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Turkow, Zygmunt, 1896-1970


Found in 12 Collections and/or Records:

Esther-Rachel Kaminska Theater Museum Collection

Identifier: RG 8

The collection contains play manuscripts, programs, playbills, posters, photographs, correspondence, agreements, scrapbooks, clippings, printed ephemera, and memorabilia relating to Yiddish theater primarily in the early twentieth century, especially the interwar period. Also included are items of printed ephemera related to Yiddish film, Hebrew theater, and a broad range of Jewish performers, including cantors, singers and dancers. Geographically, the materials originate predominantly in Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe, including parts of the Russian Empire and, later, the Soviet Union; and, to a lesser extent, the United States, especially New York City. Also included are materials from Western Europe, Palestine (Eretz Israel), South America, and other regions around the world. Among the theater personalities represented in the collection with significant amounts of material are Herz Grossbard, David Herman, Joseph Winogradoff, Rudolf Zaslavsky, Zygmunt Turkow, Jonas Turkow, Moyshe Lipman, Ida Kaminska, and Esther Rachel Kaminska. The theater groups best represented include the Varshever Yidisher Kunst-Teater (VYKT; Warsaw Yiddish Art Theater), founded by Zygmunt Turkow and Ida Kaminska; the Vilna Troupe; Yung Teater / Nay Teater (Warsaw; Vilna), under the direction of Michael Weichert; the Moscow State Yiddish Theater (known by its Russian acronym "GOSET"); Maurice Schwartz's Yiddish Art Theatre, of New York; and the Hebrew theater "Habimah." A wide variety of other professional as well as amateur theater groups are represented with smaller amounts of material.

Dates: 1887 - 1942; Majority of material found within 1900 - 1939

Subseries 7: Turkow, Zygmunt (טורקאָוו, זיגמונט). Papers, 1913 - 1939

Scope and Contents

This subseries contains personal papers of Zygmunt Turkow, including correspondence, a scrapbook, ephemera, and clippings. The materials pertain to his theatrical career, including his earliest forays in amateur circles in Warsaw, beginning in 1913, and his professional career through the mid 1930s. Included is congratulatory correspondence received by him upon the celebration, in Mexico City, of his 20th anniversary on the stage, in 1936.

Dates: 1913 - 1939

Subsubsubseries 1. Varshever Yidisher Kunst Teater (VYKT), 1923 - 1932

Scope and Contents From the Series:

This series contains materials related to performances and activities of theaters and theater troupes, organized by geographic location. Some files also pertain to a variety of local organizations that presented theatrical events and concerts, as well as organizations that promoted and supported Yiddish or Hebrew theater. The last subseries, Yiddish Theater (General) and Unidentified Materials, contains a small grouping of materials not related to specific localities, including manuscripts, clippings, and unidentified materials.

The materials in this series consist predominantly of theater programs; ephemera such as fliers, invitations, and tickets; and newspaper clippings (occasionally scrapbooks). The series contains, in all, an estimated 1700 to 1800 programs. The programs pertain to plays; revues; recitations; concerts, including cantorial concerts; dance performances; honorary evenings; and various special events of local organizations.

To a lesser extent, there are also publications and periodicals; and sometimes generic correspondence such as letters to supporters and fundraising letters, and, occasionally, manuscripts of articles about the given theater troupe, typically intended for publication in newspapers. (Some of the latter items were evidently donated by Zalman Reisen, editor of the Vilner Tog.)

The materials of the above types found under any given heading for a theater troupe, theater, or organization, are typically of mixed provenance, collected by various different individuals.

This series also occasionally includes small amounts of original records of theater troupes, such as correspondence and financial records.

Original letters from troupe members or leaders addressed to the literary historian and newspaper editor Zalman Reisen are found in the files for the Vilna Troupe (Folder 533); and "Ararat" (Folder 596). In the case of the Varshever Yidisher Kunst-Teater (VYKT), there is a small amount of original correspondence received by the troupe, including a letter from Richard Beer-Hofmann (Folder 500).

Fragmentary financial records are included for the Vilna Troupe, 1922 (Folder 538); and a ledger book for the "Baveglekher Yidisher Dramatisher Teater," 1921-1922, under the geographic heading for Warsaw (Folder 633). (According to an entry in Zylbercweig, VI: 4993, the latter troupe was founded by Jonas Turkow.)

