Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Ester Shefner


Born in 1893 in Lodz. Her father was a tinsmith.

According to her sister Malka:

"During the German Occupation during the First World War (1915-1916), a troupe of actors with her and Ester traveled across the Polish province. They were not traveling by train, but as gypsies, with a wagon and a horse, because it was cheaper. It was very stressful, even during the wintertime. They came back from their trip; she began to be with Chizhik in a comedy character duet in Lodz's "Coliseum," and then by herself performed with songs and had success. Later we both traveled with Lola Patroni under (Samuel) Kuperman's direction to various large provincial cities, playing "The Beautiful Berta," "Hopla," "Molvinka vil azoy." After the tour she played with Kutner in Lodz's "Flora" theatre, then she was engaged by (Solomon) Kustin for a tour across Kielce, Radom, Lublin. Most often she played with Kutner.

During a summer, actors had turned around and did not play, included was Kutner and also my brother Jacob. Kutner put together our tour, which I have never forgotten. You (Zalmen Zylbercweig) and also your first wife (Miriam), who performed in declamations.

I think that she came from a production that was cold, became feverous and began to cough. From the start they had thought

that it was the grippe, which at that time was prevalent, or it was typhus. She wept and asked that they hide her and not go to the hospital. Perhaps she wanted be saved, because it wasn't the grippe, and it wasn't typhus, but a deep cold. After several songs were sung, she was feverish and caught a cold draft; by hiding herself, they had not correctly looked after her. The doctor also was guilty, and she came down with swine flu. That healthy girl as she was, was never ill, and she passed away."

Sh. passed away in Lodz around 1918.

Sh.E. from  her sister Malka Shefner.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 4922.

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