In the time of the
Second World War (1939-41) f. played as as prominent
actor in Lemberg's Jewish State Theatre, then he was
evacuated to Soviet Russia, where he played in
Yiddish theatre (together with Sidi Thal), where he
also wrote and directed his comedy, "Miss Lily,"
which also was performed in Russian and
About this the performer
Jacob Mansdorf wrote:
"Ten years ago I met
with him somewhere in far-off Middle Asia. Jakob
Fischer then was touring across the Jewish
communities and carrying his burning artistic
message in that dark, gray life, many Jewish actors
remember him even now for his sparse but heartfelt
and friendly help.."
In 1946 F. turned back
to Poland and participated with an ensemble of the
first Yiddish theatre in Warsaw. from there he
traveled to Germany, where he participated as "Jakob
Jelin" in the Yiddish film, "Lang ist der Weg (Long
is the Road)," with Israel Becker and Berta Litwina,
and in recitations and scenes from Yiddish writers
About his acting in the
film, M. Ginzburg writes:
"A very visible stamp
laid on him life in Nazi camps, where he even more
deeply understood the terrible tragedy of the Jewish
people, and this has also greatly contributed to his
original acting talent. The all-powerful nuances
come to expression in the film, 'Long is the Road,'
as Fischer showed his glory, splendor and talent. He
is a tragic comedian in the fullest sense of the
Here F. founded the
Yiddish Folks Theatre, where he also was stage
director and played in various cities in Germany,
and in the camps for survivors of Hitler's
Norbert Horowitz writes:
"Jakob Fischer, one of
the well-known actors in pre-war Poland, directed in
the Feldafing camp, with two theatre undertakings.
One undertaking was called the 'Jidischer Folks
Teater,' which was under his stage direction and
administrative leadership. In the Folks Teater there
acted together known performers and several able
amateurs. The repertoire of the Folks Teater
consisted of sketches, duets and scenes of a very
opposite character; Y.L. Peretz, Sholem Aleichem,
Gebirtig on one side; and on the other side doubtful
materials from doubtful authors. The programs,
however, were capably built, had carried the name, 'Yidelekh
aheym,' and the theatre audience was led. ... The
Folks Teater was a temporary appearance in the rich
theater sky of the Holocaust, and had constantly
changed the actors, but not the repertoire.
Jakob Fischer also
temporarily directed an American group in the
Faldafing camp, in which by himself he acted. J.
Fischer had other stage material besides, and with
success he played a scene from Y.L. Peretz's 'The
Crazy Beggar,' Itzik Manger's 'Sheinderlekh,' scenes
from M. Gebirtig's "S'brent,' and specifically taken
a fragment of Sholem Aleichem's "Menakhem Mendl,'
and an episode of 'Rabbi Akiva.' "
In 1949 the "Jewish
Committee" in Munich celebrated F.'s twenty-five
year stage anniversary, in which he performed in the
title role of Kalmanowitz's "Der eybiker nar (The
The writer Mendel Manne
writes in a welcome for the jubilee:
" ... Until the stamps
of Kazakhstan he carried with him the Yiddish word,
which was not obscured by borders, ghetto walls and
the death tombs. I had the honor to meet Jakob
Fischer in post-war Lodz, and saw him in his
wonderful and unusual interpretation of
Menachem Mendl. However, unfortunately, the meeting
with him in the ancient Jewish city of Regensburg,
in the former Royal Palace of Karl the Fifth, will
continue for me, where Molcho and Prince Reubeni
performed the dream of liberation for the cold
monarch, which is now converted into a theatre hall.
... There I saw him in the role of Menachem Mendl."
In 1951 F. arrived in
America, where from time to time he acted in Yiddish
theatre, including with Berta Gerstin and Pesach'ke
Burstein. Then he toured across the province with
word concerts from classical Yiddish literature,
such as "Der meshugener betln (The Crazy Beggar)" by
Y.L. Peretz, and "Menachem Mendel" by Sholem
Aleichem, et al.
In February 1955 he
performed under the direction of David Licht with
the ensemble of the "New Theatre" (Management: Rose
Shoshanah, Sheftel Zak and Jakob Fischer), in the
dramatization of Sholem Aleichem's "Dos farkhishufte
shnayderl (The Enchanted Tailor)" in the role of "Shimen
Elye der Latutnik." In the review about the
offering, Chaim Ehrenreich writes:
"He is a character actor
of a very high level. His Shimen Elye comes out as a
Jew who is funny nice and funny sweet, a true
latutnik [the lowest rank of a tailor], with
verses that pour like honey from his mouth. It
appears that if you strike a blow on him, he will
not be saved. Once the Yiddish stage displayed many
character-comics of the Jakob Fischer genre. Now he
is an individual to us. May he be with us for a long
For the 1955-56 season
F. played in Maurice Schwartz's Yiddish Art Theatre.
Shortly thereafter F. withdrew from the stage and
took up trading.
Kh.G-d -- Yakob
fisher, "Unzer vort," Munich, 13 Sept. 1946.
Moshe Vaysbord --
Fisher's kontsert in dortshester, "Tog," N.Y.,
23 February 1952.
Ruth Pisarek --
Jakob Fisher in Berlin, "Der Weg," Berlin, 26
M. Ginzburg --
Der film "lang iz der veg," vos hobt zikh an
veyzn haynt in his majesty's, "Canadian Eagle,"
Montreal, 28 April 1952.
-- Sholem aleichem's "dos farkhishuf'te
sheinderl" in dem nayem teater, "Forward," N.Y.,
4 March 1955.
-- Yidish teater fun der sharit haplith, "fun
noentn evri," New York, 1955, pp. 126, 147-48,