Born on 18 December 1884 in
Tulchin, Ukraine. His father -- a melamed, a
mashkhil, who they thus called "Deytsh". He learned
with his father and in a Beit HaMedrash. "Helped" with
the other children in the home directed by his father,
who also was a prayer leader.
D. Learned to be a
locksmith, and when his family went to a sister's
wedding in Odessa, he remained there as a locksmith, but
soon he cast off his profession and went into work in a
boards/panels business, then a year in a haberdashery
business, then a short time in a tobacco business,
joining a brother as a commissioner, until pushed into
military conscription, and he fled to Brody, where he
had a brother who was a cantor, and he became a choir
boy for him. Being there for ten months, he learned some
notes and left to Gimpel in Lemberg, where he joined in
the chorus and soon received small roles. After acting
there for three years, he went over to a provincial
director Drucker, with whom he acted in lover roles. But
he was there for only two months and then joined Ebell
for a season, and from there a season with Akselrad in
Czernowitz, and then with Ziegler in Vienna.
Under the supervision of
Jacob Mestel, with whom he became close friends, he
began to read Yiddish literature and became interested
in pure Yiddish theatre, so that in 1919 he participated
in the Sunday literary productions of the "Fraye yidishe
folks-bine". In the summer of 1920 he performed entirely
out of Yiddish
and together with Egon Brecher, Leah Weintraub-Graf
and Mina Deytsh, he founded (in November 1920),
with the help of the organization "Fraye yidishe
folks-bine", the first Yiddish stable literary
theatre in Vienna, where he also was from time
to time, besides being an actor, a regisseur.
initiative at the beginning of 1921 Ben-Tsvi
Baratov went over to the Yiddish stage and
entered into that troupe.
After a large tour
across Romania with that troupe, which disbanded
there, D. returned in 1923 to Vienna, and he
acted here for a short time, going to Paris to
guest-star, returning to Vienna, and in 1925-6
guest-starring, returning to old repertoire in
Argentina, 1927 in Brazil, 1928 in South Africa,
and in 1929 in Vienna.
from Yehudah Bleich.
Schmitz-Isaak Deutsch "Wiener Morgenzeitung",
24 June, 1921.
[Reprint in the
book "Preseshtimen", Vienna, 82 + 19 pp.]
-- Arum yidishn teater in vien, "Literarisher
bleter", 59, 1925.