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  ERC > LEXICON OF THE YIDDISH THEATRE  >  VOLUME 5  >  M. MAKSIMOV (II)


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

 


 

M. Maksimov (II)
(Melekh Pokoy; Maks; Pokrowski; Pokoj)
 

 

Born in 1893 in Warsaw, Poland. His father was the owner of a small box factory. Until the age of thirteen he learned in a cheder. He sang as a choirboy with Cantors Sirota, Mendelevitsh, Fogelnest, et al.

In his early youth he became an employee in a leather business. However he didn't last long here, and soon after seeing the first Yiddish theatre production, decided to 'imitate' the actors. M. gathered with friends and 'acted' with them at home and across the homes of the neighbors.

In 1909 there came to him through his brother David, also an 'amateur,' the possibility to act in a town Palenitz with 'amateurs' (among them the future actors Adolph and Herman Fenigstein), and in 1910 joined as a professional actor in Lermankes' troupe in Minsk, where he debuted as "Abraham" in Max Gabel's "Tate mames tsures."

Until 1912 he toured across Russia. From 1912-14, with various itinerant troupes across Poland. In 1915 he sang couplets in cabarets and theatres. From 1916-20 he played in Lita, then returned to Poland, where he continued acting and was a member of "Unzer Theatre" in Vilna.

In 1930 he was in Vilna to celebrate his theatre anniversary.

Jonas Turkow in his portrayal of Morris Lampe:

Morris Lampe in the war years of 1914-1917 had a colleague with whom he used to perform in all of the shows and concerts that they arranged --  it was Max Pokoy [M. Maksimov]. He was a house painter. Lampe and Pokoy were not any kind of professional actors, but amateurs. They performed in all the Warsaw wedding halls, toured as "guest players" in the summer apartments of the Warsaw area, in several 'residences,' such as Jablonna, Falenica, and so on., and even though they were still amateurs then, not professionals, they were so mobile that everywhere their eyes were thrown off. Why did the two men have such a pathetic relationship is a secret to me this day. Perhaps take note of the fact that their looks were so catastrophic and were thrown into their eyes.

"Max Pokoy was, on the contrary, to Lampe, a little farther away, with a brighter, flashier nose, like a half-cut potato, with little pointed eyes, had struck a flood, and incoherent temperament. Pokoy, on the contrary, was a calm one, sedate person, speaking slowly and walking across the streets as if he was in no hurry. Indeed, one had to laugh when one saw the pair of Pokoy and Lampe along the streets. Lampe laughed, always a few steps ahead, and he spoke for him, meaning that he gave himself up to his partner. He gave himself to his businessman, who walked slowly behind Lampe and didn't hear his words. When Lampe remarked that he gets no response. He turned, and seeing that Pokoy continually standing behind him, he ran to him and scolded him, throwing it with his head and hands. [awk]

...During the German Occupation in the year 1916, when people again were permitted to play Yiddish theatre, Morris Lampe, together with his partner Pokoy, think this might be "Like in Paris" -- so the cinema was called -- on the first floor of Djike (sp) Street 12. There Lampe staged "Mendel Beilis Trial"... In the production among others, also Max Poloy participated. ...That evening the theatre was oversold to the last seat, so that the troupe began to play twice a day. 'Mendel Beilis' went on for months."

According to Turkow M. also played in the former wedding hall in Warsaw on Djike 29 during the First World War.

About M.'s tragic end there is little information:

According to Jonas Turkow in his description of Morris Lampe, that the two friends had, during the Second World War, happened to be in 1940 in Grodno, where Lampe founded a Yiddish theatre collective, and together they found the martyr's death.

Sh. Kacerginski detailed in short: "Maksimov, a well-known actor, Ponar, 1941."

And in another place he mentions: " Pokoy -- artist. In 1940-41 administrative head of the Yiddish war theatre in Vilna. Shot at the beginning of July 1941."

  • "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre," Warsaw, 1934, Volume 2, pp. 1240-41.

  • Sh. Kacerginski -- "The Destruction of Vilna," New York, 1947, p. 229.

  • Jonas Turkow -- "Extinguished Stars," Buenos Aires, 1953, Vol. 1, pp.296, 297, 300; Vol. 2, p. 236.

 

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 3822.
 

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