ERC > LEXICON OF THE YIDDISH THEATRE  >  VOLUME 5  >  LEOPOLD YUNGVIRT


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

 


 

Leopold (Peretz) Yungvirt

 

Y. was born on 15 April 1891 in Krakow, Western Galicia. His father was a businessman. In 1908 he became a chorister in the Yiddish theatre in Krakow, and at the same time in small character roles. Since 1911 he crossed over to larger roles, then for three years he was director of Yiddish theatre in Krakow, actor and regisseur in Czernowitz, several years acting with Podzamcze in Vienna, then in London, Paris, Czechoslovakia.

S.J. Harendorf, in his book, "Theatre Caravan," recalls how he had in 1921 trudged across Czechoslovakia with a small troupe of seven people, among whom there was also the actor Yungvirt. A Christian impresario who had undertaken their production in the city Brin [Brno, Czech Republic-- ed.], he flooded the entire city of Brin with enormously large posters, announcing that "the world-famous Yiddish operetta troupe" will present for the Jews of Brin the famous Goldfaden operetta, "Shulamis."

The production was sold out, but the audience who knew the play of Friedrich Leitch productions gebuntevet in the theatre, in the morning, made an accusation to the editor of the local Yiddish-German weekly newspaper the "Yudishe folks-shtime," Max Hickl, that it was a disgrace that "Shulamis" was "oysgelasn," their "oysgelasn ("gekritzt," but a similar expression as "oysgelasn," not-respectable.)

Despite the failure, which followed the troupe on the tour that

 


followed, the play continued to be staged, and,

"Leopold Yungvirt, the 'star' of our troupe... was convinced that knows and understands better than others. However, when the terrible poverty had already made a ?l of us, that in fact there were perils to our souls, he had, on the other hand realized very much that his ridiculous production of the "'oysgelasener' Shulamis,' which had ruined us morally and materially, with a heavy heart he 'enhanced' our very poor repertoire with some strong tsugestrigevete plays, which were shared among the six members of our troupe."

In 1928 y. was the premier in Emil Frides' Yiddish troupe in Vienna.

Y. wrote the plays, "The False Oath" and "The Renegade" and translated "Vaybstayvl," "Morpheus" and "Schloss Veterstein."

According to S.J. Harendorf, during the outbreak of the Second World War, Y. was to be found in Krakow, where he was killed by the Nazis.

According to Meir Melman, Y. was killed in a ghetto.


Sh. E. from S.J. Harendorf and Meir Melman.

  • "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre," Volume 2, Warsaw, 1934, page 937.

  • S.J. Harendorf-- "Theatre Caravan," London, 1955, pages 43, 47, 51.

 

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4335.
You can see his initial Lexicon biography in its Volume 2.
 

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