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Papers of Ludwig Satz (1891-1944)

Identifier: P-844

Scope and Content Note

The Papers of Ludwig Satz primarily consist of sheet music written or owned by Satz or Satz's children, concert programs including one for the Barondess Memorial Fund, a catalog from a Grand Street Boys' Association exhibit where his paintings were represented, a play script for Act II of A Farvorfener Vinkel, publicity flyers relating to Satz' Roumanian Village and International Revue, an issue of the Theatre and Art Journal dated April 1926, and two volumes of Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre, with which Satz was involved in publishing. Among the artists and organizations represented in this collection, particularly through the sheet music, are Sholem Aleichem, Irving Berlin, Joseph Cherniavsky, Abe Ellstein, Jacob Jacobs, Edward Bennett Marks, Al Olshanetsky, Molly Picon, Joseph M. Rumshinsky, Yuri Suhl, and Yuzhny's Russian Theater.

The items in the museum series are restricted except with the permission of the AJHS Director of Library and Archives.


  • 1916-1955, 1970, undated

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.

Use Restrictions

No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at

For reference questions, please email:

Biographical Note

Ludwig Satz was born February 18, 1891 (some sources say 1895) in Lemberg, Galicia (Lviv, Ukraine). He began singing and acting at a very young age in local children’s choirs and theatrical performances around Galicia. He was a part of several acting troupes in Przemysl, Lemberg, Budapest, and London. It was in London in 1914 where Satz met and married the actress Lillie Feinman, the daughter of Siegmund and Dinah Feinman, who were both also Yiddish theater actors.

After briefly returning to Lemberg, Ludwig and Lillie moved to the United States in 1914, where Ludwig acted at many of the most prominent Yiddish theaters in New York and Philadelphia with some of the top names, including Jacob P. Adler, Maurice Schwartz, Jacob Ben-Ami, Molly Picon, and Celia Adler, his wife’s half-sister. He also performed in English-language vaudeville theaters and on Broadway, most famously as Abe Potash in Potash and Perlmutter in 1926. Satz wrote numerous Yiddish songs, made dozens of records and even acted in a few movies, including Der Meshugener (The Lunatic) and Zayn Vaybs Lubovnik (His Wife's Lover). In addition, he toured extensively, performing in Yiddish plays and musicals in South America, England, France, Belgium, Poland, and Jerusalem. Ludwig Satz died in New York City on August 31, 1944 and was survived by his widow, Lillie, and his three daughters Celia Werner, Mimi Schiff and Frances Satz.


2.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials





This collection contains materials relating to the musical and theatrical career of Ludwig Satz and includes sheet music, concert programs, a play script, and publicity notices. There are also paintings, printing plates, a walking cane, and a plaster head cast in the Museum collections.


The collection is arranged in loose alphabetical order, although the two volumes of Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre are found at the end of the collection. There is also a series of museum items.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to AJHS in 2000 by Mimi Schiff, Ludwig Satz’s daughter.

Related Material

There are photographs of Ludwig Satz and his family in the Adler Family Papers, P-890, and many theater and film posters in the Theater and Film Poster Collection of Abram Kanof, P-978, in the AJHS Archives. His correspondence is also represented in several YIVO archival collections, including Papers of Abe Cahan, RG 1139, Papers of Sholem Perlmutter, RG 289, and Records of the Hebrew Actors' Union, RG 1843, among others. Both the AJHS and YIVO archives have myriad collections about Yiddish theater and Yiddish theater actors.

Separated Material

Satz's walking cane, paintings, printing plates, and plaster head cast are located in the Museum collections.

Processing Information

The collection was processed in August 2013 by Rachel S. Harrison as part of the Jewish Performing Arts Digital Archive Initiative.

Papers of Ludwig Satz (1891-1944), 1916-1955, 1970, undated P-844
Processed by Rachel S. Harrison
© 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Processed as part of the Jewish Performing Arts Digital Archive Initiative.

Revision Statements

  • March 30, 2017:: Added four publicity headshots, one calling card, and one article to collection. Tanya Elder.
  • October 2020: RJohnstone: post-ASpace migration cleanup.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States