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Theodor Herzl
בנימין זאב הרצל (Hebrew)
Born May 2, 1860(1860-05-02)
Pest, Hungary
Died July 3, 1904 (aged 44)
Edlach, Austria-Hungary
Cause of death Heart failure
Resting place 1904-1949: Döblinger Friedhof, Vienna, Austria
1949-present: Mt. Herzl, Jerusalem, Israel
31°46′26″N 35°10′50″E / 31.77389°N 35.18056°E / 31.77389; 35.18056
Residence Vienna
Nationality Austria-Hungary
Education Law
Alma mater University of Vienna
Occupation Journalist, playwright, writer, political activist
Known for Father of modern political Zionism
Religion Jewish
Spouse(s) Julie Naschauer (m. 1889–1904) «start: (1889)–end+1: (1905)»"Marriage: Julie Naschauer to Theodor Herzl" Location: (linkback:
Iconic photo of Theodor Herzl, 1901, leaning over a railing with a bridge in the background. Dressed in a black overcoat, he gazes blankly into the distance with his hands clasped.
A plaque marking the birthplace of Theodor Herzl, Dohány Street Synagogue, Budapest.

Theodor Herzl (Hebrew: בנימין זאב הרצל‎, Binyamin Ze'ev Herzl, also known as חוזה המדינה, Hoze Ha'Medinah (lit. "visionary of the State"; Hungarian: Herzl Tivadar) (May 2, 1860 — July 3, 1904) was an Austro-Hungarian journalist and the father of modern political Zionism.


Early life

Theodor Herzl was born in Pest to a Jewish family originally from Zemun, Austrian Empire (politically, city of Zemun is in Serbia today). When Theodor was 18, his family moved to Vienna, Austria-Hungary, where he studied law. After a brief legal career in Vienna and Salzburg,[1] he devoted himself to journalism and literature, working as a correspondent for the Neue Freie Presse in Paris, occasionally making special trips to London and Constantinople. Later on, he became literary editor of Neue Freie Presse, and wrote several comedies and dramas for the Viennese stage.

As a young man, Herzl was engaged in a Burschenschaft association, which strove for German unity under the motto Ehre, Freiheit, Vaterland ("Honor, Freedom, Fatherland"), and his early work did not focus on Jewish life. His work was of the feuilleton order, descriptive rather than political.

Zionist leader

As the Paris correspondent for Neue Freie Presse, Herzl followed the Dreyfus Affair, a notorious anti-Semitic incident in France in which a French Jewish army captain was falsely convicted of spying for Germany. He witnessed mass rallies in Paris following the Dreyfus trial where many chanted "Death to the Jews!" Herzl came to reject his early ideas regarding Jewish emancipation and assimilation, and to believe that the Jews must remove themselves from Europe and create their own state.[2]

In June, 1895, he wrote in his diary: "In Paris, as I have said, I achieved a freer attitude toward anti-Semitism... Above all, I recognized the emptiness and futility of trying to 'combat' anti-Semitism." However, in recent decades historians have downplayed the influence of the Dreyfus Affair on Herzl, even terming it a myth. They have shown that, while upset by anti-Semitism evident in French society, he, like most contemporary observers, initially believed in Dreyfus's guilt and only claimed to have been inspired by the affair years later when it had become an international cause celebre. Rather, it was the rise to power of the anti-Semitic demagogue Karl Lueger in Vienna in 1895 that seems to have had a greater effect on Herzl, before the pro-Dreyfus campaign had fully emerged. It was at this time that he wrote his play "The New Ghetto", which shows the ambivalence and lack of real security and equality of emancipated, well-to-do Jews in Vienna. Around this time Herzl grew to believe that anti-Semitism could not be defeated or cured, only avoided, and that the only way to avoid it was the establishment of a Jewish state.[3] In Der Judenstaat he writes:

The Jewish question persists wherever Jews live in appreciable numbers. Wherever it does not exist, it is brought in together with Jewish immigrants. We are naturally drawn into those places where we are not persecuted, and our appearance there gives rise to persecution. This is the case, and will inevitably be so, everywhere, even in highly civilised countries—see, for instance, France—so long as the Jewish question is not solved on the political level. The unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America.[4]

From April, 1896, when the English translation of his Der Judenstaat (The State of the Jews) appeared, Herzl became the leading spokesman for Zionism, although Herzl later on had confessed to his friend Max Bodenheimer, that he "wrote what I had to say without knowing my predecessors, and it can be assumed that I would not have written it, had I been familiar with the literature".[5]

A sketch in Herzl's Diary of a proposed flag for the Zionist movement.

