Menu JTA Search

Yiddish Actress Ida Kaminska Tells of Desire to Play Before Moscow Audience

An expression indicating regret that there has been no regular Yiddish theater in the Soviet Union since 1949 and a statement of longing to perform in Moscow were voiced here by Ida Kaminska, famous Polish actress and leading lady of the Warsaw Yiddish Theater. Miss Kaminska, whose role in the prize-winning Czech film. “The Shop on Main Street,” won international acclaim, pointedly noted that the film, which attacked anti-Semitism, drew great audiences when exhibited in Moscow. She spoke at a press conference arranged by the Polish Embassy.

The actress recalled the Yiddish theater that existed prior to Stalinist suppression in 1949 and indicated awareness of the estimated 500,000 Moscow Jews now without such a theater. Miss Kaminska revealed that during World War II she appeared in the Soviet Union and she voiced fervent hope of again being able to perform there.

Because of the relatively few Jews in Warsaw, about 70 percent of Yiddish theater audiences there are non-Jewish. They respond sympathetically to the artistry but rely to a large extent on simultaneous translations of the Yiddish language. Miss Kaminska commented that she was thrilled by New York audiences because they showed a warm and immediate comprehension of Yiddish idiom, especially humor.

Miss Kaminska’s press conference was arranged by the Embassy of Poland. While in Washington, she went sightseeing and visited national shrines including the memorial grave of President Kennedy.

NEXT STORY