age of six he was brought
over by his parents to Romania. He stressed that he
received his initial reduction in a Jewish elementary
school and cited his first religious teacher "Shmuel
Zanvel." He noted that languages came easily to him,
because since childhood he had become familiar with
languages. His mother was a Spaniolish-Jewish woman and
had spoken Spaniolish and Romanian; his father spoke
Yiddish and Romanian. He received his entire education
in German. He also spoke French, and because of that he
had from home he later became familiar with Spanish [Spaniolish],
and it was easily then for him to learn Italian.
In his talk the question of
Yiddish came up, and as such S. said:
"A language is a language.
The Yiddish language has in itself juice and spirit. It
is very expressive and filled with color. The main thing
is that when one speaks Yiddish, it has to be a natural
Yiddish. In Germany I played character roles in various
dialects, and I hadn't any success when I did not speak
in the dialect demanded of that character, with the
expression, with the shadows.
Classical plays perhaps are
not easy to translate into Yiddish, but generally I had,
for example, in 'Shylock,' studied [my role] in German,
and it wasn't very easy for me to play it in Yiddish.
However, I had a plan for 'Shylock,' to play it in
Hebrew. In a short time I had returned here to see, as
children had played, 'Joseph and his Brothers' in
Hebrew, it was to be so electrifying, that I sensed that
if I had to play 'Shylock in Hebrew (when Schildkraut
had such words to speak, his eyes became enflamed, and
his closed fist had expressed a fiery passion, and a
firm order). A Hebrew translation existed, and I began
to study it. I cannot tell you in words how strongly I
thirst after it."
The theatre director Joseph
Edelstein, a close friend of S.'s father, declared that
he wasn't born in Constantinople, but in Galatz,
Romania, where his parents maintained a small hotel in
which Yiddish actors lived. Among the inhabitants in the
hotel were: Joseph Edelstein, David Kessler, Sigmund
Mogulesko, the musicians Finkelstein, Israel Weinblatt,
Paulina Finkelstein (later Edelstein.)
B. Teich, a brother-in-law
of S., says that in a long letter in the "Forverts,"
S.'s father was called Ignatz, and he had maintained a
hotel on Strada Belavista in Galatz. The place was
called Hotel Berlad. S.'s sister, Regina, had loved
Teich's brother, Josef. Schildkraut's parents were
excited about the shidakh, but the bridegroom's
parents were absolute against making a shidakh
with him, a hotel person whose son had studied to become
an actor, whose life was not fanatically religious.
strongly moved itself due to the shidakh.
The Teichs had required of their son that if he made the
shidakh, he should change his family name. All
the strashunkes and applications were not saved.
Josef Teich got married. His father sat shiva for him,
but his mother was for the marriage. Josef later had
went off with his wife to Cairo, then returned home,
where he passed away, and the letter writer, as a
brother of the deceased, gave khalitza to his
S.'s son, Yosef, was named
after his brother-in-law.
Teich also recalls that
around 1881 S. happed to play in the Hungarian city of
Kronstadt [now Braşov, Romania] in a large cabaret. Then
he was not too good. Another time he happened to be
playing in Bucharest, but not in theatre, only kortn.
S. had a golden character and was a lovely man.
As a student, S.
participated in the gymnasium in theatre productions,
and instead of studying in a university, he completely
took to visiting the dramatic department of the Vienna
Conservatory. As punishment his father stopped sending
money to him, and after a year's time he became
materially supported by the Austrian actor Mitterwurtzer.
The poet A. Glantz writes:
"His father had...[much more