Herzl complemented his writing with practical work to promote Zionism on the international stage. He visited Constantinople in April, 1896, and was hailed at Sofia, Bulgaria, by a Jewish delegation. In London, the Maccabees group received him coldly, but he was granted the mandate of leadership from the Zionists of the East End of London. Within six months this mandate had been approved throughout Zionist Jewry, and Herzl traveled constantly to draw attention to his cause. His supporters, at first few in number, worked night and day, inspired by Herzl's example.

In June 1896, with the help of the sympathetic Polish emigre aristocrat Count Philip Michael Nevlenski, he met for the first time with Abdul Hamid II to put forward his proposal for a Jewish state in Palestine. However the Sultan refused to cede Palestine to Zionists, saying, "if one day the Islamic State falls apart then you can have Palestine for free, but as long as I am alive I would rather have my flesh be cut up than cut out Palestine from the Muslim land."

In 1897, at considerable personal expense, he founded Die Welt of Vienna, Austria-Hungary and planned the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland. He was elected president (a position he held until his death in 1904), and in 1898 he began a series of diplomatic initiatives intended to build support for a Jewish country. He was received by the German emperor on several occasions, one of them in Jerusalem, and attended The Hague Peace Conference, enjoying a warm reception by many other statesmen.

In 1902–03 Herzl was invited to give evidence before the British Royal Commission on Alien Immigration. The appearance brought him into close contact with members of the British government, particularly with Joseph Chamberlain, then secretary of state for the colonies, through whom he negotiated with the Egyptian government for a charter for the settlement of the Jews in Al 'Arish, in the Sinai Peninsula, adjoining southern Palestine.

In 1903, Herzl attempted to obtain support for the Jewish homeland from Pope Pius X. Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val explained to him the Church's policy of non possumus on such matters, saying that as long as the Jews deny the divinity of Christ, the Church certainly could not make a declaration in their favor.[6]

On the failure of that scheme, which took him to Cairo, he received, through L. J. Greenberg, an offer (August 1903) on the part of the British government to facilitate a large Jewish settlement, with autonomous government and under British suzerainty, in British East Africa. At the same time, the Zionist movement being threatened by the Russian government, he visited St. Petersburg and was received by Sergei Witte, then finance minister, and Viacheslav Plehve, minister of the interior, the latter of whom placed on record the attitude of his government toward the Zionist movement. On that occasion Herzl submitted proposals for the amelioration of the Jewish position in Russia. He published the Russian statement, and brought the British offer, commonly known as the "Uganda Project," before the Sixth Zionist Congress (Basel, August 1903), carrying the majority (295:178, 98 abstentions) with him on the question of investigating this offer, after the Russian delegation stormed out.

In 1905, after investigation, the Congress decided to decline the British offer and firmly committed itself to a Jewish homeland in the historic Land of Israel.

Death and burial

First Grave of Theodor Herzl in the cemetery of Döbling (German: Döblinger Friedhof), Vienna, Austria (48°14′19.1″N 16°19′43.5″E / 48.238639°N 16.32875°E / 48.238639; 16.32875).
Honor guard stands beside Herzl's coffin in Israel
Title page of Der Judenstaat. 1896
Title page of Altneuland. 1902

Herzl did not live to see the rejection of the Uganda plan; he died in Edlach, Lower Austria in 1904 of heart failure at age 44. His will stipulated that he should have the poorest-class funeral without speeches or flowers and he added, "I wish to be buried in the vault beside my father, and to lie there till the Jewish people shall take my remains to Palestine".[7]

In 1949 his remains were moved from Vienna to be reburied on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

Judenstaat and Altneuland

Der Judenstaat (in English: The Jewish State, 1896) written in German, was the book that announced the advent of Zionism to the world, in the form of a pamphlet-length political program.

His last literary work, Altneuland (in English: The Old New Land, 1902), is a novel devoted to Zionism. Herzl occupied his free time for three years in writing what he believed might be accomplished by 1923. It is less a novel, though the form is that of romance, than a serious forecasting of what could be done within one generation. The keynotes of the story are the love for Zion, the insistence upon the fact that the changes in life suggested are not utopian, but are to be brought about simply by grouping all the best efforts and ideals of every race and nation; and each such effort is quoted and referred to in such a manner as to show that Altneuland, though blossoming through the skill of the Jew, will in reality be the product of the benevolent efforts of all the members of the human family.

Herzl envisioned a Jewish state which combined both a modern Jewish culture with the best of the European heritage. Thus a Palace of Peace would be built in Jerusalem, arbitrating international disputes, and at the same time the Temple would be rebuilt on modern principles. Herzl did not envision the Jewish inhabitants of the state being religious, but there would be much respect for religion in the public sphere. He also assumed that many languages would be spoken, but Hebrew would not be the main tongue. Proponents of a Jewish cultural rebirth, such as Ahad Ha'am were critical of Altneuland.

In Altneuland, Herzl did not foresee any conflict between Jews and Arabs. One of the main characters in Altneuland is a Haifa engineer, Reshid Bey, who is one of the leaders of the "New Society", is very grateful to his Jewish neighbors for improving the economic condition of Palestine and sees no cause for conflict. All non-Jews have equal rights, and an attempt by a fanatical rabbi to disenfranchise the non-Jewish citizens of their rights fails in the election which is the center of the main political plot of the novel.[8] Herzl also envisioned the future Jewish state to be a "third way" between capitalism and socialism, with a developed welfare program and public ownership of the main natural resources and industry, agriculture and even trade organized on a cooperative basis. He called this mixed economic model "Mutualism", a term derived from French utopian socialist thinking. Women would have equal voting rights - as they did have in the Zionist movement from the Second Zionist Congress onwards.

In Altneuland, Herzl outlined his vision for a new Jewish state in the Land of Israel. Herzl summed up his vision for an open society:

“It is founded on the ideas which are a common product of all civilized nations… It would be immoral if we would exclude anyone, whatever his origin, his descent, or his religion, from participating in our achievements. For we stand on the shoulders of other civilized peoples. … What we own we owe to the preparatory work of other peoples. Therefore, we have to repay our debt. There is only one way to do it, the highest tolerance. Our motto must therefore be, now and ever: ‘Man, you are my brother.’” (Quoted in “Zion & the Jewish National Idea”, in Zionism Reconsidered, Macmillan, 1970 PB, p.185)

In his novel, Herzl wrote about an electoral campaign in the new state. He directed his wrath against the nationalist party which wished to make the Jews a privileged class in Palestine. Herzl regarded that as a betrayal of Zion, for Zion was identical to him with humanitarianism and tolerance – that this was true in politics as well as in religion. Herzl wrote:

“Matters of faith were once and for all excluded from public influence. … Whether anyone sought religious devotion in the synagogue, in the church, in the mosque, in the art museum, or in a philharmonic concert, did not concern society. That was his [own] private affair.” (Quoted in “Zion & the Jewish National Idea”, in Zionism Reconsidered, Macmillan, 1970 PB, p.185)

Altneuland was written both for Jews and non-Jews: Herzl wanted to win over non-Jewish opinion for Zionism.[9] When he was still thinking of Argentina as a possible venue for massive Jewish immigration, he mentioned in his diary he wrote that land was to be gently expropriated from the local population and they were to be worked across the border "unbemerkt" (surreptitiously), e.g. by refusing them employment.[9] Herzl's draft of a charter for a Jewish-Ottoman Land Company (JOLC) gave the JOLC the right to obtain land in Palestine by giving its owners comparable land elsewhere in the Ottoman empire.

The name of Tel Aviv is the title given to the Hebrew translation of Altneuland by the translator, Nahum Sokolov. This name, which comes from Ezekiel 3:15, means tell— an ancient mound formed when a town is built on its own debris for thousands of years— of spring. The name was later applied to the new town built outside of Jaffa, which went on to become Tel Aviv-Yafo the second-largest city in Israel. The nearby city to the north, Herzlia, was named in honor of Herzl.


Herzl's grandfathers, both of whom he knew, were more closely related to traditional Judaism than his parents, yet two of his paternal grandfather's brothers and his maternal grandmother's brother exemplify complete estrangement and rejection of Judaism on the one hand, and utter loyalty and devotion to Judaism and Eretz Israel. In Zemun (Zemlin), Grandfather Simon Loeb Herzl "had his hands on" one of the first copies of Judah Alkalai's 1857 work prescribing the "return of the Jews to the Holy Land and renewed glory of Jerusalem." Contemporary scholars conclude that Herzl's own implementation of modern Zionism was undoubtedly influenced by that relationship.[10] Herzl’s grandparents' graves in Semlin can still be visited.[11] Alkalai himself, was witness to the rebirth of Serbia from Ottoman rule in the early and mid 19th century, and was inspired by the Serbian uprising and subsequent re-creation of Serbia.

Jacob Herzl (1836-1902), Theodor's father, was a highly successful businessman. Herzl had one sister, Pauline, a year older than he was, who died suddenly on February 7, 1878 of typhus.[12] Theodor lived with his family in a house next to the Dohány Street Synagogue (formerly known as Tabakgasse Synagogue) located in Belváros, the inner city of the historical old town of Pest, in the eastern section of Budapest.[13][14] The remains of Herzl's parents and sister were re-buried on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

In June, 25, 1889 he married Julie Naschauer, daughter of a wealthy Jewish businessman in Vienna. The marriage was unhappy, although three children were born to it. Herzl had a strong attachment to his mother, who was unable to get along with his wife. These difficulties were increased by the political activities of his later years, in which his wife took little interest.[15]

All three children died tragically.

His daughter Pauline suffered from mental illness and drug addiction. She died in 1930 at the age of 40, apparently of a morphine overdose. His son Hