Szymon Szurmiej, head of Poland’s Jewish Theatre dies
July 17, 2014
Szymon Szurmiej, a Polish-Jewish actor and longtime director and manager of The State Jewish Theater in Warsaw died in Warsaw on Wednesday at the age of 91.
Szurmej was also the president of the Social and Cultural Association of Polish Jews, or TSKZ, a secular, state-allied body that was one of the few Jewish organizations permitted to operate under communism.
In 1980s he was a member of the Polish Parliament and represented Polish Jewry in international Jewish organizations.
Szurmiej was born on 18 June 1923 in Lutsk, Volhynian Voivodeship, as a son of Polish father Jan Szurmiej and Jewish mother, Rebeka (Ryfka) née' Biterman. Szurmiej debuted as an actor in 1951 at the Polish Theater in Wrocław, western Poland. In 1969 he moved to Warsaw, where he became the general manager of the Jewish Theater.