Other notable provenance-based groupings of materials in the subseries for Poland are found under the following city headings:

Łuck (Lutsk, Ukraine): papers of the theater director Abraham Kolodny related to the "Yidishe Fraye Bine," 1910-1920 (Folders 621-622), along with theater programs likely collected by him.

Brześć nad Bugiem (Brest, Belarus): a scrapbook documenting performances of the Brisker Dramatishe Studye, 1927-1929, created by M. Sarwer (Sarver), the group's artistic director, along with programs evidently collected by him (Folders 696-697).

Częstochowa: receipts of impresario N. Zolotarew related to a tour of Lidia Potocka (Folder 668).

Also noteworthy is a scrapbook pertaining to a 1934 revival of the experimental Yiddish puppet theater "Khad Gadyo" in Łódź (founded in 1922, a collaboration between and Moyshe Broderzon and the artist Yitskhok Broyner); it contains the script of the performance, photographs and clippings (Folder 615).

Troupes represented with the most substantial amounts of materials include:

In Subseries 1. Poland, under the sub-heading "Poland by Theater Troupe": Varshever Yidisher Kunst-Teater (VYKT); Varshever Nayer Yidisher Teater (VNYT); the Vilna Troupe; Yung Teater/Nay Teater; and the "Kleynkunst," or revue theaters "Azazel," "Ararat," "Sambatyon," and "Yidishe bande."

In Subseries 4, United States, the Yiddish Art Theater, New York (directed by Maurice Schwartz).

In Subseries 6, Palestine (Eretz Israel), the Hebrew theaters Habimah and Ohel, respectively.

In the case of these major theater troupes, most of the material related to them is gathered under their name heading, found under the geographic locality with which they are primarily associated; however, the materials found there also include items pertaining to their tours in other parts of the country or region, and internationally.

On the other hand, files for specific towns, cities, or countries, in general contain many programs and clippings pertaining to guest appearances of individual performers, as well as smaller ensembles and troupes, who are based somewhere else.

Clippings are generally classified according to the main topic of the article (i.e. not necessarily according to the locality where it was published).

It should be noted that throughout the series, a distinction is usually made between professional theater and concerts, on the one hand, and amateur theater, or 'dramatic circles' on the other; when materials are related to amateur groups that distinction is typically specified in the heading. The distinction is especially clear in the subseries for Poland, which includes a separate sub-subseries for Amateur Theater (this follows the scheme established by Jonas Turkow during his preliminary organization of these materials at the YIVO Institute in New York).

Finally, as background, it should be noted that the programs that form the backbone of this series in representing the troupes, theaters, and localities, were among the materials that were organized and cataloged by Jonas Turkow at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York, in the late 1950s to mid 1960s. They bear stamped or handwritten item numbers (falling within the range 175167 to 177690) that Turkow assigned based on his initial sequencing of them in alphabetical order according to the names of the authors of plays (with concert programs grouped together at the end). Subequently, he selected certain programs to form groupings under peformer names (see Series II, subseries 1. Programs) and others to form groupings under the names of theater troupes and geographic headings (constituting the present series). The selection of the programs found in this series under general geographic headings, for particular towns, cities, and countries (as opposed to headings for the featured performer or director, as in Series II) thus reflects the arrangement devised by Turkow, documented in the cross-references he provided on his catalog cards for the programs. For further details, see the Scope and Content Note for Series I, Subseries 2, Programs.

Dates: 1923 - 1932

Zygmunt and Ida (Kaminska) Turkow, 1921-1936

 File — Box 37, Folder: 655
Scope and Contents From the Series:

This series contains documents from actors, singers, composers, directors, all members of the YAF in Poland. These documents include correspondence, convention delegate cards, photographs, certificates, questionnaire forms, reviews, and other materials relating to individuals.

Dates: 1921-1936

אַנדרייעוו, לעאָניד / Andreyev, Leonid, undated, 1919, 1932

 File — Folder 4296, Object: 175198-175220
Scope and Contents

- "Der vos krigt di petsh" in Vilna. Guest performer Abraham Morewski, translated and directed by Morewski.

- "Doktor Kerzhentsev" in Kraków. Directed by and starring Menachem Rubin.

- "Der gedank" in Vilna. Guest performers Lipman Sokolov and N. Ninina (Nina Sokolov).

