decompressed sand.  I
never saw something like this in my life.

                                                            PAUSE
We are working already for hours and there is no trace of our work.  Not a dent is made in
the soil.

                                                            MEIR.
David, let's go and check it out.

                                                            Meir and David exit and return back after a minute.

                                                            MEIR.
It is true.  It is impossible to build a bunker here.  It's shifty sandy soil.

                                                            DAVID
Let's try another place.

                                                            LEO
No,  David.  All the soil around here is sandy. It is sand all over.  There's no use of trying.

                                                            PAUSE
In addition, this place is too close to the main road.  A the Germans will be here quite often.
We need to place in the middle of a heavy forest.   A place so forbidden that the Germans
will be afraid to enter.

                                                            MEIR.
It looks like that we have to return to the ghetto, to do our homework, to find the right
forest and the right connections.

                                                            DAVID.
Before we go, let's try out the rifle.  I volunteer to fire the first shot.

                                                            MEIR.
Okay.  Here is the rifle.

                                                            David's takes the rifle, loads the cartridge and aims
                                                            at an old tree.  He pulls the trigger....  and nothing
                                                            happens.

                                                            PAUSE
We must have a faulty cartridge.

                                                            He tries to remove the cartridge, without success.
                                                            The rifle is jammed.

                                                            A closely examines the rifle mechanism and and as
                                                            starts to curse.


This rifle is jammed and useless.  Anton did a  a job on us. He gave us an Italian rifle, and
Russian cartridges. He took us for a ride.


                                                                                                                                              I-31.


                                                            ARNOLD.
I never trusted this bastard. He has such a shifted its eyes. I'm afraid that for the moment
on, resistance is dead.  We have to return to the ghetto and start all over.

                                                            END OF SCENE

                                                            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                                                                                                                                32.



                                                                   ACT 2



                                                            SCENE  1  RETURN FROM THE FOREST

                                    SETTING:

                                                            The action takes place in the Lehrer's kitchen.

                                    TIME:

                                                            Two days later.

                                    AT RISE:

                                                             At the rise Rachel sits and talks with Eva when Meir
                                                            and David come in.

                                                             RACHEL.
I wonder what the boys are doing now?  Did they get to the forest safely? How did Anton
behave?  Did he deliver?  My thoughts and prayers always with them.

                                                            EVA
So our mine. I love David dearly and hope to marry him soon.

                                                            Rachel looks around and sees Meir and David
                                                            entering the scene.

                                                            RACHEL
Here they are! Meir, I am so glad to see you back.  I am so happy.

                                                            She runs towards  Meir and embraces  him. Eva
                                                            kisses David.

                                                            RACHEL
How did it go?  You are back earlier than expected.

                                                            MEIR
No problems.  We just finished our job and came back.

                                                            RACHEL.
You finished your job.  That's fantastic.  How is the bunker?

                                                            MEIR
Fine, but not finished.

                                                            RACHEL
How about Anton?  Did he come through?  Did you buy the weapons?

                                                            MEIR.
Okay.

                                                            David looks at him in amazement.


                                                                                                                                            II-33.


                                                            RACHEL.
Meir, what went wrong?

                                                            MEIR.
Just things did not work out.  We have to try another place.

                                                            PAUSE.
Let me tell you Rachel!  When I was in the forest.  I felt like a newly born baby.  Free from
fear, enjoying the closeness to nature.  The songs of the birds, the fresh air of the forest,
the sun shining brightly through the foliage. What a feeling of freedom, and serenity.

                                                            RACHEL.
Meir, I know you too well.  What went wrong?

                                                            MEIR.
We selected the wrong location, sandy soil not suitable for bunkers.  This was wrong.

                                                            RACHEL.
What about the weapons?

                                                            MEIR
We got an Italian rifle, and Russian cartridges. A bad combination.

                                                            PAUSE.
I feel like a fish out of the water, gasping for air.  I am very tired, and feel dejected. I failed
badly.  This is my fault.

                                                            DAVID.
                           (Putting down his backpack.)
Meir, stop whining.  It wasn't your fault.  It were the circumstances that caused our failure.
The cards were stacked against us.  Nothing we could do.

                                                            RACHEL.
Tell us what happened?  Let's hear the details.  As they say, the Devil is a in the details.

                                                            DAVID.
When we started digging, it turned out that the soil is very sandy, not suitable for building
a bunker.

                                                            MEIR
Then  the rifle, that we bought from Anton was from the Italian Army while the cartridges
where Russian.  We jammed to rifle and Anton  would not give us a replacement. We had
no choice but to abandon the rifle. Imagine the pain I felt afterwards.  I failed miserably.

                                                            PAUSE
What do I do now?

                                                            RACHEL
First of all you have to realize that Shlomo the Horse Trader was a bad contact. He
operated in a bad neighborhood and associated with bad people.  You have to find better
contacts.

                                                            PAUSE
Secondly, you have to realize that your priorities were wrong.


                                                                                                                                            II-34.


                                                            MEIR
What do you mean by, wrong priorities?

                                                            RACHEL
You were occupied with organizing resistance, resistance to the Germans.  You have to
concentrate on survival.  Survival of yourself and your family.

                                                            MEIR
Rachel, I love you very much but you are totally inconsistent. On one  hand you passively
accept Gods judgment, the Bashert, and on the other hand you are actively rejecting
resistance and now suddenly you are looking toward me for your salvation. How can it be?

                                                            PAUSE
One thing for sure.  You actively reject any solution I propose.

                                                            RACHEL
What  do you mean by this?

                                                            MEIR
You rejected an abortion. Are you ready to give the baby away, after it is born? Are you
ready for this?

                                                            RACHEL
I leave it in the hands of God. It is the faith in God that keeps me alive, and gives me hope
for the future.

                                                            MEIR
You are not the only one.  The whole Ghetto is praying.   Everybody is praying.  Everybody
is saying Kaddish,  the prayer for the dead. They are so engulfed in the prayers that they
have no time to think how to save themselves. They think about the dead more than they
think about the living. They are so much connected to the past, they can't think about the
future.

                                                            RACHEL
It is the faith of our fathers kept us alive for generations.  This is the only thing we know.
Sticking to our faith.

                                                            MEIR
It is a fallacy that we keep the faith of our fathers. The Jewish faith changed through
generations.  The Talmud was one of the vehicles of changes. For example the Laws of
the Torah require adultery to  be punished by death through stoning. Is this practiced today?
No. The Torah accept polygamy. Ancient Israel was a polygamist  society.  Is this practiced
today? No,

                                                            RACHEL
Meir, I am not versed in the religious theology.  For me the faith of my fathers is the faith
of my father, grandfather and great grandfather. I don't reach a thousand years back.

                                                            DAVID.
Let's change the subject. Let's talk about our plans for resistnce. My father used to be a
"jajecznik a Egg Man - a guy that goes out to the villages to buy fresh eggs from the
peasants.  The eggs were later exported to England. He used to tell us about the foreboding,
dense forests in the area of Lopushna. I believe that we should explore this area first.


                                                                                                                                            II-35.


                                                            MEIR.
                              (Enlivened.)
Do you know anybody from this area?

                                                            DAVID.
I knew a family that had a Inn in Lopushna. They were later resettled to the ghetto, and I
believe that they all perished in the last action.  I can check if any of them survived.

                                                            MEIR.
Please do it.  Let's look around.  I also believe that Lopushna is a Polish village.  They
have their troubles with the Ukrainians and may be inclined to work with us.

                                                            DAVID.
I am going home to wash up and immediately afterwards I will start my search.  Goodbye
Eva.

                                                            He embraces the Eva and kisses her.  She reciprocates.

                                                            EVA
Bye David. I missed you tremendously.  Did you miss me?

                                                            DAVID.
Yes.  I wished you were there, to experience the flashes of freedom and the joyous
exhilaration. Goodbye. I thought about you constantly and missed you painfully.

                                                            David exits.


Rachel
                           (turning to Meir)
Meir you still dreaming about resistance.  Meir Lehrer and his Group  against Hitler and
his armies. Tit for tat. Wake up and start striving for survival.

                                                            MEIR
Can't we have both?

                                                            RACHEL
                            (calmly)
No. We have limited time, limited resources, we have to make the right choices.
                           (pause)
The sandy soil was a warning from destiny. The resistant is not bashert, predestined. Be
realistic.

                                                            MEIR
Realistically.  What can I do?

                                                            RACHEL
You could do lots of things, such as looking for a hiding place, trying to get Aryan papers.
As long as you are preoccupied with resistance, nothing could be done.

                                                            Suddenly David comes back.


                                                                                                                                            II-36.


                                                            DAVID
What a coincidence. On the way out I met the guy connected with Lopushna,  He just
came back from there. He claims that the situation is not that rosy. His name is George.

                                                            MEIR
Who is George and how reliable are his information?

                                                            DAVID
I find him reliable and smart. He is a survivor and a hustler.

                                                            MEIR
What do you mean by a survivor and a hustler?

                                                            DAVID
During the March action he and his family were caught and brought to the mass grave. All
his family members were shot, but when his turn came he jumped into the grave before
the SS man had a chance to shoot him.  He stayed in the mass grave, covered with bodies
until the killers departed. At night he left the place covered with blood but unscathed.

                                                            MEIR
What is he doing now?

                                                            DAVID
He deals with everything and nothing.  He has extended connections in the Polish circles
and they are his base. His father was a rich manufacturer and he is very honest and
depended.  I  vouch for him.

                                                            MEIR
When can I talk with him?

                                                            DAVID
He will be any minute.

                                                            David walks out and in minute he comes with George.

                                                            MEIR
David told me about you, in details. You have a very impressive personal history. Tell me
what are the problems in Lopushna?

                                                            GEORGE
The forbidden forest is infiltrated by Ukrainian Partisans of different political shades. The
are all there: The  Banderovcy, the Petlurovcy, the UPA.  They all are fighting each other.
Unless you are heavily armed  you  stand no chance.

                                                            MEIR
Did you meet any interesting farmers?

                                                            DAVID
Yes I touched base with Mr. Koenigsberg.  Despite his German name he is a Polish patriot
and quite a gentleman.


                                                                                                                                            II-37.


                                                            PAUSE
The problem is that he is a rich man.  He has a big farm and in the middle of the farm there
is an oil press.  People come from all over the area to press oil from seeds.  The  place is
full of people, all the time.  This makes it impossible to hide Jews.  It is too dangerous place.

                                                            MEIR.
Maybe a place the looks dangerous could be made safe. George, do you think that there is
a place to build a bunker on this farm?

                                                            GEORGE
I believe that a good bunker could be built at the far end of the barn.  It is a gigantic barn.

                                                            MEIR
Here is $20 for your George. Please return to Koenigsberg and convince him that we could
hide in a bunker and nobody would suspect that somebody is hiding in such a busy place.
Please try to make a deal with him. A busy place is the safest place. And money is no
object. We will reward him generously.

                                                            PAUSE
Ask him also if you could shelter a woman with a baby on  Aryan papers? They have
Christian birth certificates. Can he recommend somebody else?

                                                            George takes the money .

                                                            GEORGE
Thanks Meir.  I need the money.  I will be back as soon as possible. Goodbye.

                                                            RACHEL
George, wait a minute. I believe that the situation offers many opportunities and Meir
should go with you. He will establish the contact and make decisions on the spot. We don't
have the time to play around.

                                                            MEIR
What about organizing resistance? I am not ready to give it up.

                                                            RACHEL
Go to Lopushna and check  out the situation. But be realistic, and look for good hiding
places first. Resistance comes second.

                                                            MEIR
Rachel might be right. George, when are you leaving?

                                                            GEORGE
Tomorrow morning at dawn.

                                                            MEIR
I will go with you.  Pick me up.

                                                            END OF SCENE

                                                            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                                                                                                                            II-38.


                                                            SCENE 2 - LOPUSHNA

                                    SETTING:

                                                            Kitchen of the Lehrer's family.

                                    TIME:

                                                            Two days later.

                                    AT RISE:

                                                            Rachel, David  and Eva sit at the table when Meir
                                                            walks in. He looks around.

                                                            MEIR
I am back.  What an experience.

                                                            RACHEL
How was it? Did you made any arrangements.

                                                            MEIR
I had a hard time.  First George took me to an old widow living at the end of the village.
She is extremely poor. She agrees to everything. The problem is that she is extremely poor
and she buys with our money a new dress, the villagers will suspect that she is hiding Jews.

                                                            RACHEL
Do we have any other choice?

                                                            MEIR.
Yes. Later George took me to Koenigsberg an I made a deal with him. He is ready to built
two bunkers on his property. One will be a hole in the straw filling the barn. It will be
above ground, with daylight. The other will be a winter bunker, below ground, also located
in the barn.
                           (pause)
He accepted my  reasoning that the oil press drawing constantly people to his place is a
plus. Nobody will suspect that you could be hiding Jews under such conditions. He is
considered very rich and flashing new money won't arise suspicions.

                                                            RACHEL
That is fantastic news.

                                                             Meir thinks a minute.

                                                            MEIR
Not exactly. I tried to convince him to take Rachel with the baby. They will have Christian
Birth Certificates.  He is afraid do it, unless they have real German Kennkarte issued by
the Gestapo. And here is the problem.
                           (pause)
What do we do with the baby or where do we get Kennkartes.

                                                            DAVID
How about an abortion?


                                                                                                                                            II-39.


                                                            RACHEL
                           (indignantly)
This is out of the question. Don't even mention it. We have to find a way to get the German
Kennkarte or to find people willing to take in the baby. It is simple like that.

                                                            DAVID
I met a Polish guy who claims that for 100 dollars he can provide an authentic Kennkarte
issued by the Gestapo. The problem is that I can't vouch for him.

                                                            MEIR
How well do you know him?

                                                            DAVID
I just met him.  I don't know him well. The man the introduced him is a good reliable
friend of mine.

                                                            MEIR
David, please get in touch with him. Let's start the ball rolling.

                                                            DAVID
I will do it right away.
                           (pause)
One other thing I have to tell you. The situation in the Ghetto  is worsening by the hour.
The epidemic of typhoid is spreading rapidly.  I heard that the "Chevra Kedisha"  the
Burial Society issued a call for volunteers.

                                                            MEIR
I know it, I volunteered a few days ago and got accepted.

                                                            DAVID
Are you crazy.  It is a very dangerous job.  Why did you do it?

                                                            RACHEL
                           (Anxiously)
You volunteered for the Burial Society.  I am distressed and abhorred.

                                                            MEIR
Don't worry.  I have my plans. This job will help us survive. You will see.

                                                            DAVID
When are you starting?

                                                            MEIR
Tomorrow morning.

                                                            RACHEL
Meir, you will be going out frequently to the Jewish Cemetery.  I have a very good friend
Ksenia, living near by.  We were neighbors and she loved me tremendously. Please visit
her, and tell her that I am pregnant and need her help. She will take the baby.

                                                            MEIR
In a day or two, after I wet my feet in my new profession , I will do it.


                                                                                                                                            II-40.


                                                            DAVID
There is something else I wanted to tell you. It looks like that the German are  planning to
eradicate the typhoid. They ordered the Jewish Council to evacuate the largest building in
the ghetto. It will be converted into  Hospital.

                                                            PAUSE
I am afraid that the German healing method will be connected to shooting.

                                                            At this moment Fryda walks in, she seemed very
                                                            agitated.

                                                            FRYDA
I am bringing explosive news. The Germans ordered the Police to bring all the typhoid
sick people to the newly organized hospital. Any typhoid patient found at home will be
shot on the spot.

                                                            PAUSE
I am afraid that Rachel cannot stay home. The pregnancy is quite advanced and it is
showing.  She might be  killed by the Germans. There is no time to waste.

                                                            RACHEL
                           (Looking at her belly and thinking for a moment.)
I think I will have to hide in the bunker. For the time being this is the safest place.

                                                            MEIR
Rachel, will you  be able to stay there permanently? Without light, without ventilation,
this dump place is not good for a pregnant woman.

                                                            RACHEL
I will make all the necessary improvements. I will make it livable. I have to do it. There is
no other solution. Eva will take over the cooking and she will take care of me, when I am
buried in this hole.  Will you Eva?

