Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Chaim-Yosef Keymon



Born in 1891 in Lublin, Poland. Parents -- bakers. Until age fourteen he learned in a cheder. Immigrated to London, England, and there became a stand-in in Yiddish theatre ("Pavilion" with Zygmunt Feinman). In 1911 he returned home and acted with amateurs. In 1913 he went away to serve in the Russian army, and after fraye-vern, he joined in the Lublin Yiddish theatre under the direction of Yakov Vaksman, where he acted with Hershkovitsh, Shneck and Schilling. In 1918 he toured with a member troupe with Yakov Vaksman and making it through the eight Ukraine pogroms (Zlatopol, Novomirgrod, Cherkas, Uman, Yelisavetgrad, Nikolayev, Belaya Tserkow and Zhmerinke). Barely alive, he arrived in Odessa and from there toured with a member troupe across the Crimea with Brandesko and Vinokur, experiencing very bad times.

In 1920 he went to Constantinople, and from there to Bulgaria, then to Romania, where he acted with Kaner, Segalesko in Bucharest and Iasi, and he continued as a prompter with Aschenazy in Iasi, later with Kanapov, Jacob Kalich-Molly Picon, David Tselmeyster, Itsikl Goldenberg, Misha Fishzon and Breitman-Kanievska, then going through a tour (under the direction of Segal), with Dr. Baratov and later in Czernowitz with Reysh and then in other troupes.

According to Julian Schwartz, K. used to act part-time in episodic roles, and as the older actors Malvina Glikman left, he also helped as a bookkeeper for the management of the troupes in which he was participating. K. was a gentle, quiet, poor man. As a prompter, he gave respect to everyone. He never fought with anyone. He often experienced a difficult life and sometimes didn't have money for rent.

About his tragic end, here there is conflicting information. According to Julian Schwartz, he may have been rescued/saved in the Soviet Union, but in 1942 expired from hunger in Tashkent.

According to Malvina Pastor and Sadie Glik, he was deported to Transnistria and died here from typhus spots.

Sh. E. and Sh. E. from Julian Schwartz.

M. E. from Malvina Glikman, Sevilla Pastor and Sadie Glik.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4412.

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