- "Der gedank," 3 items. Guest performers Ida Kaminska and Zygmunt Turkow, with their troupe, in Lublin, Siedlce, and an unspecified town. Translated by Kaminska and Turkow.

- "Der gedank" (two acts) in Warsaw, as part of grand jubilee performance of Zygmunt Turkow (probably his 15th anniversary, in 1932; Zylbercweig II: 869), with Klara Segałowicz, Yitzhak Turkow ("Grudberg"), Chaim Nissenzweig, and I. Inwentarz.

- "Di zibn gehangene," 2 items. In Lwów, directed by H. Weintraub and M. Merkatz. In Vilna, translated and adapted by H. Dashevsky and Krants, directed by Zygmunt Turkow.

- "Di teg fun unzer lebn" in Vilna, 1921. Translated by L. Katz. Directed by Alexander Asro.

Dates: undated, 1919, 1932

בערנשטיין, אַנרי / Bernstein, Henry, undated

 File — Folder 4345, Object: 175465-175468
Scope and Contents

- "Feliks" in Vilna. Translated from the French by Yitskhok Laks. Guest performers Rudolf Zaslavsky and Berta Zaslavska. Directed by Zaslavsky.

- "Shimshon" in Vilna. Production of the Yidisher Dramen un Komedyen Teater, under the direction of Ida Kaminska and Zygmunt Turkow. Translated by Kaminska and Turkow. Directed by Kaminska.

- "Libe un has" in Detroit. Translated from the French by Moishe Teitsh. Guest performers Jacob Ben-Ami and Berta Gersten. Directed by Ben-Ami.

Dates: undated

וואַרשעווער ייִדישער קונסט טעאַטער ("וויקט") / Varshever Yidisher Kunst-Teater (VYKT), undated, 1925-1929, 1938

 File — Folder 5060, Object: 179564-179588
Scope and Contents

Localities: Białystok, Bucharest, Cieszyn, Kielce, Kraków, Łódź, Lwów (Lviv), Przemyśl, Równe (Rivne), Trembowla (Terebovlia), Warsaw

Plays performed include: "Di 7 gehangene" by L. Andreyev, "Ven der tayvl lakht" by S. Belaia, "Di romantishe nakht" by H. Bachwitz, "Dos tsente gebot" and "Shulamis" by A. Goldfaden, "Heymloze" by Jacob Gordin, "Morfyum" by L. Herzer, "Dem oremans mazl" by Semen Iushkevich, "Der dibek" by S. Ansky, "Di brider Karamazov" by Dostoevsky, "Der goyrl" by Charles Méré, "Der oytser" by David Pinski, "W złotą krainę" (In goldn land) by Jacob Pat, "Amol iz geven a meylekh" by Ida Kaminska, and "Di velf" by Romain Rolland. Besides the troupe leaders, Ida Kaminska and Zygmunt Turkow, troupe members listed on a few items include Sonia Altbaum, Adam Domb, Jacob Mandelblit, Yitzhak Turkow ("Grudberg"), Meir Melman, and others. 18 items.

Dates: undated, 1925-1929, 1938

וואַרשעווער ייִדישער קונסט טעאַטער ("וויקט") / Varshever Yidisher Kunst Teater (VYKT), 1923 - 1928

 File — Folder 5060-P, Object: 179568– 179590-alef
Scope and Contents From the Sub-Series:

This subseries comprises approximately 1,000 oversize posters stored in map drawers. In Jonas Turkow's arrangement and cataloging of the items in the collection, oversize posters were fully integrated with the playbills found in Subseries 3; the item numbers they received fall within the same sequence as those of the playbills. Both types of items were categorized under the Yiddish heading "afishn" (posters, playbills; related to the French: affiche). The arrangement of the posters, therefore, mirrors that of the playbills in Subseries 3, with correponding folder titles and numbers (the folders containing posters are distinguished with the addition of a suffix "P" to the folder number).

Dates: 1923 - 1928

טורקאָוו, זיגמונט / Turkow, Zygmunt, undated, 1928-1930, 1938

 File — Folder 4863, Object: 178170-178217
Scope and Contents

Localities: Mainly Paris, and various towns/cities in Poland, including Kołomyia (Kolomyia), Lublin, Łuck (Lutsk), and Warsaw; also: Antwerp, Lwów (Lviv), Panevėžys

Turkow in productions that he often also directs. Other featured performers include Ida Kaminska, Diana Blumenfeld, and Yitzhak Turkow ("Grudberg"), as well as Minna Axelrad, Rashel Berger, Alex Stein, Klara Segałowicz, Genia Shalit, and Harry Rosenfeld. Plays performed are by Andreyev ("Di zibn gehangene," "Der gedank"), Eugene O'Neill ("Tayve"), Sholem Asch ("Onkl Mozes," "Got fun nekome"), Hans Bachwitz ("Di romantishe nakht"), Sofia Belaia ("Ven der tayvl lakht"), Henry Bernstein ("Shimshon"), Gogol ("Der revizor"), Hirschbein ("Tkies kaf"), Gordin ("Di shkhite"), Ossip Dymov ("Der korbn"), Ludwig Herzer ("Morfyum"), Jerzy Żuławski ("Shabsi Tsvi"), H. Leivick ("Hirsh Lekert"), Molière ("Der karger"), and Michael Gold ("Doktor Levi"). 41 items.

Dates: undated, 1928-1930, 1938

טורקאָוו, זיגמונט / Turkow, Zygmunt, undated, 1919, 1923, 1933-1937

 File — Box 45, Folder: 68
Scope and Contents

Localities: Antwerp/Brussels, Kalisz, Kaunas, New York, Radom, Siedlce, Vilna, Vitebsk, Warsaw

Programs for plays featuring Turkow, often together with Ida Kaminska, and in several instances with an ensemble from the Varshever Yidisher Kunst-Teater (VYKT). The plays include: "Der gedank" by L. Andreyev; "Di makht fun gelt," adapted from the Polish by Mark Arnstein; "Al Kapone" by Simon Brandes, translated by Sam Bronetsky; "Mekhutonim" by Chone Gottesfeld; "Doktor Levi" by Michael Gold, translated by M. Forlerer; "Lo takhmod (Dos tsente gebot)" by Goldfaden; "Di froy vos hot derharget" by Sidney Garrick, translated by Yankev Vaksman; "Heymloze" by Jacob Gordin; "Uriel Akosta" by K. Gutzkow; "Der korbn" by Ossip Dymov; "Dos hoyz fun farbrekher" by Ditsenshmidt, translated by Ida Kaminska and Zygmunt Turkow; "Der glokn klinger fun Notr-dam" by Victor Hugo, translated and adapted by Yankev Vaksman; "Morfyum" by Ludwig Herzer, translated by Yitzhak Turkow; "Shabtsi Tsvi" by J. Żuławski, translated by I. J. Singer; "Rasputin" by L. Tolstoy and P. Shchegolev, adapted for the Yiddish stage by Mark Arnstein; "Di geshikhte vegn Sonkin" and "Dem oremans mazl" by S. Iushkevich, translated by I. Kaminska and Z. Turkow; "Shap" by H. Leivick; "Der goyrl" by Charles Méré; "Yisker" by Harry Sackler; "Serkele" by Solomon Ettinger; "Tevye der milkhiker" and "Blondzhnde shtern" by Sholem Aleichem (the latter adapted by Mark Razumni); and "Dos geshrey fun gevisn" by L. Verneuil. 32 items.

Dates: undated, 1919, 1923, 1933-1937

טורקאָוו, זיגמונט / Turkow, Zygmunt, undated

 File — Box 86, Folder: 1118
Scope and Contents

Turkow in roles: in "Dos hoyz fun farbrekher" by Dietzenschmidt and as Telye in "Di velf" by Romain Rolland. 2 items.

Dates: undated

טורקאָוו, זיגמונט / Turkow, Zygmunt, undated, 1916-1937

 File — Folder 4863-P, Object: 178169–178224
Scope and Contents From the Sub-Series:

This subseries comprises approximately 1,000 oversize posters stored in map drawers. In Jonas Turkow's arrangement and cataloging of the items in the collection, oversize posters were fully integrated with the playbills found in Subseries 3; the item numbers they received fall within the same sequence as those of the playbills. Both types of items were categorized under the Yiddish heading "afishn" (posters, playbills; related to the French: affiche). The arrangement of the posters, therefore, mirrors that of the playbills in Subseries 3, with correponding folder titles and numbers (the folders containing posters are distinguished with the addition of a suffix "P" to the folder number).

Dates: undated, 1916-1937