FALIK LERNER (April 5, 1903-November 10, 1973)
He was born in the town of Vertuzhen (Vertujeni), a former Jewish colony in Bessarabia, into a poor family. Until age twelve he attended religious primary school and a Russian public school, and he later became a metal worker, while at the same time pursuing his studies on his own. In 1927 he moved to Argentina, and the first years there he worked in his trade in Buenos Aires. Over the years 1944-1946, he lived in Chile, before returning to Buenos Aires. He visited Europe, the state of Israel, and the United States. He began publishing reportage and correspondence pieces in: Der id (The Jew) in Kishinev (1920), later as well in Naye tsayt (New times) and other Yiddish newspapers in Romania. From 1929 he was an editorial contributor, later also co-editor, of Di prese (The press) in Buenos Aires, in which he published features, reportage pieces, and stories, He was an internal contributor and subsequently also editor of Morgn-tsaytung (Morning newspaper) in Buenos Aires (1935-1942). He also contributed to: Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), pp. 141-54 (republishing of a portion of his longer story “Afn verft” [At the shipyard]), Der shpigl (The mirror); Der holts-industryal (The wood industry), Ineynem (Altogether) (1949), Shmerke katsherginski ondenk-bukh (Shmerke Katsherginski remembrance volume) (1956), Rozaryer vokhnblat (Rosario weekly newspaper), El Alba (The dawn), and other serials in Argentina; Di tsukunft (The future) in New York; Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; Der veg (The path) and Di shtime (The voice) in Mexico City; Unzer vort (Our word) in Paris; Letste nayes (Latest news) in Tel Aviv; and Folksblat (People’s newspaper) in Montevideo; among others. He was the founder and editor of Dos idishe vort (The Yiddish word) in Chile (1944-1946). In book form: Mentshn un landshaftn, reportazhn (Men and landscapes, reportage pieces), on Jewish and general life in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay (Buenos Aires, 1951), 240 pp.; In umruike tsaytn, dertseylungen (In unsettling times, stories), fifteen stories (Buenos Aires, 1953), 203 pp.; A besaraber shtetl, lebnsshteyger, bilder, geshtaltn, zikhroynes (A Bessarabian town, way of life, images, figures, memoirs) (Buenos Aires, 1958), 207 pp.; Tsu gast af a vayl in di fareynikte shtatn (Guest for a time in the United States) (Buenos Aires, 1961), 201 pp. His cycle of reportage works from Israel—“Ponem el ponem mit yisroel” (Face to face with Israel), Di prese (1961)—appeared soon thereafter as Yerusholaim (Jerusalem). He died in Buenos Aires. He also published under such pen names as: L. Feliks and James. “F. Lerner is a teller of stories,” wrote Y. Botoshanski, “with spirit and ease.”
Sources: Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentine (The published Yiddish word in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941), pp. 105, 140, 174; Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), p.141; M. Shapiro, in Tsukunft (New York) (October 1945); Y. Botoshanski, Mame yidish (Mother Yiddish) (Buenos Aires, 1949), pp. 181, 183, 265; Botoshanski, in Yorbukh argentine (Yearbook Argentina) (1953/1954); Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (May 16, 1958); Botoshanski, in Dos naye vort (Chile) (December 14, 1956); Botoshanski, in Di naye tsayt (Buenos Aires) (March 9, 1957); Y. Varshavski, in Forverts (New York) (February 23, 1958); Y. Yonasovitsh, in Der shpigl (Buenos Aires) (August-September 1958); M. Tshemni, in Di prese (December 18, 1959); Tshemni, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (April 13, 1960); A. A. Fisher, in Di naye tsayt (April 6, 1962).
Khayim Leyb Fuks