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  ERC > LEXICON OF THE YIDDISH THEATRE  >  VOLUME 5  >  FISHL VITKOVER


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

 

Fishl Vitkover


Born on 13 June 1889 in Kristopol, Galicia, in a Chasidic home. He studied in German Christian science and theology. And according to an unverified sounds, crossing over to Christian beliefs. Later he settled in Lemberg. In 1904 he began to publish in the "Togblat," where for a time he also was the literary editor. He wrote under the pseudonym "Im'n."  Published songs and stories in Gershom Bader and Moshe Frostig's Calendar. From 1912-13 he issued, together with Isaac Weinstock and Y. Schneid, the "Folks-fraynd," and in 1917 edited in Brin a collection under the name, "Yom tov bikher."

According to Zalmen Zylbercweig, V. was a strong adherent  of Yiddish theatre and wrote many articles, reviews and critiques about it, which had a strong influence on the Galician Yiddish theatre. The actors were very much in favor of his criticism.

Melech Ravitch characterized him a such:

"Why Fishel Vitkover had a given pseudonym, 'Im'n,' he did not want to tell anyone, but everyone said that he will never say it. It has been stated that this is true from the time when Im'n was converted to Christianity. The initials mean: 'A Jewish man is a Christian believer'...

He still comes in every day (written in 1936) into a Lemberg cafe and writes as an example about neatness and order. Somehow the man also wanted in Yiddish literature, with after all, some secret he also came and stayed with the secret for so long until the secret ceased to be of interest. [awk]. Already with a song forty years ago, he was a professional journalist in the editorial staff of the Lemberg "Morgnblat," which always was in a room with no window, and in addition of the bridge until Was in a room with no window and addition of the bridge until the ceiling is laid with woven newspapers.

In the novels and the songs in prose that Imin used to write. If he had not, or could not understand, for so long, he would also smile and also tell us the forgettable beginner that he will also tell the secret, which is certainly a secret - never to tell. He had for so long said that not only was he no longer interested in it, but no one even remembers that it was such a secret when it was.

...His faces are marked in my memory. His troubled faces, cool and curious and without a race, with a shrink in the middle of the cape, and always ready with a great heft to tell something. If you wanted it to be the face of a peasant who first put out the sermon, and that you wanted it to be the face of a Jew who had just taken off the hood and removed the beard and the wails and the wigs.

In no anthology is there a novel or a poem or a prose, an article or certainly not, but in an old Lemberg calendar, which Gershom Bader and later Moshe Frostig published, Spirits behold these things, and spirits will long for it, the calendars will be in the corner of the library where you keep a little 'Judaica.'"


M.E. from Zalmen Zylbercweig, Sh.E. from Rokhl Auerbakh.

  • "Lexicon of the New Yiddish Literature," Volume 1, New York, 1956, p. 82.

  • Melech Ravitch -- "Mayn leksikon," Montreal, 1947, pp. 96-97.


 

 

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4332.
 

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