Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Max Streng


Born on 20 June 1876 (according to Julius Gutman: 1874) in Lemberg, Galicia. His father delivered bread and went away with his wife when S. was a child. His mother became an infirmary sentry [krankn-velkherin] in a hospital in Lemberg, and S. was raised there.

He worked in a delicatessen business and later became a chorus boy in Gimpel's theatre, manifesting artistic ability and became a renowned salon comic due to his grandeur. At first he began to act in 22 December 1891 on the Polish stage in Lemberg, and soon thereafter went over to the Yiddish stage.

 He wandered through England, France, Romania, Poland and Germany. He played for many years with Akselrod in Czernowitz, then went away to Vienna, where he staged Yiddish theatre for several years, together with Sholom Podzamce, and then by himself.

In 1927 he directed in Vienna with the "Yiddish Artists Cabaret."

 On 22 December 1926 in the cabaret (Praterstrasse 60), his thirty-fifth year of stage activity was celebrated, among others there was staged a one-acter-- A. Mayzel's "Max Streng has Married the Arts" (in which there appeared Avraham Goldfaden, Jacob Gordin, Y.B. Gimpel, a badkhan, an actress, Streng as the "groom," and the arts as the "bride"), and in the program there was printed such a "song" (currently untranslated into English):

In the present days of insolvencies,
troubles, catarrh and briberies,
wives don’t know what to put in the pot;
there’s no dwelling, we live in a crowd —
so, why, just now, cheers for Shtreng so loud?
It couldn’t have been at any old time
than now, when leaky boots are full of grime?

And why, suddenly, did you decide
to call me up as kin to the bride?
The answer to that is so very clear —
you must, on Wednesday, show up right here,
because how many times did you hold your sides, roaring,
when Shtreng, from afar, was hardly boring?
And the jokes that he told, as they reached your ears,
didn’t they have you laughing ’til tears?
A ditty of his, or a little dance,
had you melting in joy, as if in a trance.
Therefore you must attend Shtreng’s fest,
his jubilee, as an honored guest.
No matter whether you bring him a gift,
at least wish him mazltov — give his spirit a lift.
You must share this festival with all of us here
and spread the word to friends far and near.

[English: ©2018 Hershl Hartman]

On 3 August 1928 S. passed away in Vienna in the Rothschild Hospital, and was brought to his eternal rest in the [Vienna] Central Cemetery.

Sh. E. from Judah Bleich, Paul Breitman and Julius Gutman.

  • [--] -- "Yudish teater," Vienna, I, 1927.

  • Joseph Grob -- Der toyter komiker, "Der morgn," Lemberg, 25 August 1928.

  • B. Palepade -- "Zikhrones," Buenos Aires, 1946, pp. 156, 173, 252.






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 4, page 2581.

Copyright ©  Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved.