Examining other records for this family reveals that this couple's two prior children died in infancy. They named their next child "Alter", in hopes that he would grow to be an old man.
In a study of birth registrations of children named Alter or Alte in this town of Chęciny, Poland, [Lauren B. Eisenberg Davis, Autumn Leaves. (Reisterstown, Maryland, 1997). Appendix J, "Use of the Name Alter", pages 382-383], it was found that in each case the child had been born after the deaths of other siblings in infancy or childhood.