Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Gershon Rot


Born  on 23 October 1892 in Lemberg, Eastern Galicia. Father -- a small dealer. He completed a birger school and attended the local gymnasium.

As a child, together with Ludwig Satz, he acted in one-acters in Polish. Later he founded the "Arbeter-bine under the name of Jacob Gordin", which he directed until 1914. He became a professional Yiddish actor, debuting in June 1913 in the Galician town of Rohatyn as "Ayzikl" in Moshe Richter's "Hertsele miuhs", but his true stage career began in 1915 when he joined the Lemberg Yiddish theatre. In 1918 he was the leader of a Yiddish dramatic theatre in Vienna and co-founder of the "Fraye yidishe folksbine". Returning in 1920 to Lemberg, he joined in the local Yiddish theatre, where he also was a member in the director's collegium, reorganized the local association, and was its chairman until 1921. In 1922 R. became the director of a member troupe across the province in Galicia. 1924 -- he went on a tour with a well-organized member troupe across the larger cities of Poland and the "kresn", stage directed the dramatics and operetta repertoire, and returned to Lemberg, where he again was the leader of the local Yiddish theatre.

In 1922, during the guest-starring of Misha Fishzon in Lemberg, R. acted in the role of the "Dr. Noel" in "Madame X".

In 1919 R. acted in Vienna in the film "Der geytsiker akosta" (sasha film).

 R. composed the three-act operetta "Der prezent in koysh", that was performed in Lemberg and in several large cities of Poland and the "kresn".

R. was married to the actress Rosa Fuchs.

Zygmunt Turkow observed about him "the younger generation heard the intelligent actor Rot and his wife Rosa Fuchs".

Soon in the first days when Lemberg was taken over by the Red Army, there there was organized a Yiddish theatre under the direction of Shlomo Pryzament, Gershon Rot and Henrik Luft, who acted in the "Coliseum" Theatre on Slonetshna (zun) gasse 33.

About R.'s tragic end, Jonas Turkow writes that "in the Yanover camp one also found the popular Lemberg actor Gershon Rot, who the Germans had shot."

According to the former actor Severin Zwerling, R. was a very intelligent person, had an interest in the Jewish cultural world and manifested a special interest for it, which he addressed in the Yiddish dramatic circles. He used to read a lot, was well-versed in literature and in world matters, also used to write plays, of which some were "Der prezent in koysh", which were performed with his raised son Leo Fuchs.

R. always was dressed very elegantly, clean and had in his speech manifested wisdom.

In his younger years, he acted on the stage as a lover, later switching to character roles.

About his tragic end, Zwerling states that when the Germans, as punishment, decided to every tenth inmate, the fate wished that at that count R. was one of the "tens", and as such the Nazis shot him.

Sh. E. and M. E. from Severin Zwerling.

  • Jonas Turkow -- "Farloshene shtern", Buenos Aires, 1953, Vol. II, p. 86.

  • Zygmunt Turkow -- "Di ibergerisene tkufh", Buenos Aires, 1961, p. 131.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4051.

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