Klara Segałowicz (25.08.1897–1943)

theater and film actress associated with the Yiddish scene

Segałowicz was born in Kiev as the daughter of a doctor and a midwife. In 1913, she settled with her family in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, where she made her debut in several productions of the amateur theater run by Szmul Binem Orenbach. In 1921, the actress moved to Warsaw and joined the acting group of the “Central” theater. In 1922, she married the Jewish poet and writer Zusman Segałowicz (1884–1949), with whom she divorced after a year and a half. She made her debut under her husband’s name in Fiszel Bimko’s play Ganowim (Yiddish Thieves). She quickly gained fame and recognition. In the 1930s, she was considered a star of Jewish cinema and theater. She played in theaters of Warsaw, Łódź and Vilnius. She also starred in three films: One of 36 (1925), In the Polish forests (1929) and For sin (1936).

During World War II, Segałowicz ended up in the Warsaw Ghetto, where she worked as a clerk in the clothing department of the Jewish Social Self-Help. She was, together with her second husband Leon Neustadt, arrested a few days before the first liquidation action in the ghetto as a citizen of a foreign country with a false Argentine passport. She was placed in the Pawiak prison and shot dead in the summer of 1943.

translated by Adam Grossman