Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Itzhak Deytsh


Born on 18 December 1884 in Tulchin, Ukraine. His father -- a melamed, a mashkhil, who they thus called "Deytsh". He learned with his father and in a Beit HaMedrash. "Helped" with the other children in the home directed by his father, who also was a prayer leader.

D. Learned to be a locksmith, and when his family went to a sister's wedding in Odessa, he remained there as a locksmith, but soon he cast off his profession and went into work in a boards/panels business, then a year in a haberdashery business, then a short time in a tobacco business, joining a brother as a commissioner, until pushed into military conscription, and he fled to Brody, where he had a brother who was a cantor, and he became a choir boy for him. Being there for ten months, he learned some notes and left to Gimpel in Lemberg, where he joined in the chorus and soon received small roles. After acting there for three years, he went over to a provincial director Drucker, with whom he acted in lover roles. But he was there for only two months and then joined Ebell for a season, and from there a season with Akselrad in Czernowitz, and then with Ziegler in Vienna.

Under the supervision of Jacob Mestel, with whom he became close friends, he began to read Yiddish literature and became interested in pure Yiddish theatre, so that in 1919 he participated in the Sunday literary productions of the "Fraye yidishe folks-bine". In the summer of 1920 he performed entirely out of Yiddish

operetta theatre, and together with Egon Brecher, Leah Weintraub-Graf and Mina Deytsh, he founded (in November 1920), with the help of the organization "Fraye yidishe folks-bine", the first Yiddish stable literary theatre in Vienna, where he also was from time to time, besides being an actor, a regisseur.

Through his initiative at the beginning of 1921 Ben-Tsvi Baratov went over to the Yiddish stage and entered into that troupe.

After a large tour across Romania with that troupe, which disbanded there, D. returned in 1923 to Vienna, and he acted here for a short time, going to Paris to guest-star, returning to Vienna, and in 1925-6 guest-starring, returning to old repertoire in Argentina, 1927 in Brazil, 1928 in South Africa, and in 1929 in Vienna.

M. E. 

Sh. E. from Yehudah Bleich.

  • Siegfried Schmitz-Isaak Deutsch "Wiener Morgenzeitung", 24 June, 1921.

  • [Reprint in the book "Preseshtimen", Vienna, 82 + 19 pp.]

  • Itzhak Deutsch -- Arum yidishn teater in vien, "Literarisher bleter", 59, 1925.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 553.

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