Friday 17 February 2017


YITSKHOK LAKS (October 2, 1888-September 6, 1930)
            He was born in Lipno, Plotsk district, Poland.  He studied painting.  After years of wandering, he settled in Paris.  From 1911 he published sketches and dramatic scenes in Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), Avrom Reyzen’s Naye land (New land), and Di velt (The world) in New York, and Arbayter-fraynd (Workers’ friend) in London.  He contributed to “Fraye yidishe folks-bine” (Free Jewish people’s stage), and he was a cofounder of the “Literarish-dramatisher farayn” (Literary-drama association)—both in Paris.  He was also a professional prompter for various theatrical troupes.  He translated: Émile Zola, Tereza raken (Therèse Raquin) and Herman Heijermans, Geto (Ghetto).  He edited the periodicals: Unzer-teater (Our theater) in Paris (1923); Unzer lebn (Our life) in Paris (1923-1924) for 27 issues; the weekly newspaper Parizer bleter (Parisian pages); and—for a short time—the monthly Der templ (The temple) and Der gedank (The idea).  In 1925 there was staged his dramatization of Victor Hugo’s Der giber in keytn (The hero in chains [original: Les Miserables]) and in 1936 his own play Eygn blut (One’s own blood).  He died in Paris.

Sources: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934); N. Frank, in Parizer haynt (Paris) (September 8, 1930); “Di levaye fun an eynzamen mentshn” (The funeral of a lonely man), Parizer haynt (September 10, 1930).
Yankev Kohen

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