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Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre
BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE WHO WERE ONCE INVOLVED IN THE Yiddish THEATRE;
aS FEATURED IN zALMEN zYLBERCWEIG'S "lEKSIKON FUN YIDISHN TEATER"
VOLUME 5: THE KDOYSHIM (MARTYRS) EDITION, 1967, Mexico City
G. was born in Warsaw, Poland. His father was a part-time rabbi. G. was raised to become a religious leader (either a rabbi, or a cantor, or even a scribe, etc.). However he was drawn to the Yiddish theatre. He finally ran away from his parent’s home and became a wanderer ending up in Romania. He lived there for several years and performed there in the theatre. After a time, he returned to Poland where he became preoccupied with several, different theatrical troupes. He was not pleased with his theatrical position there, so he created his own itinerant troupe that would perform throughout the provinces.
In the thirties Moshe Garbazsh was hired periodically by some Warsaw theatres. However, needless to say they never appeared in leading roles there.
Moshe Garbazsh wrote a series of theatre pieces, based upon the Jewish way of life. He claimed that one of his plays was even performed in Romania. In Poland he only presented plays that were under his direction in the provinces. Over the years he worked with several dramatic groups. In his last years prior to World War II, Garbazsh was involved with the Warsaw drama group, "Cometta," where he became somewhat inventive."
Jonas Turkow in his book “Extinguished Stars” describes him further and tells us about his tragic end.
"Tall and thin with black eyes, covered with black-framed eyeglasses. A head covered in long black hair upon which he wore a broad black hat. He also wore a suit which was also black. In winter and summer he wore a literary black cravat. He possessed a romantic nature. He was always dreamily in love. Every time that he encountered a new showgirl’s face, it would evoke in him passionate feelings that were never reciprocated. He and she—the couple Moshe and Pella Garbazsh—always walked around arm in arm and gave the impression of a couple deeply in love, even though they fought constantly. Normally they spoke Yiddish to one another, but when they argued it was always in Romanian.
When the war broke out, the Garbazshs
were no longer performing in the theatre. He worked for his brother
in his workshop ...When the “actions” started in the Ghetto, the two
of them ran around like mice from one hole to another, looking for
protection. It simply was amazing how this couple could escape
dangers. They often came to us on Milne Street, and we provided them
with bread and marmalade. That’s all that we, ourselves, had to eat.
Their 'home' was underneath the ruins of bombed out buildings—By the
way, the last place in those times, during the last “action” and
shortly before the Warsaw Ghetto uprising was when they disappeared
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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4363.
Translaton courtesy of Paul Azaroff.
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