Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Harry Levin

Born on 3 September 1900, in Bialystok, Poland. His father was a merchant and a community activist. He was raised in an Orthodox home. As a child of nine years of age he took part in Hebrew amateur presentations, which in those days were staged by the Hebrew teacher M. Sarver.

In 1912, Levin moved to Germany where he studied in Hamburg in a real school (a secondary school with strong emphasis in the sciences). In the years 1917-1918, he worked in Germany in several different jobs: as a German teacher in the occupied territories, appearing in German theatre with a traveling theatrical company led by the Saxon theatrical artist Maxim Elwig.

From 1919 until the end of 1920, Levin worked as an assistant scenario director in the Karl Schutz Theatre in Hamburg.

On October 3, 1921, Levin arrived in America where he became a professional prompter in the Yiddish theatre. Here he also began to write plays for the Yiddish theatre. On September 3, 1923, he was engaged in the Grand Opera House, in Boston, by Julius Gottenson,  where he presented his operetta “Love and Faith” (Libe un gloybn”). On November 24, 1925, Levin’s operetta “Lost Birds” (Farblondzhite faygelekh) was performed in Cleveland. On September 18, 1926, in the Bronx's McKinley Square Theatre, Levin’s operetta in two acts with a prologue and epilogue “The Strength of Music” (Di kraft fun muzik), music by Sam Solomon, was performed. On November 9, 1928 the Brooklyn Hopkinson Theatre presented Levin’s and S.H. Kohn’s operetta “Peshke the Comedienne” (Peshke di komandyantke) Music by Grec=khtman.

Levin also dramatized Remarque’s "All Quiet on the Western Front" (Oyfn mayrev front nishto kayn nayes), which was performed in the Yiddish theatre in Paris where in 1931, Levin had relocated.

Levin's one-act play “Mr. Hunger", was opened as “Justice” (Gerekhtikayt)  (May 1921), and his one act-play “Literature “ (Literatur), also known as “Who knows who it is” (male veresiz), was published in Kundes (The Yiddish Satirical Weekly Published in New York) in 1924.

Sh. E.

  • Yankev Kirschenbaum - The Strength of Music, September 22, 1926.

  • L. Fogelman -di naye operetta in Hopkinson Theatre. 1928.

  • Spektator, (N. Frank) Peshke di komandyantke by Harry Levin, parizer haynt, April 20, 1930.

  • Yisraeli, (Rabinowitch) Peshke di konmayantke, Canader Odler, Montréal, February 18, 1931.







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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1143.

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