Mikhail (Meer) Balte was born in 1923 in the small town of Rechitsa near Gomel (Belarus). On the very first day of the Soviet-German War, June 22, 1941, he finished his high school studies and received a matriculation certificate with excellent grades. Then, together with his mother and sister, he was evacuated to the area of Voroshilovsk (Stavropol) in the North Caucasus, where he was trained to operate agricultural machinery. He went on to harvest crops, and do other work, at a kolkhoz (collective farm). In March 1942, he was drafted into the Red Army and sent to the Armor School in the city of Orel. However, a month later, without having received a military rank, he was sent to the North Caucasian Front, to serve as an anti-tank gunner in a motorized rifle brigade.
During the German offensive in the southern USSR in the summer-autumn of 1942, Balte took part in the defense of Rostov-on-Don, Makhachkala (the capital of Dagestan), and other regions of the North Caucasus. On many occasions, he was sent on reconnaissance missions into the mountains. It was well-known in the Red Army that the Nazis killed Jewish POWs on sight. For this reason, Mikhail enjoyed the trust of his commanders, who believed that, as a Jew, he would never surrender to the enemy. Balte was wounded twice. After his second injury, he was found lying among the dead bodies of other combatants, and evacuated to a rear hospital. There, the doctors fought for his life, and he was shuttled between several hospitals, mainly in Georgia. Eventually, his leg was saved, but he would remain disabled for the rest of his life. In December 1943, he was discharged from active duty because of his disability, but officially remained a serviceman.
After the end of the war, Balte entered the Moscow Medical Institute, and from 1952 he worked as a practitioner at a hospital in Rechitsa. He formally retired from the military only in 1979, in the rank of captain of the reserve. In March 2005, Balte moved from Belarus to Israel with his family. In Israel, he was awarded the "Fighter against Nazis" medal. He died in 2009 in Ashkelon.