The Shop on Main Street

The Shop on Main Street

The Shop on Main Street (Czech/Slovak: Obchod na korze; in the UK The Shop on the High Street) is a 1965 Czechoslovak film about the Aryanization programme during World War II in the Slovak State.


During World War II, a mild-mannered Slovak carpenter Anton "Tóno" Brtko is offered ownership of the sewing notions i.e. haberdasher store of an old, near-deaf Jewish woman, Rozália Lautmannová, as an Aryanization regulation is enacted. As Brtko attempts to explain to Lautmannová, who is oblivious to the world outside and generally confused, that he is now her supervisor and the owner of the store, Imrich Kuchár, a Slovak opponent of Aryanization, informs Brtko that the business is unprofitable and Lautmannová relies on donations. The Jewish community then offers to pay Brtko a salary if he nevertheless stays in charge, to prevent it being given to a new, possibly ruthless Aryanizer. He accepts and lets Lautmannová believe he is her nephew who has come to help.