Saisonbeginn

The short story "Saisonbeginn" by Elisabeth Langgässer, which was published in 1947 as a part of the collection Der Torso, is about the antisemitism of the inhabitants of a small town, which is brought out through the installation of a sign at the entrance to the town. The story is classified as Trümmerliteratur, or literature that was written immediately following the Second World War.

The main plot of the story deals with finding the best place for the sign. At the beginning of the story, the small town is described: it is a small, mountain town preparing for the onset of tourist season. Because the sign should serve as the first sight for all those visiting the town, the workmen finally decide that the sign should be placed next to the wooden crucifix. While the workmen place the sign, they are helped by schoolchildren, who happen by. When the sign is finally in place, nuns, men and women come by to admire it. For most of them it makes no difference what the sign says; for others, it is a source of amusement.

At the end of the story the sign is standing firmly in the ground. The three workmen look again at the sign, pleased; on the sign they read, "In this town Jews are unwanted."

Read more about Saisonbeginn:  Interpretations, The Motive of Antisemitism, Literature