Sunday 27 March 2016


MEYER HER (b. August 7, 1891)
            He was born in Riga, Latvia, to a father who worked as an elementary school teacher.  Until age twelve he studied in religious primary school, then at a Russian public school.  From 1906 he was linked to the Labor Zionist movement.  In 1912 he edited the party publications Itst (Now) and Der gedank (The idea) in Vilna.  In 1914 he was deported to Siberia.  Returning from exile after the Russian Revolution in 1917, he helped bring about the rift in the Labor Zionist movement in Russia and to shape it into a Communist wing.  In 1917 he published an article on Perets in Russian in Vestnik sibirskikh evreev (Bulletin of Siberian Jews), and later (1919) the Russian-language Bolshevik Izvestaia poltavskaia soveta (News of the Poltava Soviet) and in Yiddish the organ of the left Labor Zionists in Ukraine, Der komunistisher gedank (The Communist idea) of which five issues appeared.  In 1921 he brought out an anthology entitled Tsum yortsayt fun b. borokhov (Toward the anniversary of the death of Ber Borokhov).  Aside from publicist work, he also wrote articles of literary criticism for Tog (Day) in Vilna and Bikher-velt (Book world) in Warsaw in 1922.  He was later sent from Poland to Soviet Russia.  There he turned his attentions fully to editing periodicals, translation, and feature writing.  He published articles in Afn shprakhfront (On the language front) in Kiev, Visnshaftlekhe yorbikher (Scientific annuals) in Moscow, and in other periodicals.  He remained in Soviet Russia.  His subsequent fate remains unknown, although we know that he perished during the purges in the mid-1930s.  Among his translations in book form: Neenter tsu di masn, zamlbukh fun artiklen (Close to the masses, an anthology of articles) (Minsk, 1927), 128 pp.; Bela Ilesh’s Tise brent (The Tisza is burning [original: Tisza Gorit]), which he translated from German (Moscow: Emes, 1929), 84 pp.; Vladimir Lenin’s Karl Marks (Karl Marx) (Moscow: Emes, 1932), 55 pp.; Mikhail Fishelev’s Fun kharkover toybnshlak biz der angorer farshikung (Exiled from a Kharkov pigeon coop to Angarsk [Ot Kharʹkovskoi golubi︠a︡tni do Angarskoi ssylki] (Moscow: Emes, 1932), 192 pp.; Karl Marx’s Arbetloyn, prayz un revek (Wage labor, price, and profit [original: Value, price, and profit) (Moscow: Emes, 1932), 86 pp., second improved edition (1934); Program un status fun der alfarbandisher kompartey (Program and status of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union) (Kiev, 1933), 83 pp.; Emilian Yaroslavskii’s Geshikhte fun alkʺp (History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union [original: Istoriia VKP]) (1934); Tsvi Fridland, Danton (Moscow: Emes, 1935), 259 pp.; B. Pivenshteyn, Der veg kin uelens (The road to Uellen [original: Putʹ v Uellen]) (Moscow: Emes, 1935), 143 pp.; N. N. Baranskii, Fizishe geografye fun fssʺr (Physical geography of the U.S.S.R. [original: Fizicheskaia geografiya SSSR]) (Moscow: 1935), 143 pp.; Di gele late (The yellow patch [original: Zheltoe piatno]), documents on German Jews (Moscow, 1936), 164 pp.  He wrote linguistic and textual explanations for Mendele’s Masoes benyomen hashlishi (The travels of Benjamin the Third), vol. 3 (Moscow: Emes, 1935); Mendele’s Dos vintshfingerl (The magic ring), vol. 5 (Moscow: Emes, 1935); and Yisroel Aksenfeld’s Dos shterntikhl (The headband) and Nokh tsvey hozn (After two hares) (Moscow: Emes, 1938).

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; “Khronik” (Chronicle), Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (April 15, 1927).
Aleksander Pomerants

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 223.]


  1. Mistake correction :
    Bela Ilesh’s Tise brent (The Tisza is burning [original: Tissa gorit/Тисса горит])

    1. טיסע ברענט
      אין טראט נאך דער רעװאלוציע אין מיטלאײראפע : ראמאן
      בעלא אילעש ; יידיש - מ. הער ; פארװארט - בעלא קון
      Tise brent :
      in trot nokh der revolutsie in mitl-eyrope : roman
      Bela Ilesh; yidish - M. Her ; forvort - Bela Kun

  2. Correction made, with thanks as always.

    1. Dear Professor,
      I'm very grateful to you for the tremendous work you have done! Yiddish Leksikon is my favourite e-reference source that I read 2-3 times per week. It came in handy more than thousand times and helped me to create more than 3000 entries for Yiddish books by now in RSL. It's a pity I can't attach photos and portraits. Many, many thanks to you!!!

  3. You are MORE than welcome--and your many notes and comments have made it even better for readers. One more thing: please call me Josh!

  4. MEYER HER translated from Russian into Yiddish P. Kerzshentsev's Lenins lebn : 1870-1924/ fun der tsveyter, ibergearbeter un dergantster rusisher uflage.- Moskve : Farlag Emes, 1936.- 347, [4] pp.
    לענינס לעבנ : 1924-1870
    פ. קערזשענצעװ ; יידיש - מייער הער
    פונ דער צװײטער יבערגעארבעטער אונ דערגאנצטער רוסישער אופלאגע
    Керженцев, Платон Михайлович 1881-1940.