3 women, 2 men.

(PAUL and SOPHIA move towards an embrace.

Music linking scenes. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D

Minor, Vivace and Largo ma non Tanto.)

Scene. LA RENCONTRE / THE MEETING

GERMAN VOICE

Today we pronounce sentence on:

(Gives the names of the men on trial.)

Hermann Wilhelm Göring, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Robert Ley, Wilhelm Keitel, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Alfred Rosenberg, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Julius Streicher, Walter Funk, Hjalmar Schacht, Karl Doentiz, Erich Raeder, Baldur von Schirach, Fritz Sauckel, Alfred Jodl, Martin Bormann, Franz von Papen, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Alfred Speer, Constantin von Neurath, Hans Fritzsche.

(Crossfade as PAUL exits, leaving SOPHIA and DEE DEE.)

DEE DEE

I’m Mrs Paul Carver.

SOPHIA

Sophia Goldenberg.

DEE DEE

I’m so glad to meet you. I know you are important in my husband’s life.

SOPHIA

Oh yes?

DEE DEE

Shall I tell you how we met?

SOPHIA

I don’t want to hear.

DEE DEE

I see.

SOPHIA

What do you see?

DEE DEE

I have two small children. Suzanne is fi ve years old. She has blonde curly hair and large blue eyes. When she was being born, they thought I would die. She seemed to get stuck. Her birth was a terrible agony. When she arrived her face was battered, her nose was swollen, she looked as if she’d been in a fight. Paul was with me through the labour, he held my hand, and when I thought I was going to die, I looked up at him and I thought that as long as Paul was with me, I didn’t care if I died bearing his child. He was with me, you see, that was all that was important. Suzanne is a very precious child, you know, she nearly killed me, loving Paul nearly killed me.

SOPHIA

But you lived, didn’t you?

DEE DEE

Do you understand what I’m telling you?

SOPHIA

You lived. Do you know how many women died before they knew what love is?

DEE DEE

I’m sorry. Did you have a family who...

SOPHIA

were killed by the Nazis? You can say the words, you know.

DEE DEE

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be insensitive.

SOPHIA

You think it’s insensitive, you think anything you can say can hurt me?

DEE DEE

I don’t know. I know it’s different over here in Europe. I know you suffered in a way that we never knew, but I read about it.

SOPHIA

You read about it.

DEE DEE

Did your family die that way?

SOPHIA

You mean gassed in Auschwitz or Treblinka?

DEE DEE

Yes.

SOPHIA

No, they put a bullet through their heads.

DEE DEE

Please. I have two small children.

SOPHIA

And I have none.

DEE DEE

But you have something which holds him the way I can’t. I can see why he loves you.

SOPHIA

What do you see?

DEE DEE

I see a beautiful, intelligent woman who has suffered.

SOPHIA

Don’t patronise me.

DEE DEE

I didn’t mean to. I’m trying to understand, can’t you see that? He’s all I ever had in my life... You, you’ve got your career, you’re attractive, you have no children, men like you, you could have whoever you want. Go away, find someone else, leave him, let him go.

SOPHIA

You know what strikes me? It’s the thought of all those dead young women who will never have the pleasure of watching a lover grow old. Who will never see the man they love at forty, at fifty, at sixty. Will never see his firm skin gradually turn to fine pleats. Will never experience the sweet, sweet sensation of loving that skin year after year. Or watching a lover in the bath and washing him all over as if that soft-skinned, soapy man were her own child. Will never have the pleasure of being a young girl still, under her own mature skin. Or stretching a hand out under the sheets and knowing that she’s chosen this man of all men; this man to cherish in the dark nights when hell is outside. I don’t think of the youth that was stolen. I think of the lost joy of growing old, of the possibility of love in age. Of loving someone whose hair is grey and seeing the boy of eighteen in the man of sixty or seventy. That’s what I miss when I think of Dachau. Or Auschwitz.

DEE DEE

Let me have him back.

ENDS