Sunday 26 April 2015


ALTER BRESLER (1866-1930)
            He was born in Stolbtsy (Stowbtsy), Byelorussia.  Over the year 1895-1907, he and A. Kotik published in Warsaw a series of popular science booklets which he translated and adapted serially some by himself and some with Kotik.  Bresler also published current events articles in Hatsfira (The siren) and in Avrom Reyzen’s anthology Progres (Progress).  In the years after WWI, he published two short works on ethics.  His name was well known in Warsaw in connection with his lending library of Jewish and general literature.  “Bresler’s Library” at No. 5 Nowolipki was one of the first lending libraries in Warsaw.  Among his books: a summary treatment of H. T. Buckle’s History of Civilization in England as Di geshikhte fun tsivilizatsyon in england (Warsaw, 1895), 64 pp., second edition (Warsaw, 1901); Dertseylungen vegn vilde mentshn (Stories about wild people), translated from Dmitri Korobchevski (Warsaw, 1895), 44 pp.; Arbet un kapital (Labor and capital), translated from Aleksander Bogdanov (Warsaw, 1895), 56 pp.; Vi hobn mentshn gelebt mit eynike toyzent yor tsurik? (How did people live several thousand years ago?), translated (together with Kotik) from Boris Pavlovich (Warsaw, 1895), 64 pp.; Yoysef perl (Joseph Perl), a biography adapted from various sources (Warsaw, 1899), 42 pp.; Di mentshlekhe antviklung (Human evolution), translation from P. Streissler (Warsaw, 1901), 66 pp.; Perets smolenskin (Peretz Smolenskin), a biography (Warsaw, 1904), 64 pp.; Vegn tsienizm (On Zionism) (Warsaw, 1905), 32 pp.; Vos darf men un vos kon men ton? (What should and what can one do?) (Warsaw, 1906), 20 pp.; Robert Oven (Robert Owen), translated from A. V. Kamenskii (Warsaw, 1907), 82 pp.; Gaystikeyt (Spirituality) (Warsaw, 1912/1913), 16 pp., using the pen name: Y. Yitskhaki.  The last of this was a pamphlet critical of Jewish nationalism.  He died in Warsaw.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Bal-Makhshoves, Geklibene shriftn (Collected works) (Vilna, 1910), pp. 76-83; A. Taytelboym, Varshever heyf (Warsaw court) (Buenos Aires, 1947); M. Zonshteyn, Yidishe varshe (Jewish Warsaw) (Buenos Aires, 1954), pp. 89-92.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 122.]

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