Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Adolf Shliferstein

Born in Warsaw, Poland.

The actor Avraham-Yitskhok Tanzman's brother, Pinchas, writes that:

"This was in 1877 in Warsaw. One Shliferstein, who worked with his (Tanzman's) father in the hendshke factory, had put together several friends, and with them studied Goldfaden's "Shmendrik." The female roles were played by men. There was no prompter. they played in a hall behind the city. The play went on for several weeks and then remained, playing around the province. In Brest Litovskthey united with (Israel) Gradner, and there played for a long time. The Gradners were then traveling back to Warsaw, and at the same time there was arriving Spivakovski, Israel Rosenberg and Berta Berlin (later -- Tanzman), and together they began to play in the "Eldorado." However, the police prevented them from playing, leaving Spivakovski and Rosenberg in Warsaw and then came the Vaynshtoks, the Vaynshtayns, and Goldschmidt, and together they left across the Polish province. In Zamosc Sh. with the troupe and travel away.

According to the actor Yeshaya Rotstein, 1888 played the role of "Tsingetang" in the Polish offering of Goldfaden's "Shulamis" in the troupe of the Tshistogorski, who with the play


toured across the Polish province.

According to B. Gorin, Sh. played in 1888 in Galicia. According to Peter Graf, which also was confirmed by Berta Kalich, Sh. arrived in Galicia, and after that he played in London.

Berta Kalich writes about this in her memoirs:

" Almost at the same time, [as Shramek] arrived another actor -- Shliferstein, who was a dramatic stage director.

Shliferstein came from London, and he brought with him the English school of drama. Until now they had only played operetta with us, but with his arrival, Lemberg proved that with drama we can also occupy a place.

Also Shliferstein displayed many talents. He grew up short, which is why he played on the stage like a giant. He was a weak man. It seems that he suffered from nausea, but that didn't stop him from developing into a great actor. Every artist  from the Polish theatre came to him to see him act, and they learned a lot from him.

Shliferstein was the first in a Lemberg theatre who assembled three walls on a stage. He first introduced real furniture on the stage, real windows and doors, and the first one acquainted the public with the realistic drama'"

According to the actor Shlomo Krause, in 1891 Sh. arrived in Warsaw and played in the "Eldorado," and going Lodz, where he needed to perform in "Victoria" as "Tsingetang," he received a blood infection in his throat.

According to Ester Rokhl Kaminska in her memoirs, Sh. in 1892 guest-starred in Warsaw in the "Eldorado" as "Tsingetang," and also was stage director for "Shulamis." When the troupe disbanded, he took his sister, who he had made an actress, and with several people left across the province.

According to the actor Michael Myodovnik, in the years 1897-98, Sh. was director of a Yiddish troupe in Lodz.

The actor Aaron Lager writes in his accounts that Sh. was a heart-sufferer and passed away from a blood infection.

Sh. had a son, Dr. Stone, a dentist in America, who also acted in Yiddish theatre, and it isn't clear if the actor S. Shliferstein, who was announced as a member of the Yiddish Artists' Union  in Lemberg, is the son who also participated in 1908 in the guest appearance of the "Literary Troupe" in Peterburg and played the roles of "Aaron" in Pinski's "Yankel the Blacksmith" and "Zlatkin" in Libin's "The Broken Heart."

Sh. composed "Dora, oder, Der milyoner als betler, originally composed by the well-known artist Adolf Shliferstein" (Warsaw, 1893). On the cover page it is given, "This piece seems to be performed on the biggest scenes in Europe. Finally in Warsaw with great success." In Russian subtitles on  the title page is given that it is a translation from German. This is very important. The play in 1905 also appeared in Lemberg: "Dora, or, The Millionaire as Beggar. Drama in 4 acts by A. Shliferstein. Music by Mogulesko" (50 pp.)

According to B. Gorin there was staged in 1892 Sh.'s play, "Atsbe alhim (The Finger of God?)."

The actor Aaron Lager writes that the actor N. Dramov's one-acter, "Der meshugener in shpitol" was written soon by Sh. as a parody on Gogol's "Der meshugener."

Sh. passed away in Lemberg.

M.E. by Yeshaya Rotstein, Peter Graf, Shlomo Krause and Sh.E. by Pinchas Tanzman.

  • Zalman Reisen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature," Vilna, 1929, Volume 4, pp. 737-738.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of Yiddish Theatre," Vol. 2, pp. 143, 217.

  • Menasha Konstantinovsky -- "Der milyoner als betler" in garibaldi, "Pnim'er un Pnim'lakh," Buenos Aires, N' 24, 1924.

  • Berta Kalich -- Memoirs, "Der tog," N.Y., 2 May 1925.

  • M. Myodovnik -- Mayne teater-zikhroynes, "Der shtern," Minsk, 1926, 5, 31.

  • Ester Rokhl Kaminska -- Derner un blumen, "Moment," Warsaw, 29 September, 15 October 1926.

  • Aaron Lager -- In lemberger teater un mit goldfadenen, "Da'ts," Buenos Aires, 4 March 1930.

  • Aaron Lager -- Intsidentel mit "kazna" un aktyorn, dort, 27 June 1930.

  • Zalmen Zylbercweig -- Goldfaden oyf der poylisher bine, "Literarishe bleter," Warsaw, N' 22, 1933.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 4964.

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