Emanuel Schlechter

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Emanuel Schlechter, Polish Jewish composer and writer

Emanuel Schlechter (pseudonyms Eman, Olgierd Lech) (Emanuel Szlechter) (26 March 1906 – 1943) was born and died in Lwów. He was a Polish-Jewish artist, lyricist, screenwriter, librettist, writer, satirist, translator, composer and director.

His father was an owner of restaurant in Lwów.[1] The family name of his mother was Brecher.[1] When Szlechter was 14 years old, he joined to Małopolskie Oddziały Armii Ochotniczej (Lesser Poland's Volunteer Army) and during summer 1920 he participated in defense of Lwów.[1]

After passing his matura exam around 1923[1] he studied law at the Jan Kazimierz University in Lwów and worked briefly in a law firm. His earliest lyrics were written for Leon Borunski's songs, staged at the Morskie Oko theater's Parada gwiazd show in 1930, performed and recorded by Syrena Rekord star Kazimierz Krukowski.[2]

Career[edit]

In 1931, Schlechter created the Lwów Academic Theatre Złoty pieprzyk (Golden mole). One of his first revues, Co słychać w wielkim świecie (What's going on in the big world) included his first hit song, Żołnierska brać. He performed as a singer in the Lwów cafes of Musa and Roma, accompanied by the pianist Julius Gabla. He also wrote columns for newspapers.[2]

Around 1932, he moved permanently to Warsaw. In 1933, he wrote the screenplay and songs for the first Polish film operetta Każdemu wolno kochać (Everyone is allowed to love), directed by Mieczyslaw Krawicz. He worked at the Rex theater writing songs, revues, sketches, scenarios, satirical songs and monologues. Between 1933 and 1935 he recorded as a singer and guitarist, as himself or using a nickname of Olgierd Lech. He made a series of "Jewish" records including like Awremałe (Avremele), Śpiewak sobotni, Rabi Eli-Melech (Rabbi Elimelech), Alef Bet (Oyfn Pripetchok), and Żydowskie wesele (Yidishe khasene). One of the most popular songs by Schlechter was Srulek. He worked with the Columbia and Odeon orchestras. In 1934 he wrote for La Bohème theater, collaborating with Konrad Tom.[2]

He wrote lyrics of many songs featured in Polish pre-war films including Parada rezerwistów, Kobiety na sprzedaż, Trójka hultajska, Kocha, lubi, szanuje, Czy Lucyna to dziewczyna?, Co mój mąż robi w nocy, Jaśnie pan szofer, Dodek na froncie, Jego wielka miłość, Skłamałam, Książątko, Wyrok życia, Robert i Bertranda, and Czarna perła. He wrote screenplays of Antek policmajster (with Konrad Tom and Michał Waszyński), Będzie lepiej (with Ludwik Starski and Michał Waszyński), Jadzia (with Karol Jarossy and Mieczysław Krawicz), Ja tu rządzę (with Ludwik Starski and Mieczysław Krawicz), Królowa przedmieścia (with Jerzy Nel and Eugeniusz Bodo), Piętro wyżej (with Ludwik Starski, Eugeniusz Bodo, and Leon Trystan), Szczęśliwa trzynastka (with Ludwik Starski, Aleksander Pękalski, and Marian Czauski), and Włóczęgi (with Konrad Tom and Michał Waszyński).[2]

Starting in 1935 he worked with the Cyrulik Warszawski and Małe Qui pro Quo theaters.

Some of his hits included:

After the German and Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, Schlechter was in Soviet-occupied Lwów, working at the Lwów Teatr Miniatura as an actor, writer and director. He was known for his anti-Nazi satires. After German entered Lwów in 1941, Schlechter was sent to the Lvov ghetto, then to the Janowska concentration camp where he was part of its artistic life, participating in literary evenings. He most likely died in 1942 with his wife and young son, although it is possible that he managed to survive until 1943.[2]

Filmography[edit]

Screenplays[edit]

Dialogues[edit]

Films with his song lyrics[edit]

  • Czarna perła (1934)
  • Kochaj tylko mnie (1937)
  • Piętro wyżej (1938)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Lerski, p. 351.
  2. ^ a b c d e http://www.bibliotekapiosenki.pl/Schlechter_Emanuel Biblioteka Piosenki biography of Emanuel Schlechter

External links[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Lerski, Tomasz M. (2012). "Emanuel Szlechter". Polski Słownik Biograficzny 48. Polska Akademia Nauk & Polska Akademia Umiejętności. pp. 351–353.