MEIR ALBERTON (1900-November 20, 1947)
Born in Bershad, Podolia region (Ukraine). Until age fourteen he studied in religious schools and various other educational institutions. He then left for Odessa where he worked in a variety of trades. After the revolution, he became an educator in children’s institutions. Later he worked in a Dnepropetrovsk plant, joined the factory school (arbfak), and later he graduated from a higher school of mountain engineering. He began publishing prose writings in 1926 concerning the restoration of damaged factories and about Jewish youth in small towns, piece which were published by a coal miners. Alberton brought Jewish laborers in foundational industries to Soviet literature. In 1928 he went to Birobidzhan where he spent a considerable period of time and later wrote his book on Birobidzhan. He also frequently appeared as a spokesman and reporter, especially during the war years. His books include: Biro-bidzhan, veg-ayndrukn (Birobidzhan, impression of a journey) (Kharkov, 1929), 245 pp.; Fyoder zubakov (Fyodor Zubakov), a story (Kharkov: Central Publishers, 1930), 32 pp.; Di komune (The commune), a story (Kharkov: Central Publishers, 1930), 28 pp.; Tsu di naye shakhtyorn (To the new miners), a story (Kharkov: Central Publishers, 1931), 20 pp.; Shakhtes (Mines) (Moscow, 1931), 692 pp.; Shakhte bis (Mine “Bis”), “adopted for schools” (Minsk, 1932), 66 pp.; In supernem tsekh (In a top guild), stories (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1932), 46 pp.; Nit oysgetrakht, tsen fartseykhenungen (Not invented, ten accounts) (Moscow: Emes, 1941), 105 pp.; Nit oysgetrakht, fartseykhenungen (Not invented, accounts) (Moscow: Emes, 1947), 107 pp. (not the same as the previous work). His work was also included in: Der arbeter in der yidisher literatur (The worker in Yiddish literature) (Minsk, 1931); Shloglerishe trit (Shock-worker’s steps) (Minsk, 1932); Deklamater fun der sovetisher yidisher literatur (Reciter of Soviet Yiddish literature) (Moscow, 1934); Birebidzhan (Birobidzhan) (Moscow, 1936); Komyug ([Jewish] Communist youth) (Moscow, 1938).
Sources: Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (New York) (April 1930), pp. 288-90; A. Vorobeytshik, Prolit (Proletarian literature) (Kharkov) (September-October, 1931); M. Mizhiritski and S. Bryanski, Lernbukh un khrestomatye fun literatur (Textbook and reader for literature) (Kharkov-Kiev, 1933); S. Zhukovski, Pruvn (Attempts) (Kharkov, 1934), pp. 25-92; M. Kadishevitsh, in Visnshaft un revolutsye (Science and revolution) (Kiev) (April-June, 1935); Dobrushin, in Forpost (Birobidzhan), no. 1 (1936); Kh. Luitsker, in Afn shprakhfront (Kiev), no. 1 (1937); Aleksander Pomerants, Inzhenern fun neshomes (Engineers of souls) (New York, 1943); “Meir Alberton” obituary in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (November 25, 1947); M. Gen, in Eynikeyt (March 23, 1948).