In the beginning of 1881 he
traveled to Liozna, where he went to study, but most of
the time he took up spreading the epicurist socialistic
ideas among the youths there. Due to the persecutions of
a rabbi, he was forced to go to Dvinsk, and there he
continued with his self-education, and also began to
write a day book in Yiddish. A.'s first serious literary
attempt was his story "Di geshikhte fun a familye".
Soon through the first story
he received attention and fell into the atmosphere of
the Russian-Yiddish literature. Not finding more for
themselves the associated resonance on the Jewish
streets, A. descended the depths of Russian folk life,
The impact of the "narodnik" literature drove
him to "go into the people".
In 1892 he went away to
Western Europe to familiarize himself with the life of
the worker there, and he spent a short time in Berlin,
then in Bern, then in Paris, where he worked as a
bookbinder, and from 1894 until 1900 he became the
private secretary of the Russian Socialist leader P.
Through the resonance of the
new movements in Russia, and thanks to the influence of
the Jewish immigrant board in Bern, which A. had visited
part-time due to Zhitlowsky, A. became a little closer
to the Jewish spheres of interest, and even turned in
his Russian stories to Jewish themes. He also began to
publish in print in Yiddish, and composed "Di shvueh",
which then became the hymn of the "Bund".
During that time A. also
composed an application of his Yiddish-Russian
socialistic colleagues -- his comedy "In a konspirativer
dirh". The comedy generally was written within one
night, in Russian, and it was staged through the Russian
socialistic members in the yearly ball in Bern. The main
roles were performed by Chaim Zhitlowsky (agent of the
okhranke) and Victor Chernov (performing from the
Soon thereafter A. composed
in Yiddish his comedy "Foter un zun", which for the
first time was published in print [according to a
personal declaration by An-ski to Z. Zylbercweig] in an
illegl Bundist edition in Switzerland. Then it was
published in the publishing house of "Di velt". [S.
Anski "Der foter un zuhn", Vilna, 1906, 24 pp., 16°].
After the manifest of 1905,
A. returned to Russia, where he began to take a active
role in the S. R. movement, and he also began to take up
with Yiddish folklore, published in the Russian-Yiddish
edition a series of articles about the Yiddish folk
establishment, participating in the Yiddish
historical-ethnographic society in Peterburg, directing
the first scientific expedition in the name of Baron
Horace Ginzburg to collect the works of Yiddish
folklore, and together with Joel Engel and his nephew
Yudovin, visited over sixty-six locations in Volhynia
and Podolia, where he collected all together a rich
collection of old and rare museum objects and writings,
folk stories, legends, songs, melodies, etc.
In 1909 A. translated into
Russian and published in "Yeverysky mir", Peretz's "In
polish oyfn keyt'.
During the World War A. was
in body and soul fed into the work aid for the war
victims, and he brought morale and material assistance
to the unfortunate communities and kibbutzim.
According to S. L. Citron in
his "Three Literary Generations", A. recounted that the
idea for his drama "Between Two Worlds" [S. A. An-ski,
Among Two Worlds (The Dybbuk), a dramatic legend in four
acts, Vilna 1919, issued through Israel Kwiat, Paris, 7
rubles, 83 pp., 16°], which A. wrote at first in
Russian, and then in Yiddish, to the author it came in
1911. As a foundation for the first act, A. began it
during his assistance activities in Galicia in 1914, the
Gorlice Beit Midrash. The first act was written in
Tarnow, the second in another Galician location, and the
last two acts in Moscow.
The play was named for the
Stanislavski for the studio for a Moscow Arts Theatre
[A. in his letter to Zhitlowsky, in "Literarishe bleter,
11, 1924], but thereof nothing became of it, A. had the
play read for theatre people in Odessa and in Vilna, but
they did not stage it. In September 1918 A., when he
arrived in Vilna, he had, not having the Yiddish text
from his play, translated it into Yiddish [published in
Vilna in 1919] from Kh. N. Bialik's self-rizirter
Hebrew translation [Htkufh", 1, Moscow]. A. attempted to
staged the drama in Vilna through a bad troupe, abi
zi to see it on the stage, but it didn't come to
pass. A. also endeavored through Zhitlawsky, that the
play should be performed in America. A. also recounted
that in his aforementioned letter that David Herman had
it had gone to be staged by "Di vilner", but thereof
nothing became of it.
A.'s view of his play was
that: [in his aforementioned letter to Dr. Chaim
"The play is, understood to
be a realistic [piece] about mystique. The only
unrealistic feature in it -- not tired speech and
visions, but the mshlh -- I umishne
portrayed him in mystical shtrikhn. He wasn't in
the first edition. ....
In the entire play there was
a struggle between individuals and the collective. More
correctly -- between the aspiration to individual
the ophitung of the existence of national rasn-life.
Chanan-Leah pulled themselves to their own personal
happiness, the wise man thought only about the "It might
not to wither a branch of the eternal tree of House of
Jacob". Which of the is right?
From his first performance
vis-à-vis Leah-Chanan, the tsadik (wise man)
begins to convince himself that the raising of both
souls (aspiring to individual happiness) is not anything
for pritsus-eul, for shrirus-lb, but has
deep roots. Shows self out that in high hikhlim
it is assumed that Chanan had pulled in a higher power,
and that the tsadik expelled it with the sound of
a trumpet, he felt "that someone strongly helped him."
After the tsadik knew his way not to optretn. In
the end, Chanan-Leah are overcome. But is the tsadik
Here the messenger comes
from a higher plane [world], from that world, "that
melting together in his flame the supreme bergshpitsn
with the deepest splendor." For him there was both:
Chanan-Leah, and the tsadik, right and even more
right was their struggle. The messenger kept himself
with the tsadik. Correctly, for him the body was
maintained, and in the moment of supreme struggle, that
the tsadik cries out his taboo, and with Chanan gives up
his last khkhut in the struggle, bashtimt
the messenger: "The last spark has been cast out from
After the March Revolution,
A. threw himself again into political work, chose a
series of managed institutions, came to direct an
important political system, and was from the S. R.
chosen as a deputy in the first Russian Founders
After the Bolshevik
Revolution -- he went away to Vilna, where A. began to
take an active part in social and cultural life of the
city After the horrible April days in Vilna, during
which there arrived his close friend A. Veyter, A.
became ill in Otwock, near Warsaw, where he worked very
much literarily, and participated also in literary
evenings in Warsaw and Lodz.
When the Red Army marched
into Otwock, A. arrived in Warsaw and settled in the
clinic of Dr. M. Hurvitz, where he passed away suddenly
on 8 November 1920.
The procession was imposing.
A. was brought to a gravesite near I. L. Peretz and
Jacob Dineson, and in 1925 above all three graves was
placed the [words] "Ohel-Peretz". Thirty days after his
death -- on 9 December 1920 -- the "Vilna Troupe" in
Warsaw staged in the Elyzeum Theatre, under the
direction of David Herman, A.'s play "Among Two Worlds",
or "The Dybbuk", with the following personnel:
First Beggar -- Eliezer
Second Beggar -- Avraham
Third Beggar -- Jacob
The Messenger -- Noach
Chanan -- Elihu Stein
Meir -- Sholem Tanin
Henech -- Joseph Buloff
Asher -- ?
Sarah, daughter of Tuvim
-- Paula Walter
R' Sender Brinitzer --
Leah -- Miriam Orleska
Frieda -- Yehudis Lares
Gittel -- Chava Braz
An'urkh -- Shmuel
A Hunchback -- Joseph
An Old, Poor Person --
Dance of Death -- Paula
Batya -- Rose Birnbaum
R' Nachman -- Leib
R' Mendel -- Jacob
First Chasid -- Shmuel
Second Chasid -- Jacob
R' Ezrielke Mirapoler, a
Wise Man -- Avraham Morevski
Michael -- Sholem Tanin
R' Shimshon -- Leib
The play in a span of years
was the sensation of Yiddish theatre across the entire
world, being staged not only in Yiddish, but also on
various world stages in various languages, On which one
has since then not staged any Yiddish plays.
The offering of "Dybbuk" in
Warsaw [the play [according to Daniel Leibel] a short
time earlier was staged in Yiddish through Stanislawow's
"Goldfaden's Union", which evoked a protest in the
Warsaw "Arbeter-tsaytung", because the offering was
performed from An-ski's texts evoked a great discussion
in the Yiddish press due to the regisseur David Herman's
exchange (?) and stage work of the play. The discussion
over the margins of the press, and about the publication
M. Vanvild's brochure "Pseudo-critique", Lodz, 1921, [42
Also soon the melodies from
"Dybbuk" were published [composed by David Beigelman,
The success of the offering
of "Dybbuk" soon extended across the Yiddish theatre
world, and a short time later Herman stage directed the
"Dybbuk offering in Lodz with a completely new
personnel. All of the other troupes copied the same
production, until Avraham Morevski, who earlier had
performed as the "Tsadik (Wise man)" in Herman's
offering, went to Vilna in May 1921 with a new offering
of "Dybbuk" (performed according to the original, in
Due to the popularity of "Dybbuk",
B. Yushzon and M. Kipnis composed a parody, "Mitn khh
fun dybuk", which was staged on 3 April 1921 in Warsa'w
On 1 September 1921, the "Dybbuk"
was staged by Schwartz in New York's "Yiddish Art
On 31 January 1922, the "Dybbuk"
was staged in Hebrew through the "Habima" in Moscow,
under the direction of Wachtangov, music by Joel Engel
[published later in the publishing house "Yubl",
On 29 November 1921 the
"Vilna Troupe" staged in Warsa'w Elyzeum Theatre, under
the direction of L. Kadison, there was staged A.'s
unfinished drama of Chasidic life, "Tog un Nakht (Day
and Night)", in the adaptation of his close friend A.
Kacyzne, who the third act completely tsugeshrayben.
The same play on 29 December
1924 was staged in new York's "Unzer Theatre" under the
direction of Egon Brecher. The play here was performed
in the adaptation of David Pinski (first and third act),
and Mendel Eliin, who wrote a new second act that was
under the name "Smals mmshlh", printed in "Shiftn" (8,
Through the "Dybbuk"-productions
in Eastern and Western Europe by the divided "Vilna
Troupe", the play was also popular in the non-Yiddish
theatre world, and in March 1925 in Berlin there was
staged "The Dybbuk" in German, under the direction of
Bertold Fichtel. The offering [Leah here was played by
Gerda Miller] didn't have any success. Arnold Zweig
characterized the poor German translation [which may
have been done -- according to Dr Weichert -- by Felicia
nosig, not from Yiddish]. At the same time in the Vienna
Rolland stage, there was staged the "Dybbuk" in German,
under the direction of Marholin [when the "Dybbuk" in
German was not put into print, daily, that here there
was performed other translations, as in Berlin].
In the summer of 1925 in
Lodz's municipal theatre, and then in Warsaw's municipal
theatre, there was staged the "Dybbuk" in Polish in the
translation and direction of Mark Arnstein. The main
roles were performed by: Tsadik -- Konstantin
Tatarkewicz, Leah -- Halina Halska].
In June 1925 in Krakow's
Bagatela Theatre, there was staged in Polish the "Dybbuk"
in Polish from the printed translation of Maximillian
Karen [--reich?], who also helped in the stage
In October 1925, under the
direction of David Vardi and H. G. Alsberg, there was
staged "The Dybbuk" [according to the stage direction of
Wachtangov] in English in New York's Neighborhood
Playhouse, and later in other American cities.
In March 1926 in a Lemberg
Ukrainian theatre, there was staged "The Dybbuk" in
Ukrainian. Almost at the same time there was staged in
Hebrew by the "Hiatrun Eretz-Yisrael", under the
direction of Menachem Gnesin [after Wachtangov] "The
Dybbuk", for the first time in the land of Israel. The
offering was a great success, and also evoked a certain
opposition, which publicly forced out a condemnation
that came from Kh"d and the Tmuz trp"u in
the place of Bit-Em, and the entire management of
the condemnation was then published in a special
brochure, "Condemnation of the Dybbuk, Tel Aviv, Tr"pu"],
102 pp., 32°], later, when the "Habima" arrived in the
land of Israel, they again staged the "Dybbuk", and
celebrated in May 1928 in Tel Aviv its six hundredth
time the play was performed.
On 4 April 1927 in the
King's Theatre in London, the "Dybbuk" was staged in
In August 1927 "The Dybbuk"
was performed in Copenhagen in Danish.
In October 1927 the play was
staged in Swedish (translated by Mrs. Rafael-Linden) in
Oscar's Theatre in Stockholm, under the direction of
English showman Robert Etkins. The main roles were
Tsadik -- Nils
Leah -- Inga Tidblad
Chanan -- Edwin Adolfson
In January 1929 the "Dybbuk"
was staged in Bulgaria in the National Theatre in Sofia.
In all the places, the
production evoked very many spirited reviews in the
press, but the play in that language (hardly in Yiddish
and Hebrew) was no longer performed.
Unconfirmed information is
available about the "Dybbuk" productions in Serbian,
(translated by Taps), French (translated by L.
Blumenfeld), and Japanese.
A.'s second play "Tog un
nakht (Day and Night)" [in Kacyzne's adaptation)
was staged in Polish in Lemberg in July 1925, under the
direction of Karol Adwentowicz, who also performed in
the role of "Dn".
An-ski's "new drama": "Di
pest" in the adaptation of Arno Nadel, which was
advertised as being staged in German by the National
Theatre in Mannheim, was not performed. The play, which
was fanandergeshikt, was written on a typewriter,
of stage-fartrib F. Schlessinger in Berlin,
without the name of the adaptor, actually was [according
to Dr. M. Weichert] a completely new adaptation of "Day
According to L. Kadison, A.
read fragments of a drama for the "Vilna Troupe", which
he had called "Di muter".
