Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Misha German


Born on 7 March (A. S.) 1887 in Bolshoy Tokmak, Tavritsh. Gubernia, Kries.

His father was an ex-businessman, a cultured man, who wrote in "HaMelits" as "Eliahu."

G. studied in a cheder, completing a city school and studying two years in a gymnasium, afterwards as a student participating in the Russian school productions, at the same time singing with the cantor Pinye Emerman.

Due to his musical ability, his father wanted him to play the violin, but G. took especially to the theatre, and from there went on to play with a Yiddish troupe.

At the age of seventeen he left the city for Melitopol to the Russian troupe of Ugroymov.

There he felt badly as a Jew, and he went to Bender to Genfer's troupe, where he performed in the chorus.

First due to the sickness of actor Lyovke Brogshteyn-Broyn, G. got the role of "Yermeyahu" in Lateiner's "Churbn yerushalayim", and since then the already became known in the troupe, counted on as an actor.

After acting for a year-and-a-half with Genfer, German entered into the troupe of Sam Adler-Spivakovsky in Odessa. Because of the pogrom, he traveled to Warsaw where he acted for six months for Kompaneyets in the Muranover Theatre, performing for the first as "Uriel mazik" in Warsaw.

Not being content with the system, he parted ways with the troupe. G. organized a group of actors from that troupe and together with a chorus and traveled around as a provincial troupe, performing for two years. G. also got (after twelve years of work) the right to act in Bialystok, where he became a partner with Julius Adler. However, not long after, G. immigrated to America.

G. spent three months acting in Boston with Levitan, then in San Francisco with Fannie Reinhardt, but the troupe soon broke up, and G. became orchestra conductor in a temple, opened a music school, and further studied music on his own, first through the initiative of Largman and Gans Kert, and then returned back to the Yiddish theatre. He traveled to Los Angeles where he acted for weeks, afterwards a short time in St. Louis, and then seasons with Ch. Nathanson in Chicago, and with Levitan in Boston. Also he was three seasons with Anshel Schorr in Philadelphia, and then he based himself with the Jacob Ben-Ami-Schnitzer Yiddish Art Theatre. He performed with the troupe, remaining there for two seasons and acted afterwards for four years with Schwartz in Irving Place and in Madison Square Garden.

Since then G. became manager of a troupe and acted for some seasons in Toronto, Cleveland, two seasons at the Hopkinson (with Oscar Green), in 1927-28 in Chicago, in 1928-29 as manager ,and chief actor in New York's Folks Theatre in 1929-30. Manager (together with Rolland) in Brooklyn's Rolland Theatre.

G. acted in "Nisn Alter" in the New York Hebrew production of Hirshbein's "The Blacksmith's Daughter", and he also participated in several films.

M. E.

  • J. Kirschenbaum --Misha German as Orchestra Conductor for the Hopkinson Theatre, "Amerikaner", N. Y., 15 January 1926.

  • Jacob Kirschenbaum --Misha German Wants to Act the [mitelveg tsvishen shund un kunst], "Morning Journal", N. Y., 3 September 1928.

  • Sh. L. Schneiderman--With Lucy and Misha German, "Literarishe bleter", 28, 1930.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 502.

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