Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Yakov Pyekarnik


P. was born on 5 August 1888 in Warsaw, Poland. He finished a folkshul. At the age of thirteen he sung with a cantor and afterwards together with the late actor Leybl Viner, and they performed at simchas.

In 1905 he performed in Kompaneyets' troupe at the Muranov Theatre under the direction by Mark Arnstein, debuting as the "Rosh hakohl" in Shomer's "Der idisher prints", later acting in Julius Adler's troupe across the Polish province, later with Tsipkus and Lipovski, and since 1913 in Vienna with M. Ziegler across the province in Galicia and in Paris with Morris Axelrad.

During the First World War (at a time when acting in the Yiddish theatre was forbidden), he learned a trade, with which he worked for a year's time. Later he was a co-founder of the Perets Theatre in Paris and acted until 1921 in Paris and Antwerp, going to Romania where he acted with Ziegler, later in Bucharest with Goldenberg, in Iasi with Aschkenazy, as well as with the guest stars Molly Picon and Jacob Silbert. He returned to Paris, where he acted with the directors Blumental, Burshtin, and member troupes, as well as with Maurice Schwartz, during his guest-appearance in Paris. P. also participated in Yiddish theatre troupes in Antwerp, Brussels and London. And the Second World War took him to Paris.

When he was caught when the Germans were arresting Jews in Paris, he endured by not going out of his house. However, in July 1942 he felt a deep desire to find out what was happening in the world, and he went out to buy a newspaper. They soon arrested

him and sent him to the Drancy camp, from where he was deported several weeks later to a point unknown, from where he did not return.

Sh. E. from Khaykele Burshteyn-Schwartz

  • "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre", New York, 1959, Vol. III, p. 1808.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 3994.
You can read the Lexicon's initial biography for Yakov, in its Volume 3.

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