A.'s dramatic works in
Sh. An-ski (Shlomo Zanvil
Rapoport) Collected Works, Volume 2. Dramas, publishing
house "An-ski", 1928 [contents: "Among Two Worlds" (The
Dybbuk), "Tog un nakht (Day and Night), a tragedy in
three acts. Together 144 pp., 16°. As to the last play,
from which fragments were published in print here, the
redaction noted that "from this work there remains only
individual fragments of the first feder. By the
poet, however, the work is ready and gedank. We
have from the poet alone heard the story sipur.
We have also controlled the contents according to the
distribution of the poet's friends, Mrs. Dr. Sofia
Sirkin-Binstein, for whom he had the recounted things
shortly before his death. This gives us the opportunity
to give apart the fragments, according to their order
and give over in short the contents of the unwritten
R. Z. Volume 3. Comedies.
["Father and Son", a comedy in one act, "In a
konspirativer dirh", a comedy in two acts, "Der zayde",
a one-acter [137 pp., 16°].
Bin shni eulmut (Dybbuk)
agdh drmtit barbe merkhut, trnum Kh. N. Bialik.
[printed in "Kol Khtbi Sh.
Anski, Berikht Sh. L. Citron, Khlk rashun, Vilna Tr"pa,
with a fragment by Sh. L. Citron].
THE DYBBUK, A play in four
acts by S. Ansky, translated from the original Yiddish
by Henry G. Alsberg and Winifred Katzin. Introduction by
Gilbert W. Gabriel and a note on Chassidism by Chaim
Zhitlowsky, New York, Boni and Liveright, 1926. [145
pp., 16° with names].
Le Dibbouk, legende
dramtioque en trois actes par An-ski, version Francaise
de Marie-Therese Koerner. [with an introduction by
Edmond Fleg. 140 pp., 24°].
Dybuck, Legenda dramatica in
patru acte de S. An-sky. Tradusa din idis de I. Ludo
(109 pp., 24°].
S. An-ski, (S. Z. Rappoport)
Dibuk (Inter du mondoj) El Juda lingvo tradukis Izrael
Lejzerowicz, L. K., Krakow, 1927.
Sz. An-ski, Na pograniczu
dwoch swiatow (Dybuk) Przelozyl Maksymilian Koren, Lwow,
1922. [72 pp., 16°. At the end of the book was printed
the notes of the songs].
In the translation with the
same names made by Joel David Dembitzer and Y.
Ratersman in their own publishing house [Lemberg, 1922],
with commentary from Dembitzer (Pseyd. Yoelon).
M. E. from Leib
Zalmen Reyzen --
"Lexicon of Yiddish Literature", Vol. I, pp.
B. Gorin --
"History of Yiddish Theatre" -- Vol. II, p. 253
[list of plays].
S. Anski vegn dem
"dybuk", "Literarishe bleter", 11, 1924.
R. Yukelson --
Anski's "tog un nakht" bay di "vilner", "Frayhayt',
2 October 1925.
N. Weinig -- Der
"dybuk" in krakever poilishn teater, "Literarishe
bleter", 65, 1925.
N. M. -- Der "dybuk"
in poilish, "Literarishe bleter", 59, 1925.
Hertz Grosbard --
Arum der oyffirung fun "dybuk" in poilish,
Teater"] "Literarishe bleter", 75, 1925.
Weichert -- Sh. an-ski's "naye drame', "Yid.
velt", Warsaw, 1928, 4; pp. 147-160.
Weichert -- An-skis "tog un nakht" [in poilishn
teater], "Literarishe bleter", 75, 1925.
Arnold Zweig --
Juden auf der Deutshen buhne, Berlin 1928, pp.
zhurnal gevidmet der idisher teater-kunst,
farlag "idish kunst teater", New York, September
1921 [Anski-number, gevidmet der "dybuk"-oyffirung.
Artiklen fun dr. khayim zhitlovsky, sh.
rozenfeld, moris shvarts, sh. niger, dr.
korolnik, william edlin].
I. Grinbaum --
Der "dybuk" oyf der englisher stsene [in london],
"Haynt", 13 May 1927.
Dr. A. Mukdoni --
"Teater", N. Y., 1927, pp. 237-245.
M. Vanvild --
Pseydo-kunst un psydo-kritik, Lodz, 1921, [42
Teitelbaum -- "Teatralia", Warsaw, 1929, pp.
