ERC > LEXICON OF THE YIDDISH THEATRE  >  VOLUME 5  >  MOSHE ZILBURG


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

 


 

Moshe Zilburg
 

Born in 1884 in Molodetshne, Vilna region, Polish-Lita. He learned in a cheder and yeshiva. Then he became a teacher in Minsk. Since 1906 he lived in Vilna and debuted with stories in "Hazman." In 1912 he was arrested for belonging to the "Bund." After being freed he was forced to leave Russia, and until the First World War he lived in Krakow and Lemberg. In 1918-23 he was in Vienna, where he was a Hebrew teacher and one of the editors for the publishing house, "Der kval (The Source)," also editor of the monthly journal "Kritik."

In 1923 he returned to Vilna. In 1926 (together with N. Mayzil), he co-edited the "Literarishe bleter" in Warsaw, and since 1927 worked in Warsaw's "Ekspres." In 1925 Z. published in Vilna a weekly page for theatre and film, under the name, "Di bimah (The Stage)" (published sixteen volumes.)

At the beginning of the Second World War, in September 1939, Z. fled from Warsaw to Bialystok, then settled in Vilna, suffering in great need, but in the end he was killed at Ponar. So too his wife and daughter. His son remained alive in the Soviet Union.

About his last period and tragic death, S. Kaczerginski writes in "The Destruction of Vilna":

"He ran away from Warsaw in 1939 and headed for Bialystok. Afterwards he settled in Vilna. He never showed signs that he wanted to return to his old hometown. Zilburg was born in 1844 in Molodetchno, in the area of Vilna, which the Germans had already captured. Having no means to live (Zilburg left all of his possessions for the Germans in Warsaw) during the first Occupation, Zilburg went hungry. Knowing a bit about his probable future, which was in the hands of the Germans, the old writer searched for means to save himself. However, old age and his weakened resistance to illness, which was the result of his constant wanderings, cut off all possibilities to find salvation. He remained in the second ghetto in Vilna, into which were driven thousands of other Jews, who were already selected to be killed. Yet he attempted to save himself. He let his friends in the first ghetto (Vilna had two ghettos), pleading with them to take him to their ghetto. But the horrible abyss swallowed up every chance of rescue. Frightened, an unknown, a nobody, the sixty-year- old print setter, was sent to the great communal cemetery in Ponar."

Herman Kruk in his "Diary of a [Vilna] Ghetto" notes that the library, which worked under his supervision, became a true cultural center, and that all in all was a cultural activist, and it had their culture, literature, etc.... Also many came to obtain employment, not so because of the employment, that no one should sit at home, and also it was important to get a sparkle. Begging and crying will be heard, and among them he is talking about Moshe Zilburg.

  • "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre," New York, 1931, Vol. 1, p. 775.

  • "Lexicon of the New Yiddish Literature," New York, 1960, Vol. III, pp. 604-606.

  • Sh. Katsherginski -- "The Destruction of Vilna," New York, 1947, pp. 192-193.

  • Herman Kruk -- "Togbukh fun vilner geto," New York, 1961, p. 81.

 

 


 

Home       |       Site Map       |      Exhibitions      |      About the Museum       |       Education      |      Contact Us       |       Links


Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4496.
 

Copyright   Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved.