Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Melech Rubin

Born circa 1907 in Warsaw, Poland, to pious parents. In 1930 the entire family (R., his wife and four children) immigrated to America. On the ship his wife had a heart attack and died. In order to avoid that people shouldn't dispose of the dead body in the sea, the entire family returned, going over on a ship that was returning to the free city of Danzig, because they had said during their immigration to America, for their Polish citizenship, and to there they could no longer return. The dead corpse was brought to a grave in Danzig, and R., who had a desire for the theatre, being a relative of the Yiddish theatre family Lichtenberg-Kaminski, had begun to take up in Danzig with organizing Yiddish theatre productions in which he also participated and even acted in the title role of Gutzkov's "Uriel Acosta".

In 1932 R. gave up the theatre and sent his children to their grandmother in Rembotov, behind Warsaw, where he used to visit his children and by himself tour with various itinerant troupes across Poland, sending small sums [of money] to maintain his family.

R. also participated in the film (with Dzhigan and Shumacher) "Reykhe kbtsnim".

In 1939, during the outbreak of the Second World war, his eldest son Moniek helped move over more Yiddish actors to Soviet Russia, and as such they were saved from the Nazis, but by himself he went over to the Soviet border, and here acted in Yiddish theatre and had been found in the Slonim ghetto with a daughter. In order that she may have an opportunity to live, the actor Zalmen Koleshnikov had her tsugeshreyben for the local Yiddish theatre as a personal aide. The Germans had every Jew in the ghetto arrested, and later she went out from their cell ostensibly for work, however, truly to [their] death. This was done with R.'s daughter who had during the oysleydikn remained there several days by herself. At first when the Germans were there again, they entered, and found a farshmakhte, she had been freed, and as such she was after the "action" a Jew, and they drove her out. She fled to Bialystok, visiting that ghetto. Koleshnikov tells about her and her father's fate. There she arrived with a husband, had worked, however later were issued guidance and disappeared. Her end was likely that of the other Jews.

M. E. from son Jacob Rubin and Zalmen Koleshnikov.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4736.

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