                                                            EVA
Of course I will. What a question?

                                                            MEIR
Rachel, are you sure that you want to to go ahead with the pregnancy.  There still is time
to interrupt the pregnancy.

                                                            RACHEL
Meir, Don't even mention this to me. Only by killing me can  you interrupt this pregnancy.
Never mention to me this again.

                                                            Rachel goes to the bedroom to change and comes
                                                            out dressed in a bathroom gown.  She descents into
                                                            the bunker and Meir follows her.

                                                            END OF SCENE.



                                                            ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                                                                                                                            II-41.


                                                            SCENE 3 - KSENIA

                                    SETTING:

                                                            The Lehrer's Kitchen

                                    TIME:

                                                            Two months later.

                                    AT RISE:

                                                            Eva is cooking dinner.  The door opens and Meir
                                                            walks in.

                                                            MEIR.
I have some news for Rachel.  I visited her old friend Ksenia and it possible that we will
find a place for the baby.

                                                            EVA
How did you find it?

                                                            MEIR.
After finishing my job at the cemetery, I walked over to the house of an old client of Rachel.
She loves Rachel and wants to help us.  Her name is Ksenia.

                                                            PAUSE
Rachel's family helped her  out when she was in the dumps. She never forgot it.

                                                            EVA
How did you reach her?

                                                            MEIR
I took a chance, I took off my armband with the Star of David and walked over to her house.
She was very happy to see me.  She asked about Rachel, about you and she loaded me up
with food, to take home.

                                                            PAUSE
I told her about our problems with the pregnancy, the baby, and the unfortunate
circumstances.  To my amazement, she told me that she will find a place for the baby, a
girl or uncircumcised boy.  I am going to share the news with Rachel.

                                                            Meir approaches the cupboard and at the same time
                                                            Rachel's voice is heard from behind.

                                                            RACHEL
I heard the your voice, Meir. I am coming up.

                                                            RACHEL
Meir did you see Ksenia?

                                                            MEIR
She was excited seeing me.  She remembers you kindly. She told me that your father
helped her out in the most crucial time of her life and she will never forget this.


                                                                                                                                            II-42.


                                                            RACHEL
                           (excited)
Is she taking the baby?  Those are fantastic news.

                                                            MEIR
She is not taking the baby. She said she will find a place for the baby.

                                                            RACHEL
What does this mean?

                                                            MEIR
It means that she will place the baby with some family.

                                                            RACHEL
No. It means that she will find a place for the baby in her house.

                                                            MEIR
In her cat house?

                                                            RACHEL
Yes, in her house.

                                                            MEIR
Forget it. Over my dead body you will give away the baby to a Madam. I don't want the
baby to become a illiterate, cheap prostitute. I will never agree to it!

                                                            RACHEL
I know Ksenia to be a warmhearted, decent human being. I fully trust her, and besides
what other chances of survival do we have? We leave the baby with Ksenia and go hiding
in Lopushna.

                                                            MEIR
You might be right, but the thought that my baby will be raised in a bordello, abhors me. I
can't help it.

                                                            RACHEL
So what do you intend to do? Wait for the Messiah?

                                                            MEIR
No, I will wait for the Kennkarte.

                                                            RACHEL
Waiting for the miraculous Kennkarte, until you are killed in the Ghetto.

                                                            MEIR
To change the subject time, when we were out how did you spent your time?

                                                            RACHEL.
Quietly.  My belly is growing, as you can see.  The baby is growing quietly.  The managed
to get adequate food.  The only problem I had with Eva. She cut down on her food,
claiming that she has no appetite.  She wanted to save the food for the baby.

                                                            MEIR.
Sorry to hear that.  I am back now and I hope to be able to improve our food supply.


                                                                                                                                            II-43.


                                                            RACHEL.
No Meir.  I don't want you to start smuggling again.  It is too dangerous.

                                                            MEIR.
Don't worry Rachel.  I will manage as always.

                                                            RACHEL
Meir, I am worried about the epidemic of typhoid. Typhoid is raging in the Ghetto. Please,
be careful. I am afraid if I catch it ...it will be the end.

                                                            MEIR
Don't worry we keep a clean house. Typhoid will not touch us.

                                                            Meir approaches the cardboard and helps Rachel to
                                                            descent into the bunker.



                                                            SCENE 4 - SETTLING DOWN

                                    SETTING:

                                                            Lehrer's kitchen

                                    TIME:

                                                            A month later.

                                    AT RISE:

                                                            Eva is cooking diner. She cooks a pot full of chicken.
                                                            A delicious smell permeates h the kitchen.  The door
                                                            opens and Fryda walks in.

                                                            FRYDA
Eva , what are you cooking?  It smells deliciously.

                                                            EVA
I am cooking chicken broth for Rachel.  Poor soul is buried underground.  She needs
strength and good food, for herself and the baby.

                                                            FRYDA.
How does she feel?

                                                            EVA
Considering the circumstances, not bad. A few nights a week, I go down to sleep with her
and keep her company.  We became very close now.

                                                            FRYDA
I don't want to be nosy.  But how do you get fresh chicken in the ghetto?  It baffles me
tremendously.


                                                                                                                                            II-44.


                                                            EVA
It is as secret.  I promise Meir to keep it secret, but I will tell you.  Meir gets it outside the
ghetto and smuggles it in.

                                                            FRYDA
How does he smuggle in live chicken?  It is impossible.

                                                            EVA
They are freshly killed but not alive.  Meir discovered that the Burial Society uses reusable
coffins for the burials. After the burial the coffins are returned to the ghetto.  Meir stuffs
the coffin with food and produce.  The Germans are afraid of typhoid, and would not touch
the coffin with a 10 foot pole. With the typhoid and the prevailing hunger, Meir is very busy.

                                                            FRYDA.
This is a fantastic idea.  Meir is so inventive.  But isn't he afraid?

                                                            EVA
He is, but he loves Rachel, dearly and will do anything to help her.

                                                            FRYDA.
Does Rachel know about it?

                                                            EVA
We never discuss those matters.  She is afraid to ask. You know living there in this
underground hole, without daylight, without fresh air, is no picnic.  The other day she
asked me to keep the trap door open.  So she can see daylight.  This is heartbreaking, this
situation is heartbreaking.

                                                            FRYDA.
Next week, I can spend a night with her.  Let me know what day is convenient for you.

                                                            Suddenly a strange noise is heard behind the cupboard.
                                                            The door of the cupboard opens and Meir walks into
                                                            the scene.

                                                            EVA
                           (Looks at Meir disturbed.)
Meir, for God's sake, you look dejected.  What happened?

                                                            MEIR.
                            (Turning to Fryda)
Hi Fryda.  Imagine that Rachel found the place for the baby.  A gentile woman who wants
to take the baby.  The problem is that the woman is Ksenia the Madam. What will become
of the baby? A cheap prostitute? Never.
                           (pause)
The thought that my baby will grow up in a bordello is painful to me.

                                                            EVA
Meir, wash up, eat something.  Tomorrow Rachel will change her mind.  You will see.
Tomorrow will be a better day.


                                                                                                                                            II-45.


                                                            MEIR
                           (Turning to Fryda)
You know what she told me?  I lay here in the darkness, all alone with the baby.  I talk to
the baby, and it understands me.

                                                            PAUSE
I should have stayed in the forest.

                                                            At this moment, Henry and Helene enter the scene.

                                                            HENRY.
Hi everybody.  We are back in the ghetto.

                                                            FRYDA.
I did not see you for over a month.  Where have you been?

                                                            HENRY.
George, the man from Lopushna, arranged for us a place to hide.  He got us an Ukrainian
driver with a horse and buggy, and took us to Lopushna. We stayed there for a month.

                                                            MEIR,
What happened that you returned?

                                                            HENRY
We stayed with a poor farmer, living at the edge of the forest. His name is Matusiak.

                                                            HELEN.
A whole day, we stayed in the forest, at night he slept in a barn. It was a hard life,
especially during the rainy days.  But it was an acceptable solution.

                                                            FRYDA
What happened?

                                                            HENRY.
We paid Matusiak 20 gold dollars a month. It is a lot of money.

                                                            PAUSE
Matusiak is a very poor man. When he got the money, he spent it immediately on clothing
for the whole family.  This created suspicion, and a day later and neighbor told him that
the village suspects that he is hiding Jews, and became very rich. We have to leave
immediately.

                                                            MEIR.
It looks like that survival is more difficult than we have imagined.

                                                            HENRY.
We brought also some good news.  The Germans  attacked the Partisans in  the forest and
killed half of them.  They wiped out all the forest Partisans. The battle raged for days. The
Germans passed about 50 feet from our hideout in the forest.  We had lots of luck of not
being detected.

                                                            MEIR
Do you think we could build bunkers in the forest now?


                                                                                                                                            II-46.


                                                            HENRY
A small, inconspicuous group could definitely hide in the forest.  The Ukrainian Partisans
openly challenged the German  authorities, and this brought their downfall.  We stayed
over a month on the outskirts of the forest, close to the village, without being detected.

                                                            HELEN
George knows the area very well, he also knows the people.  He could give you the right
information and advice.

                                                            MEIR.
Henry, what are you your intentions?  Are you going back?

                                                            HENRY.
If I find a good place to hide, I definitely will go back. Staying alive in the Ghetto is
getting more difficult with every passing day.

                                                            MEIR
Henry, do you think that we could survive in the forest with the baby?

                                                            HENRY
Meir, you are out of your mind just by rising such a question. The baby will freeze to death
at the first snowfall of the winter.

                                                            MEIR
Henry, do you think that organizing a resistance group in Lopushna makes sense?

                                                            HELEN
Whom are you going to resist in the forest? There are no Germans there.





                                                            SOMTHING SI MISSING.



                                                            END OF SCENE

                                                            -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                            SCENE 4 - TYPHOID

                                    SETTING:

                                                            The scene takes place in the bedroom of the Lehrer's
                                                            residence. Two single beds stand  across the room
                                                            and in at the wall stands stands an old wardrobe and
                                                            some night tables. Two windows are overlooking an
                                                            alley.  At the right there is a door leading toward the
                                                            kitchen. The kitchen and the bedroom are seen.


                                                                                                                                            II-47.


                                    TIME:

                                                            2 weeks later?

                                    AT RISE:

                                                            Eva lays sick in one of the beds, and David talks
                                                            with Meir in the the kitchen.

                                                            DAVID.
Helene came to catch me.  She told me that Eva felt sick, and has high fever.  I immediately
came running here.  I tried to find some aspirins, but could not find any.  What are we
going to do? It is a no win situation.

                                                            MEIR.
We do have a big problem on our hands.  We can't take Eva to the so called  hospital,
because the Germans will  kill her. We can't take her down to the bunker  because of
Rachel and the baby, might get infected.

                                                            DAVID.
I think you have to keep Eva here.  I will take care of her.

                                                            MEIR.
Unfortunately, I can be of little help.  You know, maybe I can hire somebody to help out.
Money is no object.  As a matter of  fact, I do have enough money to look for a hiding
place outside the ghetto.  A place for everybody.  For you David, too.

                                                            DAVID.
Thanks.  Surviving the typhoid, is the largest challenge now.

                                                            MEIR.
David, do you know, how to cook?

                                                            DAVID.
I had been a single bachelor for a long time.  To survive, I had to learn how to cook.

                                                            MEIR.
Please cook  something for dinner.  I will take food down to Rachel, to the bunker.

                                                            DAVID
As a matter of fact, it looks like that Eva started already to cook dinner, before she fell sick.

                                                            Suddenly, Fryda appears at the end of the corridor.
                                                            Looking  bewildered.

                                                            FRYDA.
What happened?  Are you sick, David?

                                                            MEIR.
David is okay.  It is Eva that is sick.

                                                            FRYDA.
Eva is sick?  Oh my God!  Can I be of any help?


                                                                                                                                            II-48.


                                                            MEIR.
Maybe.  Let's see how things develop.  Yes, you could do me a favor.  Could you go to Dr.
Hudish and bring him to see Eva?

                                                            FRYDA.
Of course, I can do it.  But please,  cover the windows of the bedroom, so nobody can see
that Eva is sick. We` don't want any troubles.

                                                            After Fryda leaves, Meir takes blankets and covers
                                                            the windows, partially to leave some light in the room.
                                                            David goes to the kitchen.  After awhile, David calls
                                                            Meir.

                                                            DAVID.
Meir, you can take the dinner down to Rachel, to the bunker.  I will try to feed Eva.

                                                            David approaches Eva with a tray with food and tries
                                                            to feed her.

                                                            DAVID.
Eat Eva. Eat. You have to have the strength to to return to health.  Eat.  Please eat, it is
good food. Very nourishing.

                                                            Eva looks at him, sighs deeply, and turns around in
                                                            bed, without saying a word.

                                                            While Meir is still arranging his tray , George appears.

                                                            MEIR
David, do me

                                                            MEIR
Rachel!  For God's sake, what are you doing here?  Please return. It is very dangerous for
you being here.

                                                            RACHEL.
Meir, it's my fault that Eva became sick.  It this my fault and I can not stay and hide in the
bunker. I have to take care of Eva.  This is a fair proposition.

                                                            MEIR.
David and I will take care of Rachel.  You  can not do it. As matter of fact Dr. Hudish is
on his way here.  Maybe, this is not typhoid. It could be a virus.

                                                            RACHEL.
Meir, do not kid yourself.  This is typhoid.  I believe that pregnancy provides and immunity
from typhoid. My care is needed.

                                                            MEIR
a favor.  Take this down to Rachel.

                                                            David approaches the cupboard but before he could
                                                            open the door Rachel appears.


                                                                                                                                            II-49.


                                                            RACHEL
Meir, I overheard your conversation with David. I came to take care of Eva.  It is because
of me she got sick.  I have to take care of her. My pregnancy provides me with immunity
against typhoid.

                                                            MEIR
Rachel, you are out of your mind.  You expose yourself and the baby to mortal danger.
Please go down immediately.

                                                            RACHEL
                           (turning to Meir)
I don't think you can leave Eva here, in the Bed Room. The Germans will find  her in no
time. It's too dangerous.

                                                            MEIR
There is no other solution. We cannot take her to the hospital.  We have no other choice.

                                                            RACHEL
At least we should find a way to mask the entrance door. If you mask the door nobody will
suspect that there  is a room behind the door.

                                                            DAVID
It is an excellent idea. Maybe we should take the old wardrobe from the bed room and use
it for covering the entrance door. Meir lets try it.

                                                            Meir and David push the wardrobe and place at the
                                                            door.

                                                            MEIR
It fits perfectly, but how will we get into the room?

                                                            RACHEL
Take out the shelves and cut the back panel of the wardrobe. This will make it easy to use
the door.

                                                            RACHEL

                                                             At this moment doctor Hudish arrived, trailed by
                                                            Fryda.  The doctor carries his briefcase with his
                                                            instruments.

                                                            DR. HUDISH.
Where is the patient?
                           (Seeing Rachel, he recognizes her.)
Hello, Mrs. Lehrer.  How are you doing?  I must say that you are looking good.  How do
you feel?

                                                            RACHEL
I feel good. But the situation reversed itself.  Now I have to take care of  Eva.

                                                            DR. HUDISH.
Let me examine Eva first.  Later, I will take a look at you, and see how they  baby is doing.


                                                                                                                                            II-50.


                                                            MEIR.
Good idea doctor.

                                                            Meir leads Dr. Hudish through the door into the
                                                            bedroom. Doctor Hudish examines Rachel, and then
                                                            checks out Rachel.  Afterwards he has a conference,
                                                            in the corner of corridor.

                                                            DR. HUDISH.
It looks like to me that Eva is infected with typhoid.  All the symptoms  are here. She is
young and in good shape, but I have detected a murmur in her heart.  I hope that this will
not create any problems.

                                                            PAUSE
Unfortunately, we don't have any medication available in the ghetto.  I suggest you give
her aspirins, four times a day. This is the best we can do.

                                                            Turning to Rachel.


You Mrs. Lehrer are in good condition.  Considering the circumstances, you are amazing.
I think that you are due in about 8 weeks.  This is the way it looks to me.