A. Alperin -- Der
el hta, "Tak", Lodz, 4, 1922.
Zylbercweig -- Der mkhbr fun "dybuk", "Tak",
Lodz, 4, 1922.
Dinyhshbun stgurgf', Tel Aviv, Tr"pu [102 pp.,
B. M. -- Der "dybuk"
oyf der shvedisher bihne", "Unzer ekspres", 14
October 1927, "Frimorgn", Riga, 4 October 1927.
V. Natanson --
Sh. an-ski's "tog un nakht", "Kultur", Chicago,
101, 12 1925.
-- "Teater un drame", Warsaw, 1926, I, pp.
107-121; II, pp. 5, 122, 170.
Chaim Leib Fuks
-- Dos dine shnirele "teat. un kino", Lodz, 9,
M. M. Rosenbaum
-- Vi an-ski hot geshribn zayn komedye, "oyf a
konspirativer kvartir", "Literarishe bleter", 7,
Weichert -- "Hdybuk" in "Habima", "Literarishe
bleter", 97, 1926.
Nachman Mayzel --
Fun yidishkeyt tsu teatralishkeit, "Literarishe
bleter", 97, 1926.
Alter Kacyzne --
Moskver hebreishe kunst, "Literarishe bleter",
A. Morevski -- "Hdbuk"
b"novoshtshi", "Literarishe bleter", 98, 1926.
Emanuel -- Di
englishe dibuk-oyffirung, "Moment", 13 May 1927.
H. Wilchinsky --
Yidish-poilishe iberzetsungen "Bikher-velt",
1928, 28 p.
Sh. L. Citron --
"Dray literarishe durut", Vol. III, pp. 85-95.
I. M. Neyman --
Nokh der ershter oyffirung fun "dybuk" in "habima",
"Haynt", 3 March 1926.
-- Der "dbuk" muz aroysgetribn vern fun der
idisher literatur un fun idishn teater, "Frayhayt",
28 March 1926.
B. Sh. -- "Dbuk"
fun sh. an-ski in shtot-teater (in polish), "Literarishe
bleter", 2 April 1926.
Tl. -- An-ski's
dibuk in nayborhud play-hoyz (english), "Farband",
N. Y., 21, 1926.
Ab. Cahan --
Anski's "der dibuk" oyf english, "Forward", 22
Latzky-Bertholdi -- Oyf a dibuk-forshtelung in
riger nayem idishn teater, "Frimorgn", 31
L. Malach --
Blutm mish (vegn anski-kacyzne "tog un nakht" in
"Ideal"), "Prese", Buenos Aires, 22 August 1926.
Katzenelson -- Der mensh vos iz areyn in dem
dbuk, "Literarishe bleter", 23 April 1926.
Dr. A. Coralnik
-- "Dbuk" a monument, "Tog", 18 December 1926.
B. Karlinius -- "Hdbuk",
oyfefirt fun habima teater, "Moment", 3, 4,
-- Di oysteytshung fun "tog un nakht", "Prese",
Buenos Aires, 22 August 1926.
Moshe Shalit --
Naye prtim vegn i. l. peretz, "Literarishe
bleter", 17-18, 1929.
Katzenelson -- Shtiker leib fun vakhtangovs "dybuk",
"Nf"bl", 9 April 1926.
The Hebrew theatre in Moscow. (Menorah Journal,
New York, June 1923, v. 9, pp. 124-127).
The dybbuk, in three languages and four
dimensions. (Menorah Journal. Nw York, Feb.
1927, v. 13, pp. 63-67).
Cowper. A modern mystery play. (Menorah
Journal). New York, Aug. 1927, v. 13, pp.
Supplement. London, May 19, 1927. p. 350.
Alsberg, Henry G.
(B'nai B'rith Magazine. Chicago, 1926. v. 40,
pp. 120-121, 133.)
(Woman citizen. New York, Feb. 1926, v. 10, p.
New York, 1926, v. 122, pp. 665-667).
April 13, 1927, v. 90, p. 9.
(Arts and decoration. New York, 1926. v. 24, no.
4, p. 66, 82.)
Glassman, L. M.
The apocalypse of the Ghetto. (Jewish Forum. New
York, June 1927, v. 10, no. 6, pp. 295-298.)
Fairy tale to myth. (New Palestine, New York,
Dec. 17, 1926. v. 11, no. 21, pp. 440-441.)
(Commonwealth. New York, 1925, v. 3, pp.
London, March 11, 1927. p. 44.
London, April 16, 1927. v. 61, pp. 610-611.
bibliografye ongegebn fun der yidisher opteylung
fun der poblik leybrary, 42nd Street, New York.]