Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


(Ida Shevakhovits)

Born on 4 June 1904 in Grodno, Polish Lithuania, to genteel parents. As early as kindergarten she manifested stage abilities. From class to class, until the seventh gymnasium class, she participated in school productions. Then she acted with the local amateurs. She often attended the theatre. She married the actor Joseph Khash and began to act with him professionally in Yiddish theatre, at first in Romania, making a tour across Bessarabia and Bukovina, then she returned back to Poland and migrated with her husband and family from city to city, living more in trains and buses than in houses.

Her children: the girl Pasinke, who had recently acted in theatre by herself, and the youngster Yankele, due to the constant wanderings of their parents, did not receive a normal upbringing. They had therefore lived their childhood in the atmosphere of the theatre, whose air they had absorbed.

About her acting and her tragic end Sh. Blacher writes:

Idina, or Ida Khash, who had manifested great abilities as an amateur, had however no great success as a professional actress. She acted in character roles, or in very small episodes for youths. Thus, however, she was a Jewish mother to her children, and a very good wife to her husband. ....Often when the troupe used to stop in small villages with their own bus at the village stop, she used to pass by, walking up as if from above to the baggage department; they used to take oyslozn children's strollers and cooking fuel. She gave the troupe


personal homey economic compassion [?]. Even a lotto to play in the early days , or after the production, to further fascinate and continue to geforn.

When the Soviets took Western White Russia, the troupe found itself in Pinsk. Joseph Khash, with some of his members, were engaged in "song brigades" in the province. Ida with her children remained in Pinsk. Wanting to be together, Khash traveled over to Vilna and became engaged to the Vilna State Theatre. There he probably brought over his wife and children. Idina did not act in Vilna. The Germans took Vilna, and Khash together with his brother Kadish, were taken by the Gestapo to Strashuna 15. They were taken away to the Lukases prison. Idina was saved. She shlogt op every door. She ran to Lithuanian actor intervention, but they couldn't manage to do anything for them. She fled to a lawyer. For Jews there were already no laws, and even with the best intentions of the non-Jewish lawyer, nothing could be done. And so there was a second provocation, and Strashuna street became emptied out of Jews, together with everyone, Ida Khash and her two children."

  • "Lexicon of the  Yidish Theatre," V. 1, New York, 1931, p. 43.

  • Sh. Blacher-- "Eyn un tsvantsik un eyner," New York, 1962, pgs. 42-43.






Home       |       Site Map       |      Exhibitions      |      About the Museum       |       Education      |      Contact Us       |       Links

Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 3719.

You can see her initial Lexicon biograph in Volume 1, page 43.

Copyright Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved.