Malvina Yoles once after reading a poster from the
Yiddish theatre that young girls and boys who had
good singing voices should make themselves known to
Adolph Gimpel in the Yiddish theatre. As a result,
she was hired by the Gimpel Theatre as a choir
member and eventually became the choir director.
At the time of the performance in the Gimpel
Theatre, of "Blind yidele," the actress Elka Dorf
fell ill. Yoles was given the opportunity to replace
her sick colleague. She was a great success in her
new role. From that time on she began to be given
small roles. Emil Gimpel’s son, Maurice, who was a
frequent visitor to the theatre, fell in love with
the beautiful, charming Malvina Yoles. His parents
did not want, under any circumstances, to agree to
such a match. They sent their son away to Vienna to
complete his studies. However, this didn’t help. The
more the young man studied, the more he yearned for
and loved Malvina. After the First World War, they
married and till the end of their lives they were a
very happy couple.
Now the tradition was broken by the young Gimpels.
They led the theatre with strong hands. One aspect
of their leadership that speaks well, and for which
they must be given a compliment, is the fact that
they presented a superior repertoire and made it
their goal to present better plays and to hire
sincere actors and directors. If the previous two
generations of the Gimpel dynasty did not display
any importance to the standards of the Yiddish used
in their theatre, Yoles-Gimpel and her husband
decided that in their theatre a refined Yiddish
would be heard from the stage.
Also, as partners in the Colossus Theatre in
Lemberg, they managed two Yiddish theatres. Shortly
before the start of the Second World War they had
just finished construction of a splendid theatre
structure that was built over the site of a previous
Malvina Yoles was excellent both in drama and in
operetta. She was often engaged in guest roles
throughout Poland and Russia and wherever she could
In the last few years she turned her attentions
from acting and busied herself completely as the
director of the Gimpel Theatre—The Colossus. She
focused very successfully on how to manage the
Israel Ashendorf tells us about the
match with her husband:
The director of the Gimpel Theatre had several
sons. One of them became a doctor, another lawyer.
This lawyer married a Jewish actress—Malvina Yoles.
Imagine: A director, a doctor, a lawyer, such
excellent lineage from one side of a family and from
the other side a Yiddish actress. After the wedding
not even one person from either side of the family,
God forbid, wanted to erase such this transgression.
Malvina Yoles, even if she had a fitting role to
play, would have been prepared to step onto the
stage and to play once more in the theatre. Please
understand that the fact that a Jewish actress can
achieve such a match, lifted her up even more in the
eyes of the public regarding the importance of a
Turkow points out "His (Misha Gimpel's) wife, Malvina
Yoles, a fine singer and actor took an active part
in the management of their theatre." In in another
article he shows us: "We have received material that
they had the support of the artistic coalition and
for the first time in theatre history, from the
theatre owners themselves, the Gimpels and Yoles’."
About her tragic end Jonas Turkow wrote:
When the new Gimpel Theatre (Colossus) was first
built in 1939, shortly before the outbreak of the
war, Malvina Yoles hired me as the artistic manager
and director of the theatre where she was engaged.
For our first play I was supposed to place Shimon
Shpunds in a musical evening built around a
historical theme. A day before the outbreak of the
war, I prepared their contract in Lemberg and then
traveled to Warsaw to hire actors. Even before I had
arrived in Warsaw, the war broke out.
When the Russians took over Warsaw, turning it
into a state-run theatre, Yoles-Gimpel worked for
the same state theatre, she as an actress. Adolph
Gimpel, the manager performed in the theatre as a
violinist. Later the Germans slaughtered the Lemberg
Jewish community, including and together with the
entire Yiddish theatrical family in Lemberg.
"Lexicon of the
Yiddish Theatre," Volume 2, Warsaw, 1934,
Jonas Turkow --
"Extinguished Stars," Buenos Aires, 1953, Vol.
1, pp. 235-251.
Zygmunt Turkow --
"Di ibergerisene tkufh," Buenos Aires, 1961, pp.
-- S.M. gimpels teater in lemberg, "Gedenk bukh
galitsye," Buenos Aires, 1963, p. 31.