Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Shmuel Sheftel


S. was born in 1898 in Vilna, Russian Lithuania. A close relative of actor Noach Nachbush, through him he became one of the first members of the Vilna Troupe, where he worked as an assistant director and also participated as an actor.

According to his daughter Sonia, he was a talented actor, and when the fate didn't not connect him with the "Vilner", he won for himself a position as a distinguished actor, but in the shadow of those great artists of the troupe, who had won a worldwide acclaim for themselves, he was only associated as the assistant director that was ready for the stage to act only from time to time.

Sh. made all the prices and divisions for the Vilna Troupe, until the complete falling apart of the troupe in Europe. Afterwards he had been associated with the theatre ensemble under the leadership of Alexander Granach, Kurt Ktsh and "Di yidishe bande", often times at the price of hunger and not being able to give his wife and two children the minimum of [hyunh].

During the Second World War Sh. was captured in Warsaw. Both children were away in Russia, where the son, Leon, was killed. Sh., who was from the famous [pkhdim] in the Yiddish theatre, had feared of being pulled out from home. He suggested that, if he was sitting in his home and wasn't noticed by the Nazis, they will forget about him, but in the end others, [aiz ot dem pkhdn] came .

 out, to end their lives as a hero. With a gun in his hand he defended the Jewish dignity in the Warsaw ghetto. On 1 May 1943 he was wounded from a bullet and on 4 May 1943 passed away from his wound. The leader of his camp group had him brought to the cellar of Smotshe 1.

His daughter Sonia Sheftel-Shternfeld, who was saved, acted in the Hebrew Habima Theatre in the land of Israel.

M. E. from his daughter Sonia Sheftel-Shternfeld.






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 4140.

Copyright   Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved.