Samuel Jacob Harendorf (Dorfson)
Author of 'King of Lampedusa'
By JOSEF FRAENKEL
Before the Second World War
numerous articles by S. J. Dorf-
son on Hitler and the anti-Semitic
danger in Germany, Austria and
Poland appeared in Yiddish dailies.
When the Nazis invaded Prague,
they searched for a "Dorfson" and
many journalists, among them S.
J. Harendorf, were questioned.
Harendorf naturally declared that
he had never heard of anyone nam-
Even readers of the articles were
unaware of the fact that Haren-
dorf wrote under the pen-name
"Dorfson." Shortly before the out-
break of the last war he left Pra-
gue, settled in London and con-
tinued his journalistic work until
a few days before he passed
Harendorf was born 69 years ago
in Chenzin, Poland. As a young
boy he saw a Goldfaden play and
was immediately captivated by the
magic of the Yiddish theater. He
came to Vienna at the age of 15
and soon afterwards published an
article under the name of "Dorf-
son." Harendorf was always proud
of the fact that, 50 years ago, Zal-
man Shazar (at that time Zalman
Rubashov) was the editor of a
paper which published one of his
articles, and had praised him
Harendorf's book as a source of
historical and cultural material for
the history of the Yiddish thea-
ter. Harendorf's interviews with
Arthur Schnitzler and Richard
Beer-Hofmann are also included
in his book "Theater Caravans."
They have all vanished—the wan-
dering theatrical groups; the Jew-
ish townlets and the Jewish audi-
Samuel J. Harendorf, diffident,
reserved, always courteous and ele-
gant, was vice-chairman of the
Association of Jewish Journalists
and Authors in England, and often
addressed meetings as a Zionist
and adherent to the World Jewish
Samuel J. Harendorf's death is a
great loss to the Yiddish press. It
is hard to believe that anyone else
can take his place in London. His
widow, a charming Viennese, is
highly esteemed by all who have
come to know her. Journalists and
actors, artists and friends partici-
pated in a tribute to his memory at
a meeting organized by the Associ-
ation of Jewish Journalists and the
World Jewish Congress.
!Sifts Requests for
Harendorf be came the editor of
NEW YORK — Requests for
Yiddish papers in Vienna, in Mun- grants during the academic year
kac and finally in London where, 1969 - 1970 totaling more than $400,-
from 1940 onwards, he also ran a 000 for advanced Jewish scholar-
Yiddish press agency. He was cor- ship have been received by- the
respondent for Yiddish dailies in National Foundation for Jewish
New York. Tel Aviv. Buenos Aires Culture.
and Montevideo; his articles were
Rabbi Daniel Jeremy Silver,
popular and widely read: his ap- president of the foundation, an-
peal was to the Jewish masses. nounced that more than 20 appli-
and he often wielded his pen in cations have been processed for
support of a topical cause.
grants. Forty-nine major institu-
In 1943 the English press was tions of higher learning are rep-
full of liarendorf, the author of the resented by the applicants about
"King of Lampedusa" which play- half of whom are graduate stu-
ed to capacity houses for several dents seeking aid to complete
years. Whitechapel's Yiddish thea- their work for the doctorate in
ter had put on plays since 1882, but some area of Jewish studies.
none had ever achieved the sensa-
While expressing gratification
tional and glittering success of at the growing number of ta-
Harendorf's "King of Lampedusa." lented persons devoting them-
The play was staged in Palestine,
selves to the field of advanced
the Argentine Soviet Russia as Jewish studies, Rabbi Silver
ll as on the BBC. and the film- voiced concern that the founda-
well were acquired by a film tion will be able to assist only a
company. ' small proportion because of its
In June 1943, the papers splash- limited funds.
ed the story of a Jewish pilot, S.
He pointed out that the amount
Cohen, brought up in Whitechapel awarded each year has been
who, singlehanded, captured the merely a fraction of the funds re-
island of Lampedusa and for a few quested, and that for every appli-
hours was its "absolute monarch."
His fellow-pilots promptly nick- cation approved five have to be
down for lack of funds.
named him "King of Lampedusa." turned
"American Jewry can ill afford to
* * *
Harendorf was on his way to lose the promising young scholars
interview the parents of the pilot, who may turn to other fields
with the intention of writing an where
attractive fellowships are
article about him, but on his way available. The investment of a re-
to Whitechapel he suddenly decided latively small amount by the
to return home and write a play American Jewish community will
about Cohen. Thus the "King of yield enormous dividends," Dr.
Lampedusa" was born. It was a Silver said.
At its recent meeting, the founds-
popular play with a popular theme.
