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Portrait of Claudia Erdheim
by Nina Werzhbinskaja-Rabinowich

In der Judenstadt

Sample Text


Salomon Mayr stumbles into the room. A body was found in a secluded watering hole. It’s a Christian. She was sunk in a bag with a 50-pound rock. The body is full of stab wounds. The head, arms, and lower legs were skillfully removed as if with a dissecting knife. No one knows who she is. It could have been murder. Her body was brought to the Jewish quarter to place blame on the Jews. The magistrate displayed the victim’s head in a glass box for public viewing. A woman claimed to have recognized it and reported that she had seen the woman walking toward the Jewish quarter three weeks ago, yet she never returned. She has one tooth too few on her upper left side. It is Anna Audorfer, the wife of the shoemaker. Her husband, Thomas Audorfer, lives in the addition to the house called "Zu den zwei goldenen Kronen." All are uneasy. The entire Jewish quarter already knows. It is the sole talk of the tavern.


— I'm going back there to learn more. I will return and tell you what I hear.

— I will be going to the mikvah later. Perhaps I'll hear something there.


The tavern is packed and full of nervous chatter.

— They'll send one of us to the gallows.

— No one knows who murdered her.

— We need to find out.

— Lipmann Heller must speak with Earl Collalto.

— If that would be of any benefit.  

— He can talk to the town chamberlain.

— There must be an investigation.

— We'll have to defend ourselves.

— Who carried the corpse?

— When?

— How did she get to Veit's house?

— We cannot resolve this.

— Someone will be hanged.

— They can't do that.  

— There will be an investigation.

— Who was the woman?

— Her throat was slit.

— Who?

— She was stabbed.

— Have you seen the body?

— No.

— We should have buried it.

— And when they went looking for her.

— Then we wouldn't know where she was.

— We don't even know her.

— Yes, we should have buried it.

— Then they'd hang us all.

— They wouldn't have found her.


A man enters the room.

— Some of ours have been arrested and accused of murdering the woman.

— They must release them. They're innocent.


The people's anger is great. They're storming the Jewish quarter with pitchforks and screaming, "The Jews have murdered a Christian. Death to the Jews." A woman can bear testimony. They murdered and dismembered a Christian. The Jews are in grave danger. 300 musketeers have been called in to protect the Jewish quarter.