Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Adolf Stein


S. was born in 1886 in Czernowitz, Bukovina.

His father was a small businessman. S. completed a four-class elementary school. He studied to become a tailor. Started to perform with amateurs who had brought over the actor Samuilov from Stanislawaw (Galicia). He performed with them in a few shows that were seen by the actor Axelrad, and after seeing S. perform, convinced him to join his troupe.

Stein acted in both smaller and bigger personages there. He later joined Ziegler in Vienna and with Aschkenazy in Rumania.

During the First World War he served for four years in the army and after coming back to Czernowitz, he found that the Yiddish theatre had been destroyed. Because of this he took over the "Deutsches Haus (German-House)" in Czernowitz, where he performed Yiddish theatre and later traveled around the province of Bukovina.

In 1923 he was granted a concession and he started to lead a troupe. He wrote in his autobiography:

"I had great problems with the anti-Semitic movements. They pursued me to all places and shot at the stage. In Tekutsh (?) they threw stones through the windows. When I walked home I felt my life was in danger. Agents accompanied the artists, and the theatre was guarded by gendarmes. They pursued me so much that in the end I lost most all my capital, and after so many years I had to start working with others."

Julian Schwarz wrote that he had a nickname "Mechelets". For a period of time he was the director of the Czernowitz "Schneide-sahl"- Hall of Schneide where Yiddish troupes performed.

He was also an impresario. As an actor he performed very well in the play "Der vassertreiger" ("The Water Carrier") and "Yankel fun galicie" ("Yankel from Galicia").

During WWII he was deported by the Germans, and he died in Transnistria from typhus.

His wife, the prompter Janet Stein, survived and lives in Israel.


Sh. E. and Sh. E. from Julian Schwarz.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4383.

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