Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


David Mendelevitsh


Born in 1888 in Kielce, Poland. In 1903 he debuted in Radom on the Polish stage, which he left soon however due to anti-Semitism. In 1909 he settled in Czestochowa and (with the assistance of Cantor Avraham-Ber Birnbaum) organized a Yiddish dramatic section, with whom he directed in "Uriel Acosta" (acting in the role of "De Silva"), later (with the help of Avraham Vieviorka) directing a range of Gordin plays, thereafter entering as a professional Yiddish actor in the guest-starring Kaminski troupe, with whom he toured across Poland. From there he went over to the troupes of Lipovski, Genfer et al, where he acted until 1915.

In 1915-16 he acted with Clara Young in Kharkov, afterwards organizing under his direction a troupe, with whom he toured until artist-[tsuzamenfor], across the Crimea and the Ukraine. From 1917-20 he toured with a cooperative troupe and then acted in members' troupes, leaving the Soviet Union and acting in the Yiddish theatre in Constantinople, Italy and Vienna.

In 1922 he was engaged in Paris and London (Dir. -- N. Blumental), where he acted until 1925, then until 1927 was director of Yiddish troupes in Belgium. In 1928 he was engaged to a Yiddish troupe in South Africa and after returning to Western Europe, there again he acted in Yiddish theatre.

According to his brother Joseph, M. traveled in 1942 from Brazil to Antwerp with an old valise and bird, which he had wanted operational?. In a certain station the Nazis had taken and arrested him on the charge of spying and deported him to Auschwitz from where he did not return.


His wife in Antwerp and a son of eighteen or nineteen years of age who had also visited him where also sent away to Auschwitz, where they were killed. the information is that the brother came in 1944 for a wife, who was an [ed rahy] of the arrest in the [ban]. She also was given over, that when they had arrested the actor's wife and son, they were encouraged, that one sent them to claim their husband and father. (?)

Sh. E. from Joseph Mendelevitsh and Max Bozyk.

"Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre", Warsaw, 1934, Vol. 2, p. 1368.






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 4804.
You can also read David's original Lexicon biography in Vol. 2, by clicking here.

Copyright Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved.