(JTA) – The Jewish actor and director Szymon Szurmiej, the longtime head of Poland’s State Jewish Theatre, has died.
Szurmiej, a leading Jewish figure for years during the post-Holocaust communist era, died Wednesday in Warsaw. He was 91.
He survived the widespread anti-Semitic purges of 1968 and, in addition to heading the theater since 1970, served as the longtime president of the Social and Cultural Association of Polish Jews, or TSKZ, a secular, state-allied body that was one of the few Jewish organizations permitted to operate under communism.
Szurmiej also served as a member of Poland’s Parliament in the 1980s and represented Polish Jewry in international Jewish organizations.