Born on 7 June 1904 in
Vilna, Polish Lithuania, into a poor, myu-Chasidic
family. Grandfather was a rabbi in Smargon (called "the
Broder Gaon"), and the father, Betsalel Moredchai
Altshuler -- one of the prominent Vilna kollel
activists. Larned in the best cheders and with his aunt
-- secular subjects.
In his autobiography he
"From my early youth I had a
desire to nakhtsurikrimen and imitate how to
speak well and move. Not once did I used to receive
sufficiently... from my parents for practicing
"actor-like shtik". I often used to take
advantage of the opportunities and created a "theatre"
when they used to leave the house. When they used to
return and find our happy band on tables and under the
tables, on the bed and under the bed, and seeing that
the Shabbes holiday doors were farnutst on a
curtain, the lokshn board for a stage, coal for
gris, and a plate, glass to break, used to dress
up as Jews. The valued public used to have to bmkhilh
start out from their place and left the hall... The
money was paid out, understand, not for me (I have long
been farnasht), but for my parents, I had still
refused to act in theatre, even though two weeks..."
In 1922 A. arrived in the
"First Vilna Yiddish Dramatic Studio", founded by Mrs.
Jedwabnik under the leadership and direction of
Hungarian Jewish regisseur Bela Daniel, and A. became
private secretary of the
Yiddish literary field (?). Here he participated in the
programs staged by the studio, until, under the
direction of Avraham Sloodski, the studio took to
performing on the professional stage. A. acted then with
Avraham Morevsky, and A. remained active there in
various Yiddish literary dramatic undertakings.
After being in Vilna, A.
there staged on 1 February 1924 in the hall of the
tradesmen, "Libe un toyt", a mystery in three scenes by
A. Shteynbukh, translated and staged, adapted by A.; on
17 May 1924 in Vilna's commerce hall, his one-acter
"Asada", and on 16 April 1925 "Nekamah fun gevisn", a
drama in 3 acts by Chaim Bregman.
A also wrote the play "Salomea
un hurdus", which was performed in Vilna and other
During his visit in 1928 to
Vilna, he printed there his book of songs "Ershte blitn",
and in 1931 published his song book "Fun yuni-nekht".
Sh. E. and Sh.
E. by Chaim-Leyb Fuks.
"Lexicon of the New
Yiddish Literature", New York, 1956, Vol. I, pp.