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  ERC > LEXICON OF THE YIDDISH THEATRE  >  VOLUME 5  >  MAX SADOWSKI


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


 

Max (Mordechai) Sadowski
 


 

He was born in 1905 in Vilna, Polish Lithuania. Due to the death of his parents when he was very young, he was raised by his older brother.

He completed the local gymnasium, while at the same time receiving a Jewish education, developing a strong desire for the stage, beginning to act as an amateur, and professionally was taken into the Vilna Troupe when they came back from the Crown of Poland, playing in Vilna. Here he later played with various troupes, and with various American guest-stars. Then in Lodz (director Dovid Tselmeister), with various itinerant troupes, and in the Skala Theatre in Warsaw, where in 1935 he married the actress Dora Rubina.

According to his wife, when the Second World War broke out, they had  been playing Yiddish theatre in Warsaw. Her father, the orchestra conductor, shortly before the outbreak of the war, went off to Bendin to study with a local cantor the "Mim Nurayim Tefilot," and the mother with the youngest daughter came to Warsaw. The father had not yet returned from Warsaw. After four weeks of death and destruction rained, as the Nazis entered and occupied Warsaw, and the mother, a Vilner, demanded that Dora with her husband should go over to Vilna, they had ibergelat in Warsaw the mother and the youngest sister, who they had never seen, and they were off to Vilna. Vilna meanwhile was taken over by the Soviets. Yiddish theatre again began to be performed, but then the Nazis entered. The Vilna Jews were locked into a ghetto of several smaller and larger streets, but even in the ghetto they had continued to play Yiddish theatre on Kansko 3, until the

23rd of September 1943, when the ghetto was liquidated, and every Jew was driven to the slaughter of Ponar or in the work camps.

Dora, with her husband, had survived by keeping in touch with the talk among the coalition. Two of them had wandered around together with others in the filthy water that reached up to their necks. Then they went out and found a hiding place, until the Germans noticed that Jews dreyen zikh arum. Then with her husband they tried to escape but were captured in "blak keylis," where some Jewish laborers still worked. Being unemployed, they were in constant danger of being arrested, but with great effort, they succeeded in blending in, until 10 May 1944, [when] the Nazis came ostensibly to take men to 'work,' but in actuality to bring them to Ponar Also Dora's husband was taken there. When they took him out zi tsugelofn aun gebetn, that they should be permitted to allow themselves..[?] She went back into the door entry. Sh. lifted both hands and shook one fist into the other and shook them to her health: 'Keep it up!'

In a note to us, his wife wrote:

"After waking up in the camp ('blak keylis') after several months, there entered one morning a group of Germans with a machine gun, and they were looking for ten men. No one wanted to come forward voluntarily, they entered the shackle and whispered to them, in the group of the ten men, Sadowski among them.

I saw through the window (I could not see. We were guarded by the Germans), as they were thrown into a machine. I watched, as Sadowski cast himself out, trying to flee. They shot at him, wounding him in the foot, and they returned him to be thrown into the machine. This was the last time that I saw my love, who was Max Sadowski.

The ten men were taken to Ponar, where they sang to one another in chains and had to bury the Jews who had been brought to Ponar... And when the ten men had completed their work, they were all shot.

I was made aware of the details of Sadowski's death, when after the liberation, I returned to Poland, where my brother-in-law, Sadowski's brother, Doctor Sadowski (who had been saved by Christians, and passed away in Lodz in 1948), who had traveled back to Vilna to find out the details of Sadowski's death."


Sh. E. and M.E. from Dora Rubina.

  • Vos mit der aktrise dora rubina hot pasirt, "Morgn frayhayt," N.Y., 24, 25 Oct. 1946.


 

 

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4045.
 

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