                                                            PAUSE
I believe that you are sleeping in the bunker.  That is right.  Please check the trap door
leading to the bunker.  There is a danger that in a week or two, you will  not be able to
pass the trap door, leading the bunker. You will not be able to get the bunker during
emergencies.

                                                            PAUSE
I suggest that you get into the bunker and stay through the delivery.  You went so far,
you'll have to go that extra mile.

                                                            RACHEL
But it is not healthy.  Is it, Doctor?

                                                            Meir took the doctor aside to pay him for the visit.
                                                            Afterwards he turned to Rachel.

                                                            MEIR
Rachel darling, you have to get down immediately.  Tomorrow might be too late.

                                                            Now Fryda approaches Eva.

                                                            FRYDA
Eva, I volunteer to help out.  I am all alone, and I will be very happy to help in time of need.
This will be good for me too.

                                                            END OF SCENE

                                                            ----------------------------------------------------------


                                                                                                                                            II-51.


                                                            SCENE 5 - DEATH AND BIRTH

                                                            The Kitchen of the Lehrer's residence.

                                    TIME:

                                                            A month later.

                                    AT RISE:

                                                            All people are assembled in the kitchen. It is after
                                                            the funeral. Everybody talks about Eva.

                                                            FRYDA
She was such a wonderful, giving person.  Never thought about herself.  Always caring
about others.

                                                            HELEN.
She looked so healthy and succumbed so fast to the typhoid. This is unbelievable.

                                                            HENRY
What is David going to do now? He was so in love with her.

                                                            ARNOLD.
Meir looks so worried. Things don't go well, here.

                                                            Meir walks in from the bedroom, he is carrying a
                                                            diary notebook.  He approaches David.

                                                            MEIR
David, look what  I found, a diary written by Eva.  She writes about Rachel.  Please read
it aloud.  Please, read it.

                                                            David  takes the diary, looks it  over  and starts reading.

                                                            DAVID.
Eva writes: Rachel's  state of mind is very depressing.  I am afraid that she is not going to
make it.  All those sacrifices, will be in vain. I am going to quote  her verbatim.

                                                            DAVID.
May 14, 1943


I am buried in a live tomb. How am I going to survive here, without light, without air, with
all the dampness.  Sometimes I wish to be dead now.


May 16, 1943.


I discovered that I am not alone.  I am with the baby.  I started to talk to her, and the baby
listens.  This makes my life a bit easier.


                                                                                                                                            II-52.


                                                             (CONTINUED)
May 18, 1943.


Tonight, I woke up, all perspired.  I had a vision that I am talking to God.  I asked him,
why does it happen to us.  I did not get an answer.


May 22, 1943


Tonight, I woke up in the middle of that night.  I did not know where I am.  I called Meir
but  he did answer me.


May 24, 1943.


I am getting scared, that something will happen upstairs  and I will be left alone in this
tomb, alone, to die. Can the baby live if I die?


May 25, 1943.


I woke up at tonight and heard the baby talking to me. Hallucinations? When will this end?

                                                            David was still reading the diary, when one heard
                                                            loud screaming from the bunker.  Help!  Help!  I am
                                                            giving birth.



                                                            Meir was first to react.

                                                            MEIR.
Please leave us now, go to the next room.  We have an  emergency on our hands. Please
leave.

                                                            The assembled left the kitchen swiftly. Afterwards
                                                            Meir approached the cupboard, preparing to go down,
                                                            when Fryda pushed him aside.

                                                            FRYDA.
Meir.  She is giving birth. You don't belong there.  Let me go down.  I am an and woman,
and I have experience.

                                                            Meir steps aside.

                                                            MEIR.
Okay Fryda.  You go.

                                                            Fryda descends into the bunker, and a few minutes
                                                            later, she yells.


                                                                                                                                            II-53.


                                                            FRYDA
Meir.  Give me a flashlight.  It is dark here.  I can't see anything.

                                                            Meir picks up a flashlight and throws it down to the
                                                            bunker.

                                                            MEIR.
Fryda pick up the flashlight.  It's down there.

                                                            FRYDA
She is giving birth. Please bring  the midwife. Hurry up! The baby is on its way.

                                                            Meir runs out in the hurry, yelling to David.

                                                            MEIR.
David, I am running for Gittel, the midwife.  You stay here.

                                                            Fryda yelling from the bunker.


David, are you there?  Please prepare a basin with hot water.  We will need lots of hot
water to clean up the baby and to mess around here.

                                                            DAVID.
Okay.  I do it right away.

                                                            David looks for a basin, then puts a few pots with
                                                            water on the stove and starts the fire.  Meir arrives
                                                            with the midwife.

                                                            Meir turning to Gittel.

                                                            MEIR.
Gittel, here is the entrance to the bunker.  Rachel is there with Fryda.

                                                            Gittel descends into the bunker.

                                                            DAVID.
Meir, we need a basin with hot water. Please help me to start up the fire. They both work
hard to kindle the fire, when Gittel calls up.

                                                            GITTEL
Mazal Tov! Mazal Tov! It's a baby girl! it's a baby girl!  A beautiful baby. Now we need
water.  We need hot-water.   Please throw down the baby clothes that were prepared, and
a clean blankets too.

                                                            Meir goes to the bedroom and brings out in a bundle
                                                            of clothing.   He throws the bundle down into the
                                                            bunker.

                                                            A few minutes later, Fryda, appears. Her clothing is
                                                            stained with blood. She picks up the baby handed
                                                            over by Gittel.


                                                                                                                                            II-54.


                                                            Meir, looks at the baby, afraid to take it in his arms.
                                                            Turning to Fryda.

                                                            MEIR
Let's put a baby in our bed. We don't have a crib.
                           (Turning to David.)
David, it is a pity that the Eva did not live to see the baby. It's such a pity.

                                                            At this minute George enters. He looks around not
                                                            knowing what is going on.

                                                            GEORGE
                           (apologetic)
Meir, I am sorry but I could not make it to the funeral.I was arranging the Kennkarte.

                                                            MEIR.
You missed the funeral, but luckily  you came after the birth. It is a girl.

                                                            GEORGE
Congratulations.  Mazal Tov! Meir can I talk to you privately?

                                                            MEIR
Of course. But no too long.  I am very busy.

                                                            GEORGE
David asked me to arrange the obtaining of a Kennkarte for you.  I met with the guy that
provides the Kennkarte. His name is Budzynski.  It turned out that he is a Volksdeutsche,
a German Collaborator. He also works for the Polish Underground,  I gave him the money.
Here is the deal.
                           (Pulls out a document and turns it over to  Meir.)
This is a real birth certificate of Genia Kwasniewska. She is about 30 years  old and was
sent to Siberia by the Russians. This is good because nobody can trace her down.

                                                            MEIR
What papers does he require form us?

                                                            GEORGE
No papers but two passport pictures.

                                                            MEIR
Passport pictures? This can be a problem.  How do we get the pictures when there is no
Photographer in the Ghetto?

                                                            GEORGE
Couldn't Rachel sneak out from the ghetto and have her pictures taken by a local
photographer? I could arrange it.

                                                            MEIR
It is to dangerous. Rachel just gave birth and will be feeding the baby. She will hardly
stand on her feet. Let me talk to her.

                                                            Meir descents into the bunker.


                                                                                                                                            II-55.


                                                            GEORGE
David, I am sorry to hear about your loss.  She was such an outstanding woman. So
devoted so courageous.

                                                            DAVID.
I am still in the denial stage.  It is hard to face it, although it is said in the Talmud that
disasters affecting whole communities are easier to bear by an individual. It takes off the
individual responsibility.

                                                            GEORGE
Interesting thought.  I myself went through it when al my family was obliterated, in  one day.

                                                            At this moment, there was a noise at the cupboard
                                                            and Meir emerges.

                                                            MEIR
Rachel found a solution. She s a smart cookie. Instead of leaving the ghetto it is easier to
bring a camera into the ghetto.

                                                            GEORGE
It is a fantastic idea. I will try to buy or borrow a camera.  It is a done deal.

                                                            END OF SCENE

                                                            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                            SCENE 6 - THE ESCAPE

                                    SETTING:

                                                            The kitchen of the Lehrer's residence.

