Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Marko (Marek) Milner


M. was born circa 1884. In 1904, when the Yiddish stage in Poland was farfleytst for shund, he had -- according to Jonas Turkow -- a group of youths decided to found a literary artists circle, that would give the intelligent onlooker the possibility to see the offering of a Lateiner play. In the center of that circle stood M., who, thanks to his intelligence, energized and umdermidlekher work, became the factual leader of the circle.

The circle begun its work in a private apartment in Warsaw on Kupietskagasse, later at a dance school on Bzhshibovska, until he founded his "place of sanctuary" in the newly-formed "Hazamir". The first play, which was put on through M., was Peretz Hirshbein's "Der inteligent."

About "Milner's Circle", as he called it, he had grouped the Yiddish intelligent youth, and even Yiddish students of the Polish dramatic school joined as members. Among the students were the late Yiddish actors Mark Schweid, Sarah Fibikh, Zygmunt Turkow, et al.

There were also attempts made by M. to attract professional Yiddish theatre, but the antagonism, which each time had been heard in the Yiddish theatre, and the fear of "literary" actors, all of the cynic attempts that were made in wartime, M. turned up in Russia, where he became a professional actor in Kharkov's "Unzer vinkl," also directing with the Kharkov dramatic circle.

Returning to Poland, he worked in professional troupes, and in 1921 he was in the leadership of the "Baveglekh Yiddish Dramatic Theatre" for the Polish province.

He also took an active part in the work of the Yiddish Artists Union, and he was one of the founders and co-editors of the organ of the Professional Yiddish Artists Union.

"Milner -- writes Jonas Turkow -- was away from the theatre, because tragedy came to him, inevitable moments for a Yiddish actor, a crisis! Milner was a strong personality. He should be able to subject to, and because the time had manifested itself a strong [fa?im], he went away -- this is not a desertion!"

On 29 October 1929 M. passed away in Warsaw.

  • Jonas Turkow -- Markomilner, "Literarishe bleter, W,"arsaw, 25, 1929.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1320.

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