Sisterhood Blog

Throwback Thursday: Moscow's Yiddish Stage Star

By Chana Pollack

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Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly photo feature in which we sift 116 years of Forward history to find snapshots of women’s lives.

Born in 1897 to an artistic Jewish family in Warsaw, Yokheved-Yudes Minkova, garnered fame as part of the beloved Moscow State Jewish Theater troupe, known by the acronym GOSET and headed by Solomon Mikhoels. Known by her stage name Justina Minkova, she graduated from a specialized Jewish dramatic arts studio program in Moscow, and debuted with GOSET in a celebration of Sholem Aleichem in 1921. She is pictured here in 1924 in costume for her role as a prostitute in I.L. Peretz’s surrealist play, “At Night In The Old Marketplace.” Minkova also appeared in the 1925 Yiddish film “Yidishe Glikn” (“Jewish Luck”) and traveled throughout Europe in the 1930’s with GOSET. The troupe was destroyed under Stalin, and leader Mikhoels was murdered.


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