ERC > LEXICON OF THE YIDDISH THEATRE  >  VOLUME 5  >  BEN-ZION ABELSON


Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre
BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE WHO WERE ONCE INVOLVED IN THE Yiddish THEATRE;
aS FEATURED IN zALMEN zYLBERCWEIG'S  "lEKSIKON FUN YIDISHN TEATER"


VOLUME 5: THE KDOYSHIM (MARTYRS) EDITION, 1967, Mexico City

 


 

Ben-Zion Abelson


Descended from Vilna, Polish-Lithuania. According to the actor Zalmen Koleshnikov, from 1933 to 1937 A. performed in his itinerant troupe across Poland. Later he played with non-Jewish troupes.

About his tragic end, Sh. Kaczerginski noted in short: "Young actor. Taken by a khaper [man paid to kidnap young Jewish boys as recruits for the tsar's army.] Ponar, 1941."

Sh. Bliacher portrayed him this way:

"A slender young man with a black head of hair, a white face, barely a few decades old, he had played in the theatre as he felt that he had been in the theatre for a long time. He went around with itinerant troupes across the small towns, often without anything to eat to be full, slept on hard chairs in the theatre, just like the audience that was there, because very often he didn't have the money for a hotel. Nevertheless he was at the theatre, because nowhere else--he used to say--had he success with women; in the end it does not look like you in the theatre. --I  had more enjoyment -- at times he had said -- when I hear him, the artist Abelson, it is like a good lunch.

He played in roles for young boys. His entire joyful jubilation was then downstream [aropgeshtromt].

In the wartime theatre, where everybody, each and every young person, is given a chance to appear, he especially had success in the role of Siomke, in Sholem Aleichem's 'Hard to be a Jew." Siomke, a broken father's young son, as it was by Sholem Aleichem, it was just as planned for Abelson. In the theatre he was called with love 'Der Zhulikl [the rouge?],"/' and he indeed had a wide range of uses for his young singing.

More and more he undertook the role of a 'boyfriend' in Daniel's 'Ulysses.' This was a role with dramatic accounts, which fit him very well.

In the last production of theatre, in '200,000' by Sholem Aleichem, he played the role of Solomonchik, the tsebalevetn balebatishns son. Here again it was like home [to him].

But he did not object to hit. As the bombs began to fall, he fled, but not successfully. He was killed... killed during the full evacuation."


M.E.. from Zalmen Koleshnikoff.

  • Sh. Kaczerginski -- "The Destruction of Vilna," New York, 1947, p. 228.

  • Sh. Bliacher -- "Eyn un tsvantsik un eyner," New York, 1962, p. 76.

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4385.
 

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