Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Chana Lerner


L. was born in 1900 in Lodz, Poland, to well-to-do parents. She worked as a "spinstress" in a weaver's workshop. As as a gifted vocalist, she entered into the chorus of the Lodz Yiddish theatre in 1916, and here she became acquainted with and married the singer-actor David Zayderman, and from then on she followed the same path to the stage as him and always participated as a soubrette and dramatic role player in all the troupes and theatre productions with her husband. Although she never achieved the fame as her husband did, she was very popular and remained so, due to her strong temperament on the stage and heartache in her private life.

When the Second World War broke out, she had been found in Warsaw with her her husband and only son, Harry (raised in Berlin, who had followed a career as a medical doctor.) They had foreign passports and attempted to flee to Russia. However they couldn't enter and were placed into a ghetto, where L. would perform in the various entertainment places with her husband.

When the "action" began, she with her husband and son were taken into work in Chaim Sandler's 'shop,' so that they could acquire the so-called "lebnsrekht" cards. Later she went over to work in Tebens' 'shop,' and from there was sent to the camp of Poniatowa, behind Lublin. However, shortly thereafter, the Germans had the camp destroyed, and murdered these Jews as


revenge for an uprising that they and the Jewish underground movement had carried out, which had saved a group of Yiddish actors, L. among them, and they were to bring them to Warsaw. On the way they were captured by the Germans, who led them to Majdanek, and there were killed, together with more than 18,000 Jews on 3 November 1934 [ed.--probably 1944], under the tenor of Strauss' "Vienna Waltz."

  • "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre," Warsaw, 1934, Vol. 2, p. 1162.

  • Jonas Turkow -- "Wandering Stars," Buenos Aires, 1953, Vol. 1, p. 100-107.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 3890.
You can ead Chana Lerner's initial Lexicon biography in its second volume by clicking here.

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