Thursday 19 May 2016


AYZIK VAYNSHTOK (December 25, 1890-May 16, 1922)
            He was born in Yagel’nitsa (Jagielnica), eastern Galicia.  Until age fifteen he studied in religious primary school and in a Baron Hirsch public school, in high school in Czernowitz, and in a “reform lycée” in Vienna.  He was an officer during WWI in the Austrian army.  Later, he served as secretary of the Jewish writers’ and journalists’ club in Lemberg, and for a short time worked as a prompter in the local Yiddish theater.  He began his own literary activities with correspondence pieces from Vienna for Tog (Day) in Cracow and for Lemberger togblat (Lemberg daily newspaper), for which from 1911 he served as an internal contributor.  At the same time, he contributed to Haivri (The Jew) in Brody and to German Jewish publications.  He published, 1912-1913, together with P. Vitkover and Y. Shneyd, Der folksfraynd (The friend of the people) in Lemberg, for which he wrote articles, features, and humorous sketches under the pen name Ayzikl Lets (Little Isaac the clown).  He authored the plays: Di yunge kemfers (The young fighters), a one-act drama; Der yom-hadin (The judgment day), a folk piece in four acts; Der nayer dor (The new generation), a drama in four acts; Di shreklikhe vide (The terrifying confession); and an operetta entitled Unzer mogn-doved (Our star of David)—which were staged in the Lemberg Yiddish theater.  He translated into Yiddish for the theater Friedrich Schiller’s Di royber (The robbers [original: Die Räuber]) and Marya stuart (Mary Stuart [original: Maria Stuart]), and Shakespeare’s Makbet (MacBeth) and Shaylok (Shylock [from The Merchant of Venice).  He died in Lemberg.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Z. Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 1; Dr. Y. Tenenboym, Galitsye, mayn alte heym (Galicia, my old home) (Buenos Aires, 1952), p. 167.

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