ERC > LEXICON OF THE YIDDISH THEATRE  >  VOLUME 5  >  E(LIYAHU) LERMAN


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

 

E(liyahu) Lerman
 

Born in 1899 in Radom, Poland, he learned in a cheder [religious elementary school], and later in a Russian gymnazie [high school], then became a business employee. During the First World War he settled in Warsaw, where in 1918 he began his writing activity with reporting on Jewish life in Warsaw, then he was a co-worker in the Warsaw Yiddish newspapers, "Moment," "Haynt," "Radyo," "Hayntige nayes" and "Unzer ekspres." In these newspapers he published tens of humorous novels, such as "Khasidishe tekhter," "Dinste-meydlekh," "Der yeshiva-bokhur," et al. He also worked with others in the provincial press and edited the weekly "Der soykher" (Warsaw, 1919-1935) in "Di panorame" (Warsaw, 1926-1937). He published under the pseudonyms of A. Ler, Pintele Yid, et al.

L. also used to write about Yiddish theatre, which he loved very much, and he wrote the plays, "Dem tirans tokhter," "Der zaklandik," "Paragraf 146," "A sheh nokh der khupe," et al., which were all performed.

In "Sefer radom" it is said:

"Born to a prominent Jewish family in Radom, Poland. His writing aspirations pushed him to leave home and travel to Warsaw, where he became a permanent member of 'Ekspres,' in which he published successful novels and also wrote for the theatre, especially for the revue theatre.

L. had written a film scene, 'Der khokhem,' which a Warsaw film society had prepared to perform."

 


Menachem Flakser writes:

"A second brilliant reporter was E. Lerman. He had, in contrast to Leibel Bein, reported on the secular side of Jewish life. He wrote about the needs on the Jewish streets, which were indeed great. However, like a healthy organism, Jews passed the time, came together at the theatre and circus, attended sporting events and traveled to their summer lodgings or to the numerous other winter and summer vacation spots. Lerman, in his writing, was a great connoisseur as to how Jews spent their leisure time. He wrote about how children of Chasidic parents became enlightened. His justification of the acrobats in the circus was that there was always a 'Samson the Strong.' this was always done in order to make a connection for the Jewish visitor. His writings possessed an intimate charm, especially when he presented a colorful presentation of how the Ger Rebbe traveled to warm, luxurious vacation destinations. You could be certain that tens of thousands of Jews read his articles with great interest.

Lerman also wrote lighter, popular novels, which usually brought out the unfulfilled dreams of the poor Jewish working girls."

When the Nazis took Warsaw, he fled to Bialystok, where until June 1941 he was an employee in the workshop department of the local writer's union. When the Germans began to bomb Bialystok, and the Yiddish writer was evacuated to Russia, L. volunteered to join the people's militia, then he went away to the partisans in the White Russian woods and was killed there.

And about his tragic death it was written in "Sefer radom":

"With the outbreak of World War II, L., together with other Jewish writers from Warsaw ran to Bialystok. Here he became director of the writer's house. He concerned himself with the beggars who were now homeless refugee writers evacuated deep into Russia, L. remained at his post. He did not have anyone to whom he could pass it on. He also had no opportunity to get out of town and fell into the Nazi hands. His future fate is unknown."

  • "Lexicon of the New Yiddish Literature," New York, 1963, Vol. 5, pp. 355-356.

  • Menachem Flakser -- Undzer ekspres, in "fun noentn evr," N.Y., 1957, p. 377.

  • "Sefer radom," Tel Aviv, 1961, pp. 237-238.


 

 

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4785.
 

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