Wednesday 20 April 2016


AVROM VOLFSHTAT (December 20, 1897-1942)
            He was born in Khentshin (Chęciny), Kielce district, Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school and in a Russian school.  As a youth he joined the Bund and was active in the Jewish labor movement.  During WWI he was railway worker in Lukov and Brisk (Brest).  In 1923 he was studying in Warsaw at Dr. Weichert’s drama school and later at Dovid Herman’s studio.  He acted, 1926-1927, at the Yiddish state theater in Riga.  In 1928 he was director of the drama studio “Arvi” in Grodno.  He began writing poetry in 1915 for Lodzer folksblat (Lodz daily newspaper).  He also published there translations of the classical German poets.  He contributed works to: Vegn (Pathways) and Oyfgang (Arise) in Lodz (1919-1922); Frimorgn (Morning) in Riga; and Vilner tog (Vilna day); among other serials.  He composed the plays Broyt (Bread), Iber kvorim (Over graves), and the one-act A farshlosene tir (A locked door) and A daytshl (A little German), among others, which were staged at Yiddish theaters in Poland.  In September 1939 he escaped from Warsaw to Bialystok, and from there he made his way to Grodno.  During the German invasion of Soviet Russia in 1941, he was in the town of Zelve (Podzelve, Želva, Pozelwa), Grodno district, and he was murdered there by the Germans.

Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928); Z. Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 1; Yonas Turkov, Farloshene shtern (Extinguished stars) (Buenos Aires, 1953), vol. 2, p. 90; Kh. L. Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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