Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Louis E. Miller
(L. Bandes)


Born on 30 April 1866 in Vilna, Polish Lithuania, to rich parents. Because he heard a revolutionary party (which he became excited about by his older brother Lev, an active member of the first Jewish social revolutionary circle of Aaron Zundelvitsh et al), he had to at the age of fourteen, leave the town of his birth and go away to Berlin, and from there to Switzerland where he took to studying. He remained a money mitlen, he interrupted his studies and went to Paris, where he worked in various trades.

Around 1886 he arrived in America, and here for seven years he was a jacket sewer, and in the evening he studied yus.

In 185 he debuted with an article in Russian. 1889 -- he was chosen by a New York socialist as a delegate to the International Congress in Paris.

1890 -- founded (with Philip Krantz, M. Hilkvit and Ab. Cahan) the socialist weekly "Arbayter tsaytung", becoming counted on as the best battler and defender of the socialist side.

1894 -- already a lawyer, he collaborated with the daily newspaper "Abend blat", and in 1897 became one of the founders of the daily newspaper "Forverts (Forward", where he edited for several years and held up, then withdrew from journalistic activity and practice for several years as a lawyer.

1905 -- M. founded "Di varhayt" and edited it until November 1914, when he had to leave the newspaper due to his pacifist stance against the world struggle.

Spring 1915 -- M. began to issue a new daily newspaper "Der firer", which only existed for several months. 1917 -- he issued "MIller's vokhenshrift", which also did not marikh imim geven. 1925 -- M. issued a so-called teyblat page "Di naye varhayt", which also did not exist for a long time. In October 1929, M. performed in the "Tog" as an editor, writing light articles, and he worked here until 15 March 1927.

M. wrote many articles and reviews about Yiddish theatre, and with them oysgeaibt an important impact.

In the necrology of the "Tog", it was said in his flam-feyerdike editorials (light articles), the public gevart with the greatest stride and his fardankn air, and his glentsndn style had "Di varhayt" in his time had an immense success".

At the end of these light articles, M. barirt Yiddish theatre questions. In 1892 he participated in the debate between Jacob Gordin, Himmelfarb and Jacob Milkh about the question about Gordin gement adapting Avraham Goldfaden's plays, "Mlits-yushr" and "Moshiakh's tsaytn", and sharply attacked Goldfaen. [The discussion was reprinted in Zalmen Zylbercweig's book "Hinter forhang"].

In 1903, when the "Yidishe tageblat" ongefaln oyf Gordin's and bkhll oyf the radical Yiddish writer, M. (who earlier alone aropgerisn Gordin's important plays, "God, Man and Devil" and "Sappho"), began from the shpaltn of the "Forward" (23 October 1903) an attack about the "Yidishes tageblat". On 22 October 1903 there was organized in a hall on Clinton Street a mass assembly about the matter, in which M. acted as a speaker.

The struggle then developed into an entire series of articles by M., Ab. Cahan, and a letter from various progressive organizations that were appearing for Gordin.

About this Ab. Cahan remarked: "Miller used to imer iberkhapn the mos. ... also he didn't used to know(?) from keyn grenets among vos men meg and vos-men-tor-nit. In that fal he used to absolutely not opshteln for any titles and for any oysdrukn; and when Joel Slonim(?) wrote a baneysterte review about Asch's "God of Vengeance", M. had the review reprinted, but tsumorgns he had written a light article "Kupe mist oyf der bine", in which he, besides being against asch, also sharply aroysgetrotn against critics of his own newspaper.

M.'s intent in Yiddish theatre had not oysgefult only in his articles and reviews, but also in his plays, which he wrote for the Yiddish stage.

B. Gorin portrays an oyfgefirte play of M. in 1899 under the name "Di getsendiner", about which there was ho... in ergets nito keyn shum idieus.

On 31 December 1902, under the direction of Jacob P. Adler, there was staged at the People's Theatre M.'s play "Liza karlin, or, The Clown on Cherry Street", which on 22 October 1926 was staged in a geenderter form, staged in the Lipzin Theatre by the "Vilna Troupe", under the name "On a harts, a drama in four acts, of Jewish life in America, by Louis E. Miller, directed by Leib Kadison, under the oyfzikht of the composer.

On 20 February 1914 in Adler's Dewey Theatre, under the direction of the author, there was staged M.'s play "Der msur, which thereafter was published in print. "Der msur", a drama in four acts by L. E. Miller, issued by the "Varhayt Publishing Company".

On 22 May 1927, after a long illness, M. passed away in New York and was brought to his eternal rest at Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Brooklyn.

M.'s only son, Alexander, a beginner as an English dramatist and actor, committed suicide in 1924, at the age of twenty-six.

  • Z. Reyzen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature", Vol. II, pp. 409-14.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. II, p. 270.

  • J. Entin -- Liza karlin oder di payatsen in tshery strit, "Forward", N. Y., 6, 7 January 1903.

  • [--] -- Liza karlin, "Fraye arbayter shtime", N. Y., 10 January 1903.

  • A. Ganikman -- Liza karlin, "Theater zhurnal", N. Y., 21 January 1903.

  • Z. Libin -- Di hingerikhtete "Liza karlin", "Forward", N. Y., 18 January 1903.

  • Y. Goldberg -- Kritik iber "liza karlin", "Forward", N. Y., 21 January 1903.

  • [--] -- In un arum teater, "Yidtgbl't", N. Y., 20 February 1914.

  • D. B. [Sh. Yanovsky] -- In theater, "Fraye arbayter shtime", N. Y., 28 February 1914.

  • A. Frumkin -- Louie miler's "ohn a harts" bey "di vilner", "Tog", N. Y., 27 October 1926.

  • Dr. A. Mukdoni -- Louie miler's "ohn a harts', "Morning Journal", N. Y., 29 October 1926.

  • L. Kesner -- "Ohn a harts", "Yidtgbl't", N. Y., 29 October 1926.

  • Hillel Rogoff -- Di vilner trupe in a naye piese, "Forward", N. Y., 29 October 1926.

  • B. Botwinik -- In der teater-velt, "Der veker", N. Y., 20 November 1926.

  • Necrology in the Yidish press, n. Y., 23 May 1927.

  • Yoel Slonim -- Dos leben fun louie miler iz geven a leben fun umdershokenem kamf, "Tog", N. Y., 24 May 1927.

  • Zalmen Zylbercweig -- "HInter forhang", Vilna, 1928, pp. 118-139.

  • Ab. Cahan -- "In di mitele yohren, pp. 344-377, 387-393.

  • Zalmen Zylbercweig -- "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre", Vol. I, pp. 425-427.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1317.

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