Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Henry Lachtiger

L. was born on 18 January 1888 in Shidlovets, Poland. His parents were merchants. He learned in a cheder and in a Beit HaMedrash, at the same time in a folkshul. He sang with a cantor and wrote songs in actual themes, which he used to by himself sing or give to badkhanim. Used "zey forshteln" at weddings. At the age of fourteen he founded a circle of "amateurs" and with them he acted in "Bar Kochba," The production and the subsequent attempts of the circle called forth an enormous [treumus] from the town against him and he had to, after a pogrom against them them at home, he fled to Lodz, where he in 1903 entered into Spivakovski-Fiszon troupe as a chorus singer, taking up carpentry at the same time. In 1904 he debuted as "Selim" in Latayner's "Ash Re," Then he joined Sharavner's troupe where he acted for a year as an amateur. In 1905 he acted for three months with Guzik, then six months in a members troupe. A year in Lantzman's troupe. Again in a members troupe, in which L. later became (in four months) director. Then he returned for a half-year in a members troupe. Then L. went abroad and acted in Yiddish theatre in Vienna and Paris.

After military conscription he acted in Sharavner's troupe, then again in Germany, Czechoslovakia, Budapest, Paris, Switzerland (with Yakov Spivakovski) and again in Paris. In wartime with Izikovitsh in Poland).

From 1915 until 1919 he was director of a troupe in the German and Austrian occupied regions of Poland. Then he acted for ten


months in Budapest. Around that time [he was] in Lodz, where he was then in a year co-director with M.D. Waxman of the Skala Theatre.

From Lodz L. traveled with a large united trope to Bialystok, where they acted for four months.

Now L. returned to Paris, where he began again with the local Yiddish theatre, searching out new theatre buildings, adapting to the Yiddish kibbutzim of Paris.

In 1931 he opened the Ambigi Theatre, then he began to direct with Yiddish troupes across the French province. In 1931-32 he opened he Mutualita Theatre. In the troupes, L. who put them together, he also had guest-stars Julius Adler, Rudolf Zaslavski, Molly Picon, Nelly Caman, Zygmunt Turkow, Ida Kaminska and Misha Fiszon.

L. acted alone very often as a comical character in the troupes that he organized.

L. owned a large library of Yiddish publications and writings of theatre repertory, and he had by himself written the plays: "Ungter der maske," "Demfarbikants tokhter," "Far ir kind," "Mendel beilis," "Sholom shvartsbard" (staged in New York by Jacob Silbert as his play), "Dos naye rusland," "Der meshugener poet," as well as several one-acters, and he translated "Ven der tayvl lakht" and "Der umbakanter soldat," which were all performed on the Yiddish stage in France.

M. and Sh.E.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 991.

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