Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Harry Krohn


Born on 3 October 1870 in Odessa, Ukraine, to parents who were flour merchants. He learned in a cheder, and a little with a Yiddish teacher, then in a city school. In the years of his youth, he was friends with the corner singers Sabsey, Perlmutter, Krohn (nisht keyn krub), and he wrote songs for them, such as "Israelik der yetume", "Shreyb mir a brivele", "Farges mikh nist, teyere", that they sung with great success.

In 1891 he arrived in Eretz Yisrael and was one of the first Chalutz workers in the Rehovot colony. At the same time there was arranged a Yiddish production of Goldfaden's "Shulamis" in the first built houses of current Tel Aviv.

1892 -- returned to Odessa, and in 1895, due to the critical conditions, he immigrated to Toronto, Canada, where he was a prompter, conductor and chorister in Joseph Jacobson's Yiddish troupe, which existed for only several weeks. Soon thereafter he went to New York and, marrying a sister of David Kessler, there came a shtele in his theatre as a "doorkeeper" (controller).

In 1899 he went away to Chicago. Here he worked in women's clothes, and four years later by himself began to produce women's clothing, also writing from time to time sketches for "Idisher rekord" in Chicago, and songs and plays for Yiddish theatre.


In 1918 K., due to a crisis, he abandoned his clothing business and together with Joseph Kessler, opened a Yiddish theatre in St. Louis. Here he wrote his four-act melodrama "A mames lid", which on 18 February 1920 was staged in Cleveland by Joseph Kessler, who also staged in St. Louis K.'s four-act melodrama "Libes-berg".

In 1921 K. was Joseph Kessler's business manager in London, where they acted for 2 seasons, and then they went with the troupe to Paris, Romania, Belgium and South Africa.

On 4 April 1923 Joseph Kessler staged in London's Pavilion Theatre K.'s play "Klasn-kamf (Class Struggle)".

In 1925 K. returned to New York, where he helped found the first stable Yiddish theatre in the Bronx (McKinley Square Theatre), went away with Kessler to London and Paris.

In 1926 he returned to New York, there was staged in the McKinley Square Theatre (in November 1926), his four-act worker-comedy "Freylekhe kbtsnim".

Later he again went with Kessler to Europe, and in 1928 there was staged his operetta "Yehuda and Tamar" (with Misha Appelboym and Minnie Akselrad in the title role).

In January 1929 in London's Yiddish theatre, Kessler staged K.'s melodrama in four acts, "A lebn far a lebn (A Life for a Life)".

Returning to America, K. passed away in New York.

Sh. E.

  • Ben-A. [Sokhatshevski] -- "A lebn far a lebn", "Di tseyt", London, 21 January 1929.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 3, page 2155.

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