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Yiddish World > Lives in the Yiddish Theatre > Yiddish Artists Union in Poland


YIDDISH ARTISTS UNION IN POLAND

 

 

 
 

Luba Fisher

Luba Fisher was one of two daughters born to Herman and Liza Barska Fisher, both of whom also were involved with the Yiddish theatre in Poland. These three, as well as their second daughter Anka, all were forced into the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II, and at some point they met their fate, each one perishing before war's end. Luba, who also acted in Yiddish film, aspired to the Yiddish stage. As a child she acted in Esther Rukhl Kaminska's troupe, and she also acted in a play written by Turkow. In 1927 Luba decided to apply for membership in the Profesioneler yidisher artistn fareyn in poyln (Professional Yiddish Actors Union in Poland). Though we don't know whether she ever became a member of the union (her father Herman was an officer in the union), we thought it might be interesting to present to you translations of the documents held by the union for her, all dated within a twelve-day period in April 1927.

The union (acronyms: YAF in Yiddish; ZASZ in Polish), which was founded in 1919, was created to benefit the Yiddish actors and actresses in Poland and was based in Warsaw, with offices elsewhere in Poland. By 1936, there were already 324 members of the union. When the Nazis invaded Warsaw in 1939, the union was no more.

 
 
►April 4, 1927
Nr. 1372
To Miss Luba Fisher
Warsaw

Dear Miss,

This is to inform you that your questionnaire has been studied by the managing committee of the union. The managing committee has decided to admit you to the aspirants examination which will take place on the 14th of this month. You must address yourself to the union's administrative office not later than the 10th of this month in order to pay the examination fee amounting to 30 zlotys. In case you will not pass the examination half of the paid amount will be returned to you.

Respectfully,

(no signature)

April 6, 1927
To the managing committee of the Professional Yiddish Artists Union,

Honored Committee!
I have the honor to ask you, given that I am the daughter of artists Herman and Lisa Fisher, to exempt me from the examination fee.
In the hope that you will meet my request, I thank you respectfully.


Luba Fisher
Warsaw


April 14, 1927

Examination papers

Cover:

Luba Fisher - Warsaw Decision (of the examining jury probably).

Admitted as aspirant on condition that in half-a-year's time from now she agrees to an examination in the Yiddish language.


April 15, 1927
M.I. Nr. 1464

To Miss Luba Fisher
By hand

Dear Miss,
Herewith we inform you that following the results of the examination you took on the 14th of this month at the P.Y.A.F.A.P. (Professional Yiddish Actors Union in Poland -- ed.), you have been, based on the decision of the P.Y.A.F.A.P. managing committee, admitted into our union as an aspirant. This decision has been taken on the condition that you will, in half a year's time, take a complementary exam in Yiddish and that you will pass it. If you don't pass this complementary exam in Yiddish, the decision to admit you to the union will be withdrawn. You need to contact the administration offices of the union right away in order to pay your inscription fee and provide your picture, so an aspirant card will be delivered to you.

With friendly greetings,
(no signature)


At top: "Admitted to take the exam".

Questionnaire:

Question 1: Family name: Fisher. Given name: Luba.
" 2: Father's name: Herman. Mother's name: Liza.
" 3: Stage pseudonym: none
" 4: Address: Leszno 6, apt. 12
" 5: Date of birth: January 10, 1908 in Odessa
" 6: In what profession did you train?: --
" 7: Were you active in that profession?: --For how long?: --
" 8: What are your sources of income today?: --
" 9: What is your education?: Pharmacy student
" 10: How many school classes did you complete (with a graduation diploma)?: --
" 11: In what language were you instructed at school?: --
" 12: What language do you speak in everyday life?: Polish and Yiddish
" 13: Do you speak Yiddish?: Yes
" 14: Do you read Yiddish?: Yes
" 15: Do you write Yiddish?: Yes
" 16: What other languages do you read?: German, Russian, and French
" 17: " " " " " speak?: German and Russian
" 18: " " " " " write?: German and Russian
" 19: Did you go to drama school?: No
" 20: Which one? Where? For how long?: --
" 21: Did you go to another theatre or artistic teaching institution (film, ballet, music, painting)?: All of the above.
" 22: Which one? Where? For how long?: acted in films by Steinwortsel. Prof. Labaika. In Ulanitska ... in Puastin (?)
" 23: Were you instructed privately in one of the courses mentioned?: --
" 24: With whom? Where? For how long?: Music by Tsila Barska, painting by Proshkowski
" 25: Did you play with a professional cast?: Yes
" 26: Where? For how long? In what parts?: Children parts at Esther Rukhl Kaminska, later with Turkow in "Seven Hanged Men"
" 27: Did you play in a drama circle?:
" 28: Where? For how long? What parts?: --
" 29: Were you a member in another artists' union? Which one?: --
" 30: Are you aware of the economic situation of the Jewish actor?: Yes
" 31: For what reasons do you want to become a professional actor?: I am attracted to the theatre since childhood. I am the daughter of professional artists.

(down, on the left hand side)
What parts are you preparing for the exam?:
1) (Shimen) Frug's "Di fidl (The Violin)"
2) Song and dance

Signature: L. Fisher

On back of page: "She was accepted as an aspirant, and in a half-year she has to pass a test in Yiddish."


Handwritten essay:

"How I prepare the part I'll play"

When I have to prepare a part to play I must first of all get acquainted with the contents of the play. These cases are very few in number. The parts I got were very easy and I didn't have to study much. Both my parts were characters of fickled young rich women. 1) Sheina Henya in Jacob Gordin's "The Slaughter", 2) The government minister's daughter in Leonid Andreyev's "The Seven Who Were Hanged". These kinds of parts are considered easy parts. If I would get a difficult psychological part, my first step would be to create an individual character. I would read the play two or three times in order to understand thoroughly the person I need to study. Then I would retreat to my room and think about the part. I would put myself in the position of that person and think about how I would act in such a situation. Once I've thought about this thoroughly I have finished the main part of my work. Now I study the part by heart.

Luba Fisher
 

 

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