Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Berta Zaslavska
(Basye Levin)


Born on 28 September 1891 in Vilna, Polish Lithuania. Father -- a pharmacist. Initially she received her education from a French governess, then attended Mrs. Prozerova's gymnasium, and at the same time Treskin's music school.

Even in school she displayed abilities for the stage, especially in musical numbers, and she performed in the main roles in the school productions. At the age of twelve Z. also participated in the former children's productions in Russian, under the direction of actor L. Shriftzetser.

After completing in 1908 the gymnasium, Z. took an active part in the local Yiddish drama circle and acted in responsible roles.

Z. traveled to Peterburg, where she attended Rayev's Jewish courses and the conservatory and acted at the same time in a Russian dramatic circle under the leadership of Divesman. 1911 -- arrived as a music teacher for the family of theatre director Zandberg in Lodz, and there became known to actor Rudolf Zaslavski, and after her marriage to him, she performed in Vilna in 1913 as "Irena" in Arnstein's "Dos vilner bel-bisl". Later Z. had the ekr zikh given with accompanying the musical numbers for the presented plays, performing only rarely on the stage.

At first in 1916 Z. began to act systematically, due to the former ban on Yiddish, and Z. translated (together with her brother, the


actor Avraham Levin) in Russian plays of Yiddish repertoire, such as: "Di amerikanerin", "Khantshe in America", "Di shikhithe", "Di gebrokhene hertser", "Khasye di yetome", et al., and also acted in these productions. So Z. migrated with her husband until Bobrusk, where the troupe began again to act in Yiddish.

Z. also translated several plays into Yiddish from European repertoire, which the troupe had staged by her husband.

Z. had in her stage career since 1916, experienced the same path to the stage as her husband, also their journey in 1929 to Argentina.

M. E.


  • Berta Zaslavska -- Vi azoy ikh bin gekumen tsu der bihne, "Theatre Times", Warsaw 7, 1928.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 749.

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