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[The Child's Cry]


A unnamed Man in his mid thirties sits at a table as the doorbell rings. At the door is another man, answering an ad for a rented room. The men briefly discuss their wartime experiences. The Man was in the ghettos and camps, as was his first wife. He fled into the Soviet Union, and feels that those who fled look upon survivors of concentration camps with suspicion; why did they survive, and not the others? He thinks this is because of the refugees’ disappointment that among so few survivors of the camps, they so rarely find any of their loved ones

The Man’s wife, Esther, enters as her husband leaves for a moment. It turns out that the visitor is her first husband, David. When the Man returns, she makes an excuse for why she has turned so pale, and also sends him on an errand. David asks Esther how she could have remarried. She ways he chose to leave; he says she chose to stay for her family, and can she blame him for having left? She says yes, even while acknowledging his point that he couldn’t have foreseen the extent of the destruction at the hands of the Germans. He also asks her to return to him, but she says that’s impossible now. She adds that what drew her to her new husband was his simple goodness, his willingness to sacrifice everything for her, his disinterest in her past. She says that if she returned to David, he would always live in the past, would ask every detail about her second husband. And he and the child are the most innocent here, so why should they be the ones to suffer the most? Ultimately she sends David away, after giving him a photo of her with her child. She says she wants him to remember her not on her own, but with her child. He embraces her, and leaves.

The Man returns home to find his wife crying, and says he also became sad while he was out, thinking about how none of their loved ones survived. She says maybe it’s better that way. And she tells him that the boarder had a chance of heart “because … because there’s a child here … because a child’s crying would make him uneasy.”