                                    TIME:

                                                            Two weeks later.

                                    AT RISE:

                                                             Rachel and Meir are sitting at the table in the kitchen.

                                                            MEIR.
The a baby sleeps so peacefully.  I wonder what will happen to her, what will happen to us?

                                                            RACHEL.
It is all in God's hands.

                                                            MEIR.
But God helps people that help themselves.

                                                            Helen and Henry walk in.

                                                            HELEN.
We came to say goodbye.  We leaving now.


                                                                                                                                            II-56.


                                                            PAUSE
We are going to the forest of Lopushna. Matusiak prepared a dug-out, deep in the forest,
and promised to be less conspicuous with his spending of our money.

                                                            HENRY
I hope that things will work out well for you both.  You deserve it.  Goodbye.  What are
your plans?  Are you leaving?

                                                            RACHEL
I wish we could.  It is Meir's gullibility.  She still waits for the Kennkarte. I would do
things differently.

                                                            HELEN.
How would you do things differently? What would you do?

                                                            RACHEL
We found an elderly prostitute , a very gentle and reliable woman She is ready to take the
baby, but Meir refuses to consent.

                                                            MEIR
I don't want my baby to grow up to be an illiterate prostitute. I prefer waiting for the Aryan
papers.  They have to come, sooner or later.

                                                            RACHEL
The guy is taking us for a ride. He will never deliver the papers.  Without the baby, we
have a chance to survive. It is too late to wait for the papers.

                                                            At this moment, David and George walk in.

                                                            DAVID
We came to say goodbye.  We are leaving tonight.

                                                            GEORGE
I spoke to Budzynski again.  He claims that the papers are coming every minutes now.  He
gave me thousands excuses, the German guy is sick, the German guy is on vacation, etc. I
am sorry, but I don't trust him.  He took the money, and now he gives excuses.

                                                            RACHEL
Meir, do you hear this?  We are playing with fire.  It is time to move.

                                                            Meir looks at Rachel without answering.

                                                            DAVID.
We came to say goodbye.  We are leaving tonight.

                                                            MEIR
Where are you going?

                                                            GEORGE
We are going to hide in the forests of Lopushna. We had to give it a try.  We have nothing
to lose.

                                                            HELEN.
We are going there too.  Hope to see you there.


                                                                                                                                            II-57.


                                                            David's steps forward embraces Rachel and shakes
                                                            hands with Meir.

                                                            DAVID.
It is time to go.  We have to pack.  We have to carry all our belongings on our backs.
Goodbye and good luck.

                                                            HELEN
Helen, we have to say goodbye too.  Good luck

                                                            David, George, Henry and Helen exit.

                                                            RACHEL
Rachel, it is high time to make a decision.  Let's bundle up the baby and take it Ksenia.

                                                            MEIR
Meir, I am sorry.  I can't do it.  For the sake of the baby I can't do it.

                                                            RACHEL
For the sake of the baby?  How come?

                                                            MEIR
Ksenia is an old woman.  As soon as she appears on the street for the baby.  everybody
will know that this is a Jewish child.  Don't you see the danger?

                                                            RACHEL
Meir you are just looking for excuses.  You're very obstinate and self-centered.  I had it.
If you want to stay -- you stay.  I will take the baby and run.

                                                            At this moment Fryda walks in. She is very disturbed.

                                                            FRYDA.
I came to warn you.  There are rumors in the ghetto that the killings will start today.
Judenrein, the Shtetl will be free from Jews.

                                                            PAUSE
Supposedly, they saw trucks with the SS approaching the ghetto.  Escape!  What are you
waiting for?

                                                            RACHEL.
We have no place to run, especially with the baby.

                                                            At this moment, shooting and yelling starts.

                                                            FRYDA.
I am running to hide in the bunker. Save yourself.

                                                            Rachel grabs her coat and picks up the baby, wraps
                                                            it up in the blanket.  Puts the baby away and
                                                            disappears for a moment. When he comes back he
                                                            shows the money to Meir and then picks up the baby.

                                                            RACHEL
Meir, I have the money, and I'm taking the baby to Ksenia. You can stay if you wish.


                                                                                                                                            II-58.


                                                            Rachel runs out, and Meir follows her.

                                                            END OF SCENE.

                                                            ---------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                            SCENE 7 - AT KSENIA'S HOUSE

                                    SETTING:

                                                            Scene takes place at Ksenia's house. At left there is
                                                            a door, above the door there is a window.  The focal
                                                            point of the kitchen is a big round table with chairs.
                                                            At the right stands a stove, a sink and a cupboard.

                                    TIME:

                                                            Two hours later.

                                    AT RISE:

                                                            At the rise Rachel and Meir, standing outside, are
                                                            knocking gently on the window.  Ksenia sits at the
                                                            table, and knits a sweater.  Hearing the knocking she
                                                            turns around and opens the door.

                                                            KSENIA
At last you came.  Thank God that you are here.  Did somebody see you coming? Please
put the baby on the table.

                                                            RACHEL
Nobody saw us.  We were  very careful.

                                                            KSENIA.
Takes the baby and looks at her with a smile.  The baby opens her eyes and smiles. It is a
beautiful girl.  I love her already.

                                                            It looks like they already have  bonded.


Ksenia, turning to Rachel.  I own your father quite a few favors.  At that time that I was
sick and penniless, he extended me a huge credit.  He saved my life.  Yes, he saved my life.
I will never forget it.  I will do my best to save the baby for you.

                                                            MEIR.
That means that you are taking the baby.

                                                            KSENIA.
Yes, I love her already.

                                                            MEIR.
The baby needs many things, a carriage, a crib, clothing.  Let me leave you money.  You
will need it.


                                                                                                                                            II-59.


                                                            KSENIA.
Don't worry about money.  I will manage.  Afterwards, you will return me the money.

                                                            MEIR.
No.  I insist that you would take the money.

                                                            He pushes her a bundle of banknotes.

                                                            RACHEL.
Ksenia.  I have strong fears.  Really strong fears.

                                                            PAUSE
I fear that once the neighbors see you with a baby, they will suspect that it is Jewish.

                                                            KSENIA.
                           (laughing)
You don't know Ksenia.  I am an old fox at camouflaging.  I already told my neighbors,
that one of my girls was in impregnated by a high a high German official. On his request,
I will be taking care of the baby. In this neighborhood, nobody fools around the German
officials. Your baby will be safe in my hands.  Don't worry about it.

                                                            RACHEL
Thanks.  I feel so relieved.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.
                           (pause)
Ksenia, how long can we stay here?

                                                            KSENIA.
I wish I could hide you.  But this is an open house.  I really can't do it.  You can stay
overnight.  You will sleep in my room, but at dawn, you have to leave.

                                                            PAUSE
Where are you going?

                                                            MEIR
We are heading towards Lopushna, which is about 10 km from here.

                                                            KSENIA
I have an idea.  My neighbor Danillo, can take you there.  He has a horse and  buggy.  I am
going to talk to him, right now.  Wait here.  Sit down and make yourself comfortable.

                                                            Ksenia exits.

                                                            MEIR
Do you trust her?  Maybe she went to call the Germans?

                                                            RACHEL
I trust her like my mother. She is a very smart woman who pulled herself up from the gutter.
She is sensible and sensitive.

                                                            They sit down at the table and Rachel takes the
                                                            bundled up baby and starts talking to her.


                                                                                                                                            II-60.


                                                            RACHEL.
Goodbye Aviva.  We called you Aviva which me Spring time in Hebrew. You brought us
much hope, into our lives.  You are like a spring awakening to a new life.

                                                            PAUSE
Please remember me,  your mother and Meir your father,  whenever you are.  You  are the
source of our miraculous renewal. We love you so much.

                                                            PAUSE.
Always remember your roots.  You are Jewish, and hopefully you will remain Jewish.  I
wish to see you five years from now.  You will be a blooming young lady.  I hope that I
will live to see you, then.

                                                            At this moment Ksenia came back.

                                                            KSENIA.
I arranged everything with Danillo. Tomorrow at four o'clock in the morning, he will be
here.  He will bring an Ukrainian attire for Rachel, and an old Russian soldiers coat for
Meir. Rachel will look like a braids maids going to a wedding and Meir will look like an
old homeless tramp. Nobody will bother you.

