There was no need for you to leave the pub, sir. It's already over.

They are always like that. As soon as they meet, they are at each other's throats.

But they are family. The same surname. But everyone calls them the Yappers. Because as soon as the one sees another, they immediately yap at each other.
One is the Upper Jasiek because he has a farm next to the hill at the end of the village. And the other one is the Watery Jozek because his farm is located near the lake.

Yes. It was Jozek who called Jasiek a Jewish lackey.
Because when the old Laufers' granddaughter came here, they treated her like a queen.

The Laufers? I know them only from the stories I have heard. They lived here before the war.

Jozek and Jasiek are named after their grandparents, who were brothers.
It was from these grandparents that this family feud began.
And all this because of the Jews.

When the old Yappers' father died, Jozek took over the family farm, and Jasiek got the hut at the hill with a small piece of land. Jasiek did not oppose it because he was always so agreeable.
And he was such a softie. Apparently, when his mother told him once to chop off a chicken's head, he barfed!
Not like Jozek! He was quite a tough fella. He could drink, and he could fight.
And he had a strong head too! For everything.

When the Germans came, and things started to be difficult for the Jews, Jozek made a deal with the old Laufer. He would take and hide the old Laufer with his wife and his daughter, and Jasiek would keep the young Laufer with his wife and their child.

When the old Laufer ran out of money, and the local policeman informed in confidence that the gendarmes would come and check if there were any Jews hidden in the village, Jozek asked the Laufers to go.
And he told Jasiek that he also had to get rid of these young Laufers.

After that, he bragged in the pub: "So I told the old Laufer, <Your pleading on your knees will not help! As a Jew, you must understand me. You do not have any money, so it is not good business for me anymore. The policeman would not close his eyes for free, and now even the gendarmes are coming>.
I gave him a whole loaf of bread and wished him safe hiking!".

He got a little upset with Jasiek when he found out that Jasiek did not take a broken penny from the young Laufer because that Laufer had no money. "You should have told me. I would have squeezed that out of the old Laufer and given it to you. And now - your loss!"

When the Russkies came, it turned out that that jackass Jasiek did not throw the young Laufer and his family out but kept them hidden all the time!

Jozek got terribly mad: "Not enough that the fool kept the Jews and endangered himself, his family, and maybe the whole village, but he did not get a dime out of it!
A retard, or what?!".
"And so, when the policeman came to check if there are any Jews in my place, I laughed in his face and said that we kicked the Jews out a long time ago, but to catch and drive them to the police station - that's not us! And if he does not believe, he can go to Jasiek's place and check. If they find just a slice of a Jew there, they can burn Jasiek's and my property to the ground! Fortunately, they did not go there because God only knows what would happen to us!"

This young Laufer and his family left Poland a short time after.
But a few years later, some parcels with clothes and other things began to come from America to Jasiek.
Then it turned out that there were dollars in the clothes too! Ten, twenty dollars in each package. Jozek was not happy about that but said nothing.

Only when an official letter with seals came to Jasiek, and it turned out that the old Laufer had somehow survived, and as a reward, he rewrote 5 hectares of land near the forest to Jasiek, it become too much for Jozek!

Jozek asked Jasiek for half the land.
Because he was the one who arranged the hiding of the Laufers.
And he hid the whole year the old Laufer himself.

But the papers stated that the land was only for Jasiek and could only be passed on to his descendants! As if the old Laufer did it on purpose to prevent Jozek from getting anything from it.
And Jasiek was not too eager to share the goods either.

And that's when it started!

Before Jasiek's death, when plenty of officials, some Jews, and some reporters came to the village because he was awarded the "Righteous Among the Nations" medal, Jozek cursed the entire Jasiek family.

Since then, fathers, sons, and grandchildren have been hostile toward each other. Not to mention the women who shriek and leap at each other.

To say the truth, this supposedly stupid Jasiek turned out to be the winner...

But I also understand Jozek. Back then, the people did as he did.
He also risked as long as it was comparably safe for him and his family.

So what if he did not want to keep them anymore?!
After all, the own shirt is closer to one's skin.
To risk your own blood for someone else's?
Even God himself cannot demand that!

Will you not come back in? They brought the beers you ordered.

Really not? OK. Then I'll have to drink all by myself.

See you again!

Alex Wieseltier - Uredte tanker
Alle rettigheder forbeholdes 2019
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