ERC > LEXICON OF THE YIDDISH THEATRE  >  VOLUME 5  >  DOV ZAWADZKI


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


 

Dov Zawadzki


 


Born on 22 June 1888 in Lemberg, Galicia.

A violinist and composer.

In his autobiography he writes that in 1919-1920 he, together with composer Chone Volfstal, participated in a Yiddish variety in Lemberg and was inspired from the arguments of actor Sam Schilling, that the actors become exploited, [and] he helped restart the "Goldfaden Artists Association," which Gershom Bader had founded in 1908. The association later united with the Yiddish Artists Union in Warsaw.

In October 1920 Z. traveled to Paris (director--Blumental), where he had the opportunity to participate in the productions of Molly Picon--Jacob Kalich, and he traveled with them in 1921 to Vienna, then he, together, with Prizament, Mestel, Dreykurs, Frantsos, Miss Gelber et al, founded the member troupe, "Haur," for Czechoslovakia, which had existed for another half a year, and was supported by the government. Due to internal conflict, the troupe fell apart and Frantsos had, on the concession of "Haur," directed a member troupe (with the Stramer family), under the name, "Habima." In 1925 Z. went on to found a "Yiddish Actors' Union."

In our archive there can be found two musical scores, "Aiv has di velt, aiv has," for piano and singing by Bernard Zawadzki, and an
overture for piano to "Di kliatshe," by B. Zawadzki.

On one of his photographs, Z. had written:

"Besides my mitvirkn and creating music, which I do not stage direct, because my way leads to folk songs, it is the exploration in this regard."

A. Maysels characterizes him as such:

"...Dov Zawadzki was a true 'Bohemian,' dedicated to the last morsel with everyone suffering from sores. He was a human being filled with knowledge. It was not a book or a topic, that Zawadzki may not be able to talk for long. He was a wandering library, a living lexicon.

In his years he spent a long time in Vienna with the Yiddish theatre as a violinist. He helped every much in the founding of the 'Fraye yidishe folksbiene' in Vienna, with the stage director Itzkhok Deytsh. ...he spent the last years in Paris, and here he created the music to Mendel's 'Kliatshe,' which was staged by Rudolph Zaslawski and had a very great artistic success.

A quiet, calm and modest man, he was a modern 'Bontshe the Silent.' He was never demanding, He took life as it came to him. His task in life was to study others, they to bring [him] knowledge and culture.

I see him through my eyes as he stands in the gas chamber, and it does not place him [among] the dead. He stands and explains the 'mechanics' of the gas redlekh, the source of this action. That is the way I was sure that this was a great way to get away from us, dying for the sanctification of the Name."
 

Sh. E.

  • A. Mayzels -- Dov zavadzii e'h, "Unzer teater shpigl," London, April 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 4499.
 

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