Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Hersh Fagin

M. was born on 24 December 1905 in Dvinsk, Lettland, into a family of laborers. Still in his early years he showed a great interest in reading literature, and as a youth he joined a Russian troupe with which he toured across Lettland, and at the same time he began to take up with revolutionary work and was connected with commercial organizations.

In 1922 he traveled across the border, and as a political immigrant he arrived in Moscow. Here he joined the dramatic studio of the "Culture League." F. completed the Moscow theatre school, which was part of the Moscow Jewish State Theatre, and [subsequently] traveled to Kharkov, where he joined the Jewish State Theatre there.

About this, Y. Lubomirski writes:

"Received his theatrical education was partly in the theatre studio, "Culture League." He worked in Kharkov's theatre a part of the first season, when they had only just founded the theatre. Then he manifested for a temperamental actor in the role of "Shmuel" in "Sabtai Zvi." Then -- in connection with the conflict that occurred among a group of actors, and among the former artistic directors -- Fagin in the year 1927 left the theatre in Kharkov. For a time he wandered, was in a few other Soviet theatres, here for not a long time (written in 1931), returned to the Kharkov theatre, before his actorial physiognomy was not yet determined. Did not use any harmful material in consideration of shtim, musical and diction."


In the year 1928 F. played in Odessa. Then he returned to Kharkov. In 1933 he was invited as a leading actor in the Jewish State Theatre in Birobidzhan. Here he had the opportunity to play several interesting roles as "Brodsky" in "Intervents" by Slovin, "Aaron Wolf" in "Boytre," "De Santos" in "Uriel acosta." "Hirsh Glik" in "Oyfshtand" by Peretz Markish, and "Tuviya" in Sholem Aleiche's "Tuviya der milkhiger."

In the years of Stalin's cult, f. was sent way from 1937 until 1946, when he returned to the theatre in Birobidzhan. Here he continued to receive a possibility to excel in a series of new offerings and roles, but quite especially in the role of "Hirsh Glick," which he had played with great temperament. The role of the hero of the struggle took a special place in his creations. He loved the role very much and had given it his entire heart, his intellectual force, and thereby evoked a great recognition from the viewers and critics.

From 1950 to 1953 F. was in the Russian dramatic theatre in Kamchatka, where he played roles of various characters and genres. At the same time he also took up with stage direction and staged the play, "Dos kol fun amerike," and "In gezets." F. traveled to Lettland and worked from 1957 until 1960 as a stage director in the Russian dramatic theatre in Riga, where he excelled, playing the role of "Professor Kokh" in "Der letster tsurikkum" by Remark, and in Sholem Aleichem's "Tuviya der milkhiger." A great place also in his artistic activity was to recite the beloved poetry of  Mikovsky, Block, Simonov et al. Due to his poor health condition, he withdrew from his artistic activities, and on 23 February 1965 he passed away in Riga from a heart attack.

Sh.E. from  Y. Radinov.

  • Y. Lubomirski -- "Melukhisher yidisher teater in ukraine," Kharkov, 1931, p. 94.






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 7, page 6289.

Copyright Museum of Family History.  All rights reserved.