B. was born on 6 March 1894
in Soroki, Bessarabia. His parents were the owners of a
distillery, who moved over to Kishinev, where B. learned
in the real school, and received for his drawings a
medal from the arts academy in Peterburg. B. learned
with the playwright Z. Halles.
After the age of nine, B.
participated in the Russian production of Pushkin's "Karger
riter (The Covetous Knight)", and later, when he was
learning in the real school -- in the school
productions. Being in Moscow B. learned in the Tsarist theatre school under the
leadership of Goriev and Ukhov, and in the Technicum.
B. then entered into the
Russian troupe of Basmanov, with whom he acted for three
summers in Smolensk, three months in Poltava and two
winter seasons in Odessa. In the summer of 1915 B. acted
in a tour with Moscow's small state theatre (Sambatov),
which was mobilized and sent to the Caucases' front,
where he was once wounded.
In 1918 B. entered into the
Yiddish troupe of Sheyn in Kishinev, but he was soon
once again mobilized, and he then went over to the
Russian operations in Odessa. Here he learned for two
years in a conservatory and when the Bolsheviks took
over power, he crossed over to drama in the Red Army
theatre under the name of Sverdlov, and he was sent over
as the leader and regisseur of the