Harendorf, who had interested , tion's academic advisory council
himself in the theater for many reviewed the applications and
years, had blended Jewish long - made recommendations for awards.
ings and dreams in the play. He I Members of the council are Salo
transposed Herzl's "Old New I W. Baron, Harry A. Wolfson, Ger-
Cohen, Nahum Glatzer, Sidney
Land" into Lampedusa where " all son
the acts of men were dreams at Goldstein, Robert Gordis, Moshe
first and later became dreams child, Jacob Steven
Neusner, Arthur Hy-
again" (Herzl). In "Lampedusa" man, Isaac _Rabinowitz,
the Whitechapel pilot becomes
Lou H. Silberman, Mar-
king, surrounded by a Jewish gov- Sandmel,
ernment, and he married a girl Solomon Zeitlin.
from Golders Green. When he
awakes, he finds himself back in the National Foundation for Jewish
the tailor's workshop in White- Culture has been conducting its
chapel .. .
current program, it has made 182
Moshe Sharet saw the play in awards.
London and in 1944 sang its praises
at a meeting in Tel Aviv. At the
time little did he dream that he
himself would 10 years later—in
1954—became prime pinister of the
State of Israel.
-a a *
In 1955 Harendorf's book, "Thea-
ter Caravans," appeared depicting
episodes and the adventures of his
life with Yiddish wandering thea-
Dr. Aaron Steinberg, the histor-
...34X-.4.1 4 ailltr941441911 .05Crib.eS
Ghetto Diary. Published
TEL AVIV (JTA)—The diary of a
Warshaw Ghetto rabbi who died in
a Nazi extermination camp in 1942
has been published in Hebrew by a
"public committee for publication
of the diary." The document is that
of Rabbi Shimon Hobberband,
archivist of the Warsaw Ghetto,
whose accounts of the events of
the Ghetto were found after the
Role in Detroit
Two historians who have delved
into Detroit's history have authored
another volume about this com-
munity. In "All Our Yesterdays,"
published by Wayne State Univer-
Friday, Mogest 1, 1969-15
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
'Babi Yar' Novelist
Defects to West
LONDON—It was reported that
the liberal Soviet writer Anatoly
V. Kuznetsov, who had been criti-
cized by Soviet conservatives after
the publication three years ago of
his documentary novel, "Babi
Yar," has defected to the West.
He had been reported missing from
his hotel here Tuesday.
In "Babi Yar," Kuznetsov de-
scribed the massacre near Kiev,
where he was born.
To Deal With
sity Press, Frank B. Woodford and
Arthur M. Woodford trace the many
backgrounds, deal with the various
nationality groups that have set-
20811 W. 8 Mile
tled here, and make casual refer-
ences to the Jewish community.
between Southfield & Telegraph
Mentioning the first known Jew-
ish settler here, Chapman Abra-
ham, the authors have this to say
about the Jewish settlers in the
A family is a unit composed not
Prices Quoted Over
early years of this century:
"The Russians began to arrive in only of children, but of men, wom-
substantial numbers about 1900. en, an occasional animal, and the
Many were Jews fleeing the po- common cold.—Ogden Nash.
groms and persecutions of their
Czarist homeland. They first estab-
lished themselves in Detroit on the
lower east side along Hastings and
adjoining streets. As their numbers
Fine Clothes for over 35 years
increased the colony pushed north
along Oakland avenue and they
"the great discount store with quality clothing"
expanded again into the near north-
west section. Progressive and in-
dustrious, the Jews firmly estab-
lished themselves as an important
influence on the city's business and
WE COMPLETELY DISREGARD COST AND OFFER
The Woodfords review the histo-
ries of Temple Beth El and Con-
FAMOUS MAKERS TROPICAL AS WELL AS YEAR
gregation Shaarey Zedek. They tell
ROUND SUITS AT REDUCTIONS THAT DEMAND
of the various movements made by
the two synagogue groups.
H ARRY THOMAS
Israel's Largest Knit Plant
TEL AVIV — An investment of
close to $600,000 for expansion of
Lena Knitting Works, Ltd., Israel's
largest knitting plant, has been an-
nounced by the managing director,
The company employs 400 — as
compared to 40 in 1959—and distri-
butes work to another 200 women
for home-finishing. Lena's exports
in 1968 totaled $1,250,000; this year
they are expected to reach $1,500,-
000. Exports now are 85 per cent of
After England and Scotland, Is-
rael has become the third country
in the world to manufacture pure
PRICES $98.00 TO $150.00
Thousandt. of Garments—All Models—All Hand Tailored
H ARRY THOMAS
15200 W. 7 Mile Road
5 Blocks East of Greenfield, Corner
Open Daily 9:30 to 6
SUNDAY 11 A.M. to 4 P.M.
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