Born in 1875 in
Bialystok, Russian Poland. She received a Jewish
education, and later she made it through the courses
of a five- to six- class gymnasium. She wandered off
to America, where in 1893 she married Leon Kobrin,
and since then, along with him, translated an entire
range of works, which often were published-- as
Zalmen Reisen tells it-- due to editorial reasons--
in the name of her husband.
Also K., under her
maiden name, wrote skits for the "Abend blat
(Evening Newspaper)" and "Tsukunft."
On 7 February 1913 in
Sarah Adler's Novelty Theatre, with Sarah Adler in
the role of "Liza Epstein," there was staged K.'s
drama in four acts, "The
Tragedy of a Woman."
On 29 January 1926 in
London's Pavilion Theatre, there was staged the
four-act comedy, "Vi m'ertsim a man," adapted by her
The translation of Tolstoy's
"The Living Corpse" was created through
Kobrin's partnership with his wife, and the same was
done two other plays,
"Musette" by Maupassant and Normand in "A Family
Tragedy" by Maupassant, which was published in six
volumes by Maupassant in a collection of works, which
was published in
1923 in New York.
K. also was instrumental in
the publication of Kobrin's volume, "Dramatic Writings,"
in New York in 1952, for which she had written an
On 29 August 1961 K. passed
away in New York.
B. Ts. Goldberg writes:
"This is the wife of a
Yiddish writer, especially of a famous Yiddish
writer in a significant undertaking. Not so that it
is generally not easy durkhtsukumen with a
writer in private life, but because the life of a
Yiddish writer always was, and much more often
today, a difficult material and spiritual struggle
and a life full of strain, indignation,
disappointment and frustration, which the happy
moments of achievement, recognition reaped in a
flash in a farvalknter night. But Pauline
Kobrin was more like a wife to Leon Kobrin. She also
was his secretary, creator, instructor and critic.
And above everything, Paulina Kobrin was his anchor
Faran writer who
are easily carried from the winds and storms is
very, times, And they must have a ballast, that may
hold the balance, that the essence of the
subordinate may appear, who may see realistically
the reality. Leon Kobrin has in that anchor perhaps
forced more than others, and this to him was
Goldberg touched on the
conflict between Kobrin and Ab. Cahan during the
time of his collaboration at the "Forward," and as
the "Forward Association" had found a compensation
for Kobrin's publication of his translation from
French to Russian, and:
which were published under Leon Kobrin's name, had
to significantly make Paula Kobrin-- this she did,
that he should himself be able to devote himself to
writing dramas for the theatre.
In another account,
Goldberg, as editor of the "Tog," had the
manuscript of Kobrin's translation of a novel, which
the "Tog" used to publish, and he had seen that:
"Many translations came
about from Paula's handwriting. At first it was
ordered that he direct her, and he had plenty to
direct there, where he had wanted to rewrite or
adapt the original in order to make it fit into the
daily transfer[?] [fortzetsungen] in the
newspaper. However, when the text is going
continually, Paula alone could do it. She knew
Russian and German and also a little French, better
than him. When Paula Kobrin didn't want to be the
wife of Leon Kobrin, when she didn't want to darken
her ambition with his, when she did not want to
satisfy herself by literally living through her
husband's writings, she by herself could be an
important writer in our literary world. Also, with
conditions, she left a few printed items-- a play--
in her own name."
Celia Silver [Celia
Zylbercweig] in a large article, from an interview
with her, writes:
"She is tall and slim, a
head with half-gray, thick hair, and eyes-- dark,
deep, wise, durkhdringnde. Her eyes flash
with a fiery funk when she begins to mix the
biz-gor interesting pages of her life story. ...
In style and humility she helped her husband
shackle, improve, embellish, refine every type that
came out of his pen. No matter, whatever Leon Kobrin
had written, did not go off to the press without the
permission of Paulina, his wife. Together they
worked on translations... and thus enriched with
real pearls the Yiddish literature and language.
Together they translated Chekhov, Turgenev,
and twenty volumes of the French writer Guy de
Maupassant. With regards to the translations, of
which a part were indeed only Paulina Kobrin's, she
had worked with love and ibergebnheyt,
because this was the medium that has made it
possible for Kobrin to turn to for his original
creations. Mrs. Kobrin had (also previously) worked
for several years in a shop, and later had a small
shop in order to create the necessary requirements
for her home."
"Lexicon of Yiddish Literature," Vol. III, p.
"History of Yiddish Theatre," Vol. II, p. 273.
B. R. [Rivkin]--
The Yiddish Stage, "The Literary World," N.Y.,
21 February 1913.
Paulina kobrin in a gantz lebn geven di
literarishe shusfte fun ir man leon kobrin, "Der
amerikaner," N.Y., 2 July 1948.
Leon Kobrin-- "Mayne
fuftsik yor in amerike," Buenos Aires, 1955.
B. Ts. Goldberg--
In gang fun tog, "Tog Morning Journal," N.Y., 2