Granach, Alexander

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GRANACH, ALEXANDER (Isaiah Gronach ; 1890–1945), German and Yiddish actor of proletarian types, who distinguished himself in expressionist portrayals. Granach, who was born in Werbowitz (Galicia), reached Berlin at the age of 15 while traveling with a Yiddish troupe. He was accepted at Max *Reinhardt's school and joined the Reinhardt Theater in 1908. He volunteered for the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War i and was sent to Galicia. After World War i, he specialized in modern plays, but also won acclaim for his Shylock and his Mephistopheles. He also played in Yiddish, appearing in Sholem Asch's God of Vengeance, and presented Yiddish plays in New York in 1931. After a period in Poland and Russia, he emigrated in the U.S. in 1938. Here he staged Shylock and other plays in Yiddish, and acted minor parts in Hollywood.


A Zweig, Juden auf der deutschen Buehne (1928). add. bibliography: S. Hubach, "Das Krumme und das Gerade – Ueberlegungen zu Alexander Granachs Autobiographie 'Da geht ein Mensch'," in: The Jewish Self-Portrait in European and American Literature (1996), 187–209; M. Schmidt, "The Shtetl's Curiosity and Style – Alexander Granach's Autobiographical Novel Da geht ein Mensch," in: A. Fuchs, R.E. Schade, and F. Krobb (eds.), Ghetto Writing (1999), 171–79 W. Huder, Alexander Granach und das jiddische Theater des Ostens (1971).

[Gershon K. Gershony /

Bjoern Siegel (2nd ed.)]