ERC > LEXICON OF THE YIDDISH THEATRE  >  VOLUME 5  >  SHMUEL SHEFTEL


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

 


 

Shmuel Sheftel


 

S. was born in 1898 in Vilna, Russian Lithuania. A close relative of actor Noakh Nakhbush, through him he became one of the first members of the Vilna Troupe, where he worked as an assistant director and also participated as an actor.

According to his daughter Sonia, he was a talented actor, and when the fate didn't not connect him with the "Vilner," he won for himself a position as a distinguished actor, but in the shadow of those great artists of the troupe, who had won a worldwide acclaim for themselves, he was only associated as the assistant director that was ready for the stage to act only from time to time.

Sh. made all the prices and divisions for the Vilna Troupe, until the complete falling apart of the troupe in Europe. Afterwards he had been associated with the theatre ensemble under the leadership of Alexander Granakh, Kurt Katch and "Di yidishe bande," often times at the price of hunger and not being able to give his wife and two children the minimum of hyunh.

During the Second World War Sh. was captured in Warsaw. Both children were away in Russia, where the son, Leon, was killed. Sh., who was from the famous pkhdim in the Yiddish theatre, had feared of being pulled out from home. He suggested that, if he was sitting in his home and wasn't noticed by the Nazis, they will forget about him, but in the end others, aiz ot dem pkhdn came .

 out, to end their lives as a hero. With a gun in his hand he defended the Jewish dignity in the Warsaw ghetto. On 1 May 1943 he was wounded from a bullet and on 4 May 1943 passed away from his wound. The leader of his camp group had him brought to the cellar of Smotshe 1.

His daughter Sonia Sheftel-Shternfeld, who was saved, acted in the Hebrew Habima Theatre in the land of Israel.


M. E. from his daughter Sonia Sheftel-Shternfeld.

 

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4140.
 

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