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  ERC > LEXICON OF THE YIDDISH THEATRE  >  VOLUME 5  >  FELA GARBAZH


Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre
BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE WHO WERE ONCE INVOLVED IN THE Yiddish THEATRE;
aS FEATURED IN zALMEN zYLBERCWEIG'S  "lEKSIKON FUN YIDISHN TEATER"


VOLUME 5: THE KDOYSHIM (MARTYRS) EDITION, 1967, Mexico City

 

Fela Garbazh

Born in Warsaw, Poland. She lived for several years in Romania, where she played in Yiddish theatre with her husband Moshe Gabarzh. Then they returned to Poland, where she strove to get involved in acting in Warsaw, in an eminent Yiddish theatre, and received prominent roles, but as she had it all she could no longer exit, she herself, together with her husband, went out across the Polish province with their own itinerant troupes, put together by ability, young, intelligent forces, and with them they played the important plays from the better repertoire of the Warsaw Yiddish theatres, in which she played the main female roles, for example, "Mary," in Asch's "Motke the Thief."

About this Jonas Turkow writes:

"Fela Garbazh, who was a great character actress and had to be as good in that one role in 'Motke the Thief,' besides the main heroine (Mary the tightrope walker), to which she was not adapted, both outwardly and inwardly, she had however precisely the scene to play.

...Initially at the end of his twentieth year, when Moshe Lipman organized a troupe in Warsaw's 'Central' Theatre and arranged for Fela Garbazh and gave her appropriate roles, and all of them (the press as well as the audience) were overwhelmed with great vigor with this character actress. From then on Fela Garbazh was not only a provincial actress, but also in the capital city of Warsaw."

And in his book, "Extinguished Stars," Jonas Turkow portrayed G'.s tragic end:

"A short blonde woman with beautiful blue eyes. A sad, noble face, which gives the impression of a good, quiet woman, but when she opened her mouth to speak, the impression was very smooth, which she had made from the first moment. She had a hoarse, characteristic voice, and thereby was avid.

By the way-- a very smart woman-- always jealous of his (her husband's) love affairs. And by the way, she was never sure if the objects of his affairs reciprocated. in kind., 

There was a great love for them both: it was the love they had for their only child -- a young man. Their child was born very much a beauty, and his parents were overwhelmed. Unfortunately, after a period of time the child grew into a cripple, and he continued to get worse; he wasn't able to speak and could not go.... at age twelve the child passed away as a cripple. Every day Fela Garbazh used to go to the cemetery to the gravesite of her deceased child and found there her bitter heart.

[The caption reads: "As "the young girl from the market" in Goldfaden's "The Witch/Sorceress" (drawing by F. Friedman).]

This theater couple was strongly curtailed and stunned, after the death of their only, their home-loved child. To people with whom thy were friends with, there were many heartaches. They were hospitable and were really happy when you visited them.

...When the [Second World-] war broke out, the Garbazhs did not play in any theatre. ...Those who did all these things [in the Warsaw Ghetto], can be considered for people with shaved nerves, ...Fela Garbazh had apparently not had any shaved nerves, and it wasn't possible for them to cross the hell that had called on the Warsaw Ghetto. She was tired of breaking up, and Moshe Garbazh could not leave her alone for a minute. ...In the last "Action," shortly before the uprising, the Garbazhs were ensnared, forever."

  • Jonas Turkow -- "Extinguished Stars," Buenos Aires, 1953, Vol. 2, pp. 211-15.

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4361.
 

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