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Yiddish Theater in Europe

The Minchener Jidiszer Kleinkunst Teater
(MIKT) troupe

1946
Munchen, Germany

Rakhi Berman, actor
 

Some of those previously involved in the Yiddish theater in Poland decided to take the initiative, and in March 1946 they formed their own group called the "Musikalischer Jidischer Klajnkunst Teater" (MIKT). The Polish government and the MIKT troupe clashed politically and ideologically, so the new theater troupe gathered their belongings together and with help from the "Bericha," a Jewish Zionist escape assistance organization, in the Spring of 1946, managed to make their way to Munchen (Munich), Germany. When they arrived in Munchen, they changed their name to the "Minchener Jidischer Klajnkunst Teater."  (The word "Minchener" represents the word "Munchen"  in standard German.) Here they performed nine different Yiddish plays to appreciative audiences who yearned to hear words once again spoken on the Yiddish stage. Most of these theatrical productions in the DP camps were performed in the "American Zone." Before the group arrived, the camp had been entertained by amateur actors whose Yiddish material consisted of songs and other material that had to be constructed by memory, as much of what had been previously written and published was lost during the war. However, the MIKT had proven material at the ready. Not only did they perform in the DP camps, they also performed in large theatres such as the Prince Regent Theatre in Munchen. In all it is said that the troupe performed for more than 400,000 people during their three years of existence.

A number of directors and actors partook in these Yiddish productions, including managing director Israel Segal and art director and actor Israel Beker, from Bialystok. Rakhi Berman, pictured above, acted in at least two of the plays. He was a native of Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania, and he served in the resistance movement during the war.

The MIKT troupe disbanded in 1949, many of them immigrating to Palestine, France and the United States; some went back to Poland...more

 




 


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