Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Avraham Wolfstat


Born on 20 December 1897 in Khentshin (Chęciny), Kielce kreyz, Poland. His father was a melamed; his mother wrote songs, and through her influence, W. attended the Yiddish folkshul and later learned privately with a tutor.

They moved to Lodz, where W. became a frequent attendee of Polish and Yiddish theatre. During the First World War he was a wage worker for the German powers, later becoming a Bundist communal worker and functionary for the Central [Nodl] in Poland.

In 1923 he entered into Dr. Weichert's dramatic school, from where he later went to David Herman's studio, and he debuted in Peretz's "Beynakht oyfn altn mark".

In 1926-7 he became a professional actor in Riga's Yiddish theatre (Director -- A. Morevsky). Later he went to the Soviet Union, where he became familiar with the new dergreykhungen of the theatre field, and was on his return, engaged by Lydia Potocka's itinerant troupe across Poland.

In 1928, he became the stage director of the Grodno dramatic studio "Advoy"(?), later touring with recitation performances, and in the beginning of 1929 he went on a tour (with R. Shoshana and A. Kurtz) across Poland with the play "Yashivara". In 1932 she toured across Poland (with Clara Segalovitsh and Jacob Mandelblit) with their three-act play "Farrat" (Tseka).

In 1933 he was a member in "Fakt".

In 1938, he together with Jonas Turkow and Diana Blumenfeld, toured across the province with his pay "Der lts". In 1939 he prepared for the provinces his play "Mord".

Among his composed plays, there were staged: "Broyt" in Riga, "Iber kbrim" in Chelm, Grodno, Lubovil, Kovel and other cities, and the one-acters "Hinter a farshlosener tir" and "A deytshl" in Grodno.

In "Teater-tsaytung" (Warsaw, N' 4, 1928), W. published an article "Di kunst-shender", in which he criticized the dramatic association of the province which performed shund.

According to his brother, Shmuel Wolfstat in Paris, W in 1937 was to guest with him in Paris and there perform with recitation evenings. In August 1939, Shmuel arrived in Poland to visit his brother, who was just on a tour that he had interrupted, and they spent two weeks together in Drozgenik.

The last information that his brother had received from him was a telegram from Russia in the beginning of the Second World War, that he was alive and healthy.

According to Zalmen Koleshnikov, W. was killed by the Nazis in the griber of Slonim.

Sh. E. by Zalmen Koleshnikov and Sh. E. by Shmuel Wolfstat.

  • "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre", N. Y., 1931, Vol. I, p. 656.

  • Michael Weichert -- "Zikhrunut", Tel Aviv, 1961, Vol. II, pp. 83, 85, 192.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4543.
You can read Avraham's initial Lexicon biography in its Volume 1.

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