Wednesday, 15 March 2017


SHIYE LYUBOMIRSKI (June 16 1884-August 22, 1977)
            The brother of Khayim Lyubomirski (Hyman Lewbin), he was born in a village near Brusilov (Brusyliv), Kiev district, Ukraine.  He initially received a traditional Jewish education, later graduating from the economics and law faculty of the Commerce Institute in the city of Kiev where his father brought him at age thirteen; he graduated in 1914.  From 1905 he was a member of the Bund.  For many years he was involved with teaching and private tutoring in Russian literature, Latin, mathematics, and history.  While still young, he began writing scenes from Jewish life in Russia, mainly concerned with problems of Yiddish theater in Soviet Russia.  While teaching in Makarov (Makariv), Kiev district, he directed and acted in local literary-dramatic circles.  He was living and teaching in Makarov in 1917-1918.  In 1918 he moved to Kiev and began working with the Yiddish theater there; when the Polish army occupied Ukraine, he joined the Red Army and worked as a teacher and director of amateur army theater troupes.  Demobilized in 1921, he became an actor and director in the first Yiddish state theater.  In 1924 he began his work as a Moscow Yiddish theater critic.  Over the course of more than a half century, he published some 400 articles and essays on theater and literature in both Yiddish and Russian newspapers, journals, almanacs, and anthologies, published several books on theater arts generally and Yiddish theater in particular.  He contributed articles and longer treatments to the anthologies of Sovetishe literatur (Soviet literature), as well as to: Emes (Truth) and Eynikeyt (Unity)—all in Moscow; Teater-bukh, zamlung tsum fuftsikyorikn yubiley funem idishn ṭeater (1876-1926) (Theater book, a collection on the fiftieth anniversary of the Yiddish theater, 1876-1926) (Kiev, 1927); Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings) and Folksshtime (People’s voice) in Warsaw; Parizer tsaytung (Parisian newspaper) in Paris; and Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture) in New York; among others.  Among his books: Der revolutsyonerer teater (The revolutionary theater), with a forward by A. Granovski, the first artistic director of the Moscow Yiddish state theater (Moscow, 1926), 56 pp.; Kinematograf, vunder fun kino un zayn derklerung (Cinematograph, the wonder of film and its explanation) (Moscow, 1930), 128 pp.; Melukhisher yidisher teater in ukraine (The Yiddish state theater in Ukraine) (Kharkov, 1931), 128 pp.; Teater-rekonstruktsye (Theater reconstruction) (Moscow, 1933), 192 pp.; Vi azoy tsugreytn a spektakl, handbukh far dramkrayzn (How to prepare a spectacle, handbook for drama circles) (Moscow, 1937), 136 pp.; Mikhoels ([Shloyme] Mikhoels), a monograph in Russian (Moscow-Leningrad, 1938), 113 pp.  He served as editor of Klingen hemerlekh, lider-zamlung far forshul kinder (Banging hammers, poetry collection for preschool children) (Moscow, 1925), 48 pp.; and he translated A. Glebov’s Der shnips, a komyugishe komedye in 2 aktn (The necktie, a Communist Youth League comedy in three acts) (Moscow, 1932), 111 pp.  He assembled a rich body of material on the history of fourteen Yiddish state theaters and numerous Yiddish drama circles, which existed in Soviet Russia on the eve of WWII (including Odessa, Kiev, Minsk, and Birobidzhan).  In 1941 he participated in the defense of Moscow with the Red Army and was wounded in battle.  He was a member of the “Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee and a contributor to the Jewish historical commission in Moscow where he had settled from 1920.  He translated from Yiddish into Russian a new novel by Natan Zabare, Otets (Father) (Moscow, 1961), 284 pp.  He contributed work to Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) in Moscow (March-April 1962).  A more recent memoir: Af di lebnsvegn, fartseykenungen (On the paths of life, notes) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1976), 246 pp.  He died in Moscow.

Sources: Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (March 25, 1927); Y. Shatski, in Arkhiv tsu der geshikhte fun yidishn teater un drame (Archive for the history of Yiddish theater and drama), vol. 1 (Vilna-New York, 1930), pp. 465-66; Y. Mestel, in Arkhiv tsu der geshikhte fun yidishn teater un drame, pp. 491-92; Yivo-bleter (Vilna) 3 (1932), pp. 274-79; Yivo-bleter 7.1-2 (1934), pp. 145-51; M. Elkin, on Lyubomirski’s monograph concerning Mikhoels, Yivo-bleter (New York) 16.2 (1940), pp. 189-98; Y. Nusinov, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (August 5, 1942); A. Kushnirov, in Naye prese (Paris) (July 27, 1945); N. Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher shrayber in sovetnfarband (Jewish creation and the Yiddish writer in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), see index; M. Vaykhert, Zikhroynes (Memoirs), vol. 2 (Tel Aviv, 1960/1961); Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index.
Benyomen Elis

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 330; Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 203-4.]

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