                                                            PAUSE
He will take you, by side roads, to Lopushna. Okay Rachel.  The most important things
are settled.  We have to sit down and talk.  I guess I will do most of the talking.

                                                            PAUSE.
After you came here last time, I decided to go to my priest, father Gavrillo, and ask him if
a Christian like myself, is allowed to save a Jewish child.  This is a simple question, but it
needs to be answered, not so for myself, as for my neighbors.

                                                            PAUSE
Father Gavrillo, after listening to me said that in the eyes of God every child is innocent.
God loves all the children, and he died for their salvation and for all mankind.  Nevertheless,
for the sake of myself and for the sake of the child, the child should be baptized.

                                                            RACHEL
Do we have to do it?

                                                            KSENIA
Yes.  I have to have a clear conscience.  It will determine my relationship with the baby.
In my eyes,  I am saving a Christian baby.  I will love it much more.

                                                            MEIR.
Rachel, it does not make a difference.  We are not martyrs for the faith.

                                                            Rachel wanted to say something,  but Meir, cut her of.

                                                            MEIR.
Okay.  What else do we have to discuss?

                                                            KSENIA
The name.  You call the baby Aviva.   This has to change. The name has to blend with the
neighborhood. I think that Marina would he a nice name.


                                                                                                                                            II-61.


                                                            RACHEL
Okay.  You can call it Marina.  It is close to Mary, Miriam. My mother's name was Miriam.

                                                            MEIR.
OK. Agreed.

                                                            KSENIA
When the baby is  Christened it also has to be registered.  I had a girl named Lesia Petruk.
I will register the baby as the daughter of Lesia Petruk, father unknown.

                                                            RACHEL
From now on, Aviva Lehrer is becoming Marina Petruk, a German bastard. In crazy times,
it sounds good.

                                                            MEIR
There is another thing I would like to do.  I left you some money, but I also want to give
you a deed to my property.  The Germans are losing the war, and sooner or later, times
will return to normal

                                                            He pulls out from his pocket a folded paper, and
                                                            gives it to Ksenia.


This is very deed to our property.  It is yours and Marina's. It is just a formality.

                                                            Ksenia takes the paper.

                                                            KSENIA
Thanks  Meir. I have a feeling that you  will survive, and all this will be unnecessary. Now
it is time to go to sleep.  You have to be rested. You have a difficult day in  front of you
tomorrow.

                                                            At this moment, there was a knock at the door.

                                                            KSENIA
Go upstairs.  Fast. Somebody is at the door.

                                                            Meir and Rachel exit fast, while Ksenia opens the
                                                            door. Barbara, her neighbor comes in.

                                                            BARBARA.
Did you hear the latest news?  They are killing the Jews in the ghetto.  It is horrible.  The
Germans warned people from hiding Jews, under the penalty of death.  The Germans mean
it.

                                                            She looks around and  cease the baby on the table.
                                                            She cautiously approaches to table and looks at the
                                                            baby.

                                                            BARBARA.
Ksenia, is this a Jewish child?  Tell me.


                                                                                                                                            II-62.


                                                            KSENIA
Are you crazy.  I would take in a Jewish baby?  You remember Lesia, the shy girl, that
worked for me?  Nice looking, but shy.  She got pregnant by a high German official, and I
agree to take care of her baby.  As a matter of fact, the baby to be Christened on Thursday
morning, in our church. I am inviting you  for the ceremony, that will be performed by
father Gavrillo. Please come.

                                                            PAUSE.
And now I have a splitting headache, and I have to say goodnight.  See you in Church on
Thursday. Now let's go to sleep.  We have to be rested for tomorrow.

                                                            END OF SCENE

                                                            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                            SCENE 8 - THE BUNKER



                                    SETTING:

                                                            The bunker under the Koenisberg's barn.  A small
                                                            area about 10 feet long and 8 feet wide. At the right
                                                            upper corner there is a masked trap door, leading
                                                            toward the bunker.  At the front, at the left and right
                                                            there are two bundles of straw, used for sleeping.
                                                            The bunker is lit by a small oil lamp, with a flickering
                                                            flame, giving the area an unearthly appearance.



                                                            At the upper left there is  the end of the ventilation
                                                            pipe, serving also as the listening post. At the right
                                                            middle of the wall, stands a small shelve with water
                                                            and bread supplies.  The oil lamp stands on the shelf.



                                    TIME:

                                                            March of 1944.



                                    AT RISE:

                                                            Rachel and Meir are resting on their straw bundles
                                                            and talking.

                                                            MEIR
We are here almost ten months.  Imagine ten months without seeing the daylight. Ten
months without stretching the legs. We became underground moles.


                                                                                                                                            II-63.


                                                            RACHEL
I spent additionally four months in a bunker in the ghetto during my pregnancy. But those
were the easy months. I wonder if we will survive.  Are we ever see our baby?

                                                            MEIR
At night I heard artillery rumbling in the distance.  The Russian are near and we are going
to make it.

                                                            RACHEL
We went through so many exciting moments, like the fall of Stalingrad, the liberation of
Italy, the opening of the second front in France, so much exciting moments followed by
disappointments. Now, I am afraid to hope.

                                                            MEIR
Where there is hope there is life and there is no life without hope.

                                                            There is  knock at the door trap.  Meir moves quickly
                                                            and opens the door. Koenisberg voice is heard clearly
                                                            although  his face is not visible.

                                                            KOENISBERG
The Russians are very near, about 10 miles form here. They should be here within 4-5 days.
Unfortunately, I can't wait for them. I am considered a rich man, an enemy of the people. I
am afraid for my life and I am running away with the Germans.  I brought you 4 loafs of
bread and 5 gallons of water. This should be enough for at least 4 weeks.

                                                            MEIR
Mr. Koenisberg, would it be advisable for us to move to the forest and wait there for the
Russians?

                                                            KOENISBERG
No. I don't think so. At the beginning of the year there were about 350 Jews in the forest.
Now, there are only 50.  You don't want to take unnecessary chances.

                                                            MEIR
Do you have by chance a trusted man that could  help us? We will pay him well.

                                                            KOENISBERG
It is rather difficult. It is hard to find an honest and reliable man, today. Everybody runs
for the fast buck.

                                                            MEIR
I am concerned that if something goes wrong we will perish in this hole. It is like being
buried alive.

                                                            KOENISBERG
I do have a decent field hand, but he is not too smart.  Let me think about it. Here is the
bread and the water. You are going to make it. Good luck. I have to go packing.

                                                            He turns the bread and the water to Meir.


                                                                                                                                            II-64.


                                                            MEIR
Thanks Mr. Koenigsberg. If you run into troubles with the Russian, you can count on our
help. Good Bye and thanks. You are a real gentlemen and we are lucky that we run into
you. Thanks.

                                                            Meir closes the door trap.

                                                            RACHEL
Are you worried, Meir?

                                                            MEIR
I feel helpless and concerned. If the situation changes, we are up the creek. Nothing will
help us.

                                                            RACHEL
Don't imagine the worst and respond to your imagination. I am full of hope.

                                                            MEIR
Rachel, you are a perennial optimist.  I am a realist.

                                                            RACHEL
Now we are left alone, we have to keep watch at the ventilation pipe to listen in what
happened above ground. When we hear Russian songs we will know that the danger is over.

                                                            MEIR
We also should start rationing the bread and the water, to make sure that we have enough
for at least 2 months.  You never know.

                                                            END OF THE SCENE.

                                                            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                            SCENE 9 - THE END IS NEAR



                                    SETTING:

                                                            The underground  bunker.

                                    TIME:

                                                            Three months later.

                                    AT RISE:

                                                            Rachel is crouching near the ventilation pipe,
                                                            listening to the voices above.



                                                            RACHEL
Meir, what are those Germans doing here? You never told that the Germans are living in
the house.  What is going on?


                                                                                                                                            II-65.


                                                            MEIR
I tried to shelter you from the bad news.

                                                            RACHEL
What is the bad news?

                                                            MEIR
It looks like the Germans stopped the Russian advance and took back a major city -
Tarnopol. The Germans tuned the house into a Military Police Station. We are isolated
and our jail is sealed.

