Avraham Axelrad. In 1908
again in Lemberg, he had the opportunity there to act
with the guest-starring Morris Moshkovich.
About his playing in
operetta repertoire, P. recalls in his memoirs:
"A series began of
Lateiner's German operetta plays: "Ishah raʻah," "Kol
Nidrei, ["Kol Nidre" was Sharkansky's, not Lateiner's.
-- ed.] The two plays were performed in German, and I
had already for a long time plotted with the idea that I
could convert to Judaism. Now the time had come. I
played the main character "Avner" and had entirely
ibergenitsevet in Yiddish. ...All of my partners had
asked me in German, and I answered them in Yiddish. My
colleagues had a bit of laughter. "He speaks only
Yiddish," they made fun. And so I was with the second
role, "the Grand Inquisitor Paulus." For my enemies a
ray of vengeance. Among them there hadn't been any doubt
that the spoken Yiddish is my certain failure. To many
it was the reverse. To the audience I was to become even
closer, and they still applauded me warmly.
...Then in Lemberg there existed a Yiddish weekly... the
entire paper was filled with me. ... I had with the
victory against the German strongly acquired renown.
...from then on people began to [see] that I could speak
To that Jacob Mestel
In the cited plays there
used to be only a few roles ("Avner," the "Grand
Inquisitor Paulus," the "Haf singer Bartelo")
that were played in German, however the other roles
[especially the characters who were "simple people,"
used to constantly be played by people in plain
mameloshen [native tongue]);
At that time already in
Lemberg there existed a lively Yiddish movement,
with a daily newspaper, "Togblat" (since 1904, under
the editing of Gershom Bader, then by Moshe Kleinman,
who Mestel had written theatre reviews for), and
already other actors, such as Yudl Gutman and Matias
Thur) begun to act in some "German" roles in pure
P. then became a member in
the wandering troupe of Hart, and in a members troupe,
by himself was director, together with Shneckin, acted
in a members troupe in Krakow, several productions with
Ziegler in Vienna, and again in Hart's troupe.
During the outbreak of the
First World War, he was a worker for a short time in a
mill, then in Vienna -- a presser and a merchant, until
in 1917 he again began to write for director Jacob in
Krakow. Here in 1918 he celebrated the twenty-fifth
jubilee of P.'s activities as an actor.
Returning to Russia, he
performed in Homel with shortened plays, which he put
together by himself, then he acted in Kiev with Weissman
and Libert and was engaged in Zhitomir's Jewish State
Theatre. Due to the anxious conditions that existed at
that time in the Ukraine, he had to fled and performed
in Alt-Konstantin in plays in half-Polish and
half-Russian, then in Tarnopol, Rovne and Brody in
Yiddish with "amateurs."
Returning to Vienna, he
acted with Molly Picon and Jacob Kalich, later with the
Kompaneyets family, with who he traveled to Lublin with,
and from there went on to Warsaw, where he joined the
"Central Theatre," acting for two years with Esther
Rukhl Kaminska, Turkow, Samberg and Landau.
On 1 July 1923 he arrived in
Buenos Aires, Argentina, and there he at first was a
guest-star, then an ensemble player. Outside of the
province, where he often used to tour with troupes, and
he also had the opportunity to act for several seasons
in Buenos Aires, with the guest-starring Thomashefsky,
Morevsky, Sokolov, Samberg, Joseph Shoengold, Kremer,
Jacob Ben-Ami (in a tour across the Argentinean province
and colonies) et al.
P.'s wife is the actress
P. published his memoirs [in
"Di prese," Buenos Aires, from 25 October 1931 through
21 August 1932], under the name, "40 Years on the Stage
and Behind the Curtains, by Benzion Polipade."
Benzion Polipade --
40 yor af der bine un hintger di kulisn, "Di prfese,"
Buenos Aires, 25 October 1931-21 August 1932.
Yankev Botoshansky --
Tsvishn forhang un leyvnt, "Di prese," Buenos Aires,
2 September 1932.
Pinye Katz --
Bentsien polipade -- der oysgeteylter idisher aktyor,