Shabtai Blecher (Blaicher/ Blacher) was born in Vilna in 1906. His parents were Dina and Zvi. He was an actor in the State Yiddish Theatre in Vilna. He married Genia-Gitl Szapiro
Actress Genia-Gitl Blecher-Szapiro
In 1941 he was one of the initiators of the ghetto theater and a central actor within it. Among the activities initiated by the Judenrat in the ghetto, Blecher wrote the life stories of his fellow performers that had died during the first year of German occupation. Blecher penned dozens of biographies of artists that had been murdered in Ponary, as well as a biography of an actor who had died of typhus in the ghetto. In September 1943, during the liquidation of the ghetto, Blacher was deported in 1943 to the Klooga labor camp in Estonia. He was murdered in Klooga on September 19, 1944.
In September 1943, the biographical pages Blacher had written were found rolling along the street by Boleslaw Boratynski, who passed them onto the Etingen family whom he was hiding in his home. The title page was not among them.
In 1962, Blecher's writings were published in New York in their original language, Yiddish. The book's editors added to the twenty-one biographies Blecher had composed one more biography – that of Blecher himself. They called the work Twenty-one and One More.
Shabtai-Shepsel Blecher with friends.
From the collection of photographs that were found, after the liberation, in the pockets of people who had been murdered at the Klooga camp. The majority were photographed in Vilna before the war.
Courtesy of the Central History Museum in Estonia
Yad Vashem Photo Archives 4068/52
A theatre production in the Vilna Ghetto
Below; Probably Genia Shapira, wife of Shepsel (Shabtai) Blacher, March 1938 Vilna.
Belongs to collection:
Yad Vashem Photo Archive
The photographs were found in the pockets of murdered Jews in the Klooga camp, after the liberation. Most of the photographs are unidentified.
Central Historical Museum in Estonia
20 were murdered at Ponary:
1. Lew Szryftzecer
2. Frania Winter
3. Moriss Liampa
4. Chasz Yosef
5. Basch Eidina
6. Kadish Chasz
7. Frida Vitalin
8. Eliashev Nikolai
9. Musia Smarganski
10. Moshe Zelwer
11. Nadia Radin (dancer)
12. Zablocki Shimon
13. Michael Katz
14. Mina Siegelboim
15. Stower Abraham
16. Ben-Zion Abelsen
17. Israel Zubek
18. Sara Zubek
19. Lew Koznicow
20. Straschun Tzilia
21. One died of typhus in the ghetto: Simche Lipowski
22. And one was murdered in Klooga: Shabtai Blecher