Monday 24 April 2017


NOKHUM LIPOVSKI (1874-December 24, 1928)
            He was born in Nyesvizh (Niasviž), Byelorussia.  He attended Vilna Talmud-Torahs and yeshivas.  After acquiring secular subject matter, he left for Moscow, and he studied in the drama course of the Philharmonia and later became an extra at the “Little Theater” in Moscow.  In 1891 he became a member of a wandering Yiddish theater troupe, later becoming a Russian actor.  In 1904 he departed for Germany, initially an auditor at Darmstadt’s polytechnicum where through experimentation he developed his phenomenal memory and made stage appearances demonstrating his feats.  After returning to Russia, he organized the Vilna “Jewish People’s Theater” which continued in existence until WWI.  After the war he was a member of the diplomatic corps of independent Lithuania.  He worked out a plan for a perpetual calendar—his calendar for 200 years, 1826-2025, was published in the illustrated supplement to the Forverts (Forward) in New York (December 28, 1924).  He appeared with his phenomenal memory experiments in a string of European and American universities.  In 1924 he restarted the Vilna “Jewish People’s Theater.”  He often translated plays from other languages into Yiddish.  In separate publications, he brought out the one-act plays: Zi hot bazigt (She conquered), Di damen-shpilke (The ladies’ pin), Der damen-shnayder (The women’s tailor), An advokat af a halbe sho (A lawyer for half an hour), and Mit a gelegnheyt (With an opportunity)—all published in Vilna, no dates of publication given.  He died in Vilna.

Sources: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934); B. Kutsher, Geven amol varshe (As Warsaw once was) (Paris, 1955), p. 228.
Yankev Kahan

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