Tuesday 30 January 2018


MEYER-SHIYE NIRENBERGER (b. January 4, 1911)
            He was born in Cracow, Poland, to a businessman father.  He descended—on his mother’s side—from Rabbi Yehoshua Apter; and on his father’s side from Rabbi Ber of Radeshits (Radoszyce).  Until age fourteen he studied in a Cracow public school, later in a high school, while at the same time he attended the small synagogue of the Gerer Rebbe in Podguzh (Podgórze), a suburb of Cracow.  In 1925 he made his way with his family to France and attended the Strasbourg commercial school and the yeshiva of Rabbi Brunshvig.  In 1927 he moved to Antwerp (Belgium), where his father became a scribe of holy texts for the community.  Nirenberger continued his studies in Belgium at the synagogue study hall as well as at the institute of political and social science, and at Brussels University he studied modern languages and later English at New York University.  In 1935 he, together with well-known Flemish and French personalities, organized the Belgian League against Racism.  In 1938 he carried through an anti-German resolution in the Belgian press association.  In early 1939 he came to the United States.  He was honorary secretary of the national council of the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People in Europe and was active in the League for a Free Israel, and the American representative of the Irgun (the Israeli army in Mandate Palestine).  His journalistic activities commenced in 1930 in Volksgazet (People’s gazette) in Flemish, to which he contributed until late 1938; he also wrote for the French socialist daily Le Peuple (The people).  He was a newspaper reporter in the Belgian parliament and a member of the association of the foreign press and of the international journalists’ association in Geneva.  At the end of 1930 he began writing in Yiddish—in the first Yiddish daily in Belgium, Der belgisher tog (The Belgian day), edited by Dr. Yontef Levinski.  He also began publishing articles in: Haynt (Today), Moment (Moment), Radyo (Radio, the evening newspaper for Moment), and Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), among others, in Warsaw.  In February 1931 he became the Western European correspondent for Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) in New York.  Over the years 1932-1938, he was also a regular contributor to Parizer haynt (Paris today).  Shortly after coming to America (February 2, 1939), he became a member of the editorial board of Morgn-zhurnal.  At the same time he placed work in: Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires; and Haarets (The land) and Maariv (Evening) in Tel Aviv.  In 1945 he became an official war correspondent for the American army in Western and Central Europe (Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and other countries).  He was also a correspondent in Nuremburg at the trials of the Nazi leaders and at Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem.  At different times he was a correspondent for Jewish and non-Jewish newspapers at a number of Zionist congresses (1931, 1933, 1935, 1937, 1946), as well as at the founding congress of the World Jewish Congress in Geneva.  He served as co-editor (in 1932) of the Yiddish daily newspapers: Letste nayes (Latest news) in Brussels (Vladimir Grosman, editor-in-chief); together with Dovid Lehrer, in 1934 Belgishe togblat (Belgian daily newspaper) in Brussels; 1947-1949, chief editor of Morgn-zhurnal; 1943, The Jewish Mirror in New York; 1950-1954, The Jewish Mail.  He was also editor of Toronto’s Idisher zhurnal (Jewish journal) (1957-1959).  From 1960 he edited and owned Canadian Jewish News, an English-language Jewish weekly in Toronto.  From 1972 he was a regular contributor to Algemeyner zhurnal (General journal) in New York.  He was last living in Toronto.

Sources: M. Elboym, in Forverts (New York) (September 2, 1958); Sh. Rozhanski, in Idishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (April 14, 1964).
Leyb Vaserman

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 391.]

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