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Kindertransport

by Diane Samuels

Published by Nick Hern Books

(Extract taken from "LAMDA Acting Anthology, Volume 1", Published by Oberon).

EVA is a Jewish refugee, escaping to Britain from Germany just before World War Two. The scene begins with EVA at the window of a railway carriage surrounded by other refugees, waving goodbye to her mother and father as the train moves out of the station. Then she passes over the German border and on to Holland. She boards a boat bound for England and finally disembarks at Harwich.

EVA: (On the train bound for England.) Mutti! Vati! Hello! See. I did get into the carriage. I said I would. See, I'm not crying. I said I wouldn't. I can't open the window! It's sealed tight! Why've you taken your gloves off? You're knocking too hard. Your knuckles are going red! What? I can't hear you! (Train noise.) Louder! Louder! What! I can't hear! I can't... See you in England. (The train starts to move. EVA sits down.) I mustn't stare at that cross-eyed boy. What if he talks to me? (A young child starts to cry.) You mustn't cry. There's no point. Stop it!... We'll all see our muttis and vatis soon enough... And don't look at that cross-eyed boy.

(Announcing to everyone in the train.) Did any of you know? In England all the men have pipes and look like Sherlock Holmes and everyone has a dog. It's the border! The border! Can't get us now! We're out! Out! Stuff your stupid Hitler!

(Sounds of train stopping. EVA is eating greedily.) You know what? That Dutch lady said we can have as many cakes as we want. And sweets. And lemonade. I'm going to stuff my pockets for later. Who says it's naughty? They all want us to be happy, don't they? Well, that's what I'm doing. Making my self happy.

(Sounds of ship's horn.) You know what? If you lick your lips you'll taste the salt. Sea salt. What d'you mean, Hook of Holland? It can't be. It's nothing like one. It isn't look at it. How's that a hook? (Coughing.) Excuse me... (About to be sick.) ...it won't come... No, I'm Fine... Really. ..It's just nothing...Nothing will come out of me.

(Ship's horn.) This is Harwich, you know. It really is England...(Sounds of disembarkation.)

Can you go through just like that? Don't they search you? (She picks up a penny.) A penny. They have big money here. It must be a sign of good luck.

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