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Broder (Margolis), Berl

BRODER (Margolis), BERL

BRODER (Margolis), BERL (c. 1815/1817–1868), Yiddish balladist and folksinger, who derived his name from the city of Brody (Galicia), where he started his nomadic artistic activity. A brushmaker by profession, Broder composed songs and rhymed verses in the style of the badḥanim, although his themes and compositions were quite original. He later became a buyer for his firm and on his business trips entertained his fellow travelers and chance acquaintances at the various inns with his lyrics. Itinerant minstrels imitated and disseminated his texts and tunes, which influenced Benjamin *Ehrenkranz (Velvel Zbarazher), Eliakum *Zunser, and Abraham *Goldfaden. In the 1860s Broder organized the first troupe of professional Yiddish folksingers, which traversed Galicia, Hungary, and Romania, singing in wine cellars and inns. The stage of the *Broder Singers consisted merely of a table with two lit candles. Though their lyrics were at first hardly suitable for such dramatic presentation, the success of their acting and singing was immense, and they paved the way for the Yiddish theater. Only a small part of Broder's original songs survived in his collection Shire Zimre, Draysik Herlikhe Broder Lider in Reyn Yudesh Loshn ("30 Marvelous Brody Songs in Pure Yiddish," Pressburg, c. 1860, Warsaw 18822).


N.M. Gelber, Aus zwei Jahrhunderten (1924), 70–100; idem, Toledot Yehudei Brody (1957), 227–9; Rejzen, Leksikon, 1 (1926), 395–401; lnyl, 1 (1956), 428–9; B. Margolis, Dray Doyres (1957), includes songs of Broder and his son and grandson. add. bibliography: D. Sadan, in: Avnei Miftan, 1 (1961), 9–17.

[Sol Liptzin]

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