Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Mark Leyptsiker


Born on 27 September 1897 in Warsaw, Poland into a Chasidic family. Learned in cheders, yeshivas, etc. With hardships he was permitted to learn his studies also with a teacher. Through his cousin, the actor Chaim Grinshpan, he became familiar with Yiddish theatre and moreover came to a strong request (?) Participated in a dramatic circle with Warsaw’s “Hazamir”, and then immigrated for two years with Nathan Goldberg across Poland. Due to the First World War, he was prevented from acting in Poland in Yiddish, and had to therefore put on productions at dances and wedding halls under the mask of dance evenings and weddings.

At the end of 1914 he went away to Minsk, and there with actors and “amateurs”, he put together a collective and acted in Shabbes matinees. Gave fifty-percent discounts to the Russian Red Cross, but after performing several times, the productions became banned. 1915 – went back to Warsaw and there prompted with the “Artist’s Vinkele” with “Hazamir”. Then he went on tour with Esther Rukhl Kaminska across Poland and the Ukraine. After the October Revolution he entered into the troupe of Rudolf Zaslavaky and (?) Luxembourg. 1920 – participated in Poltava’s “Kunst vinkl”, which migrated in 1921 across to Kremenchug and then to Kharkov. Since 1922 he settled into the theatre in Kiev, where L. participated as an evening regisseur until 1928.

1929 – went over to being a stage manager in the all-Ukrainian state theatre for small forms, “Gez-kult”, where he was active until

1930. Later he went over to Kiev’s film factory, where he went through a six-month course in the film laboratory.

1931 – worked for eight months as stage inspector in the first ulfarbandisn Polish theatre in Kiev, then worked organizationally and administratively in the “pedagogical Jewish-Ukrainian state theatre for children” in Kiev, where he served in the school council of the National Minderheytn, Yiddish technicums, professional school, etc.

L. also organized and traveled with dramatic works in Yiddish worker clubs in the Ukraine and participated in several Russian films.

L. was a co-founder and active collector for the theatre section of the “Mendele Museum” in Odessa, a collaborator in the Yiddish theatre department of the “All-Ukrainian Soviet Encyclopedia” (“Are”), and the correspondent for the “Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre” in the Soviet Union.

During the Second World War, L. was brought by the Nazis into a “death ravine” at Babi Yar in Kiev. His wife suffered from the same fate. Their one and only son was heroically killed in the ravines during the Nazi attack.

Sh. E. from Yonah Radinov.

  • Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre”, Warsaw, 1934, Vol. 2, p. 1076.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4553.
You can read the original Lexicon biography of Mark Leyptsiker in its second volume, published in 1934.

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