                                                            RACHEL
What should we do?

                                                            MEIR
Stay quiet and keep our rations down.

                                                            RACHEL
Apiece of bread a a glass of water  a day, you call rations.

                                                            MEIR
Rachel, I know that it is hard on you.  It is worse for me. I cannot take it anymore. At night
I can't sleep because of my skin  and bones body. The  skin hurts and all the night I am
dreaming about water. I am worried what will happen if one of us dies. Where will one
bury him? How will the survivor dig the grave?  With a table spoon I suppose. I am giving
up.

                                                            RACHEL
Meir you cannot do it to me. For the sake of the baby we have to live. We are so close to
liberation. We have to hold on to life.

                                                            MEIR.
So close and so far. I am not going to make it. My strength is waning from hunger and
thirst. Rachel, I have been a good husband to you but I can not take it. Good Bye Rachel. I
am quitting.

                                                            (He moves closer to the trap door)

                                                            RACHEL
                           (With unbelievable agility she jumps out from bundle of straw and gets to
                           the exit trap, blocking the exit)
Meir  Lehrer, over my dead body you will leave the bunker. You will have to kill me first.
Do you have the strength to do  it?  Take another piece of bread.

                                                            Meir resigning, backs off the door and lies down on
                                                            his bundle of straw.

                                                            MEIR
Rachel, you won again.  I wonder what keeps you going. It must be the strength of the
weaker sex.


                                                                                                                                            II-66.


                                                            RACHEL
No Meir, it's something that you can't understand. It is the love of a mother, the
responsibility for the future of the baby. It is something that is penetrating every fiber of
my body.

                                                            MEIR
You are amazing. Maybe it is my age but but I don't have the stamina and perseverance.
You won for now.

                                                            At this moment there was a perking roaring of a
                                                            aircraft engine, resembling the sound of a lawnmower.

                                                            RACHEL
What is the noise?

                                                            MEIR
This is the noise of the "kukurudzynik".'

                                                            RACHEL
What is this?

                                                            MEIR
This is a small Russian biplane, made out of a aluminum frame covered with canvas. It
flies very low and is very hard to shoot down, because the bullet make holes in the canvas
and the plane flies away.

                                                            At this moment a big explosion is heard.

                                                            RACHEL
My God what is this?

                                                            MEIR
They are throwing phosphorous hand grenades at the Military Station. I hope that they hit
this barn and they will this barn and finish our misery.

                                                            RACHEL
Meir shut up for God's sake. Let them hit the house but not the barn. Almighty God, for
the sake of the baby let us survive.

                                                            A minute later the planes were flying away and over
                                                            the vent pipe one heard loud German voices barking
                                                            some orders.

                                                            MEIR
One thing  is sure, the Russians are close to us. Those planes operate only as ground support.

                                                            END OF SCENE.

                                                            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                                                                                                                            II-67.


                                                            SCENE 10 - REUNION

                                    SETTING:

                                                            Ksenia's house.

                                    TIME:

                                                            July of 1944

                                    AT RISE:

                                                            Meir and Rachel, looking haggardly, slowly approach
                                                            the  house.

                                                            RACHEL.
I am so anxious to see our baby.  She must be a big girl, by now.  She is over one year old.
I am very afraid of this encounter.  How will she react to us? How will Ksenia behave?
Will she willingly return the baby?

                                                            MEIR
The worst is over.  We are free people now.  Things will settle.  Nothing to be afraid of.  I
feel ecstatic and euphoric. We survived the catastrophe,  we are alive.

                                                            They knock at the window. Nobody answers. Ksenia
                                                            is not home. They sat down on the steps of the house,
                                                            waiting for her.

                                                              RACHEL.
Meir, do you think that we will have more children?

                                                            MEIR.
Rachel.  This is a silly question.  It is a war going on. Living with the Russians will not be
easy. What about if they decide to take me to the Army, Russian army.  How can I answer
your question?

                                                            RACHEL
It looks like, that after the euphoria wears out, we are not out of the woods.

                                                            MEIR.
We are out of the woods, for me. But we have to start from scratch, to organize a new life.
We will make it.

                                                            At this moment Ksenia approaches pushing a baby
                                                            carriage,

                                                            KSENIA,
                           (seeing them.)
You are here.  Why so late?  It is almost 4 weeks after the liberation. Where have you been?

                                                            Rachel runs to the carriage, pushes Ksenia away and
                                                            sticks her head into the carriage.


                                                                                                                                            II-68.


                                                            RACHEL.
She is so beautiful!

                                                            The baby starts to cry.

                                                            KSENIA
I guess the baby is sleepy. Let's put her into the crib. It is upstairs.

                                                            They walk into the house, and Ksenia takes the baby
                                                            upstairs.  Rachel and Meir follow  her. The baby
                                                            continues to cry.  After a while, Meir and Rachel
                                                            come down, why Ksenia  remains with the baby.

                                                            RACHEL.
I think that the baby is afraid of us.  How can it be?

                                                            MEIR.
The baby does not know us.  She is bonded with Ksenia and thinks that Ksenia is her real
mother. Babies form attachments, early in life.

                                                            RACHEL.
What are we going to do?  It is heartbreaking.

                                                            MEIR
Give it's time, everything can and will be settled.

                                                            Ksenia  comes down from upstairs and sits down at
                                                            the kitchen table.

                                                            KSENIA
Unfortunately, the baby is not used to strangers.

                                                            RACHEL.
But we are not strangers.

                                                            KSENIA
Yes, but for a long time, the only person that the baby saw was me.

                                                            Turning to Meir.


I waited for you to show up, for almost a month.  Why are you so late?

                                                            RACHEL.
Meir was very sick.  He had an acute diarrhea.

                                                            MEIR.
We were hiding in a underground bunker, in Lopushna. The Russians approached
Lopushna in March of 1944, and our benefactor, who being a rich man, was afraid of the
Russians, fled with the Germans.


                                                                                                                                            II-69.


                                                            PAUSE.
"The Russians will be here any moment. I am leaving", he said to us.  He left us with a
supply of bread and water adequate for three weeks. Unfortunately, the Germans make a
counter offensive and pushed the Russians back.

                                                            KSENIA
Oh my God!

                                                            MEIR
The farm was empty and was taken over by the German military police, with us sealed in
an underground bunker without food, without water.

                                                            KSENIA
All my God!  How did you survive?

                                                            RACHEL.
The almost died from hunger.  We were very close to death.  As one moment toward the  I
lost consciousness, my lips where parched, I could not lift myself up.  I was giving up,
then suddenly the baby's face flashed through my mind. The baby is waiting for you, I told
myself.  You have to get up. I mobilized my waning strength, got up and took a sip of
water, and stayed alive.

                                                            MEIR.
Yes.  The baby saved us from death. The "Bashert" miracle worked.

                                                            KSENIA
You have quite a story to tell.  I'm sorry to say that.

                                                            RACHEL.
This is not the end of the story.  After the liberation when we emerged from the bunker,
hardly alive, Meir saw`a field hand  carrying a pail of water for the cows. He grabbed the
pail, stuck his head into it and ...drank half a pail of water. He got an acute diarrhea and
couldn't  move for weeks.

                                                            KSENIA
Where do  you stay?

                                                            RACHEL.
We just came in.  We have no place to stay.

                                                            KSENIA
Why don't you move in and stay with me.  After the baby gets used to you, we will take
the next step.

                                                            RACHEL
Ksenia let me go up and see the baby, once more

                                                            Rachel walks up to the room and a moment later
                                                            comes down carrying the baby She shows the baby
                                                            to Meir.

                                                            RACHEL
Meir, isn't she pretty? Her smile pays for all those dark days spent in the bunker. I love her
so much.


                                                                                                                                            II-70.




                                                            NARRATOR
Rachel, Meir and a Aviva survived the catastrophe.  Meir and Rachel lived with the baby
and Ksenia a for about three months, until the baby accepted Meir and Rachel, and
attached himself to them.  After this, the new family left for Poland, and later for Israel,
where the family settled, and Meir opened to small business.

                                                            END OF PLAY

                                                            -------------------------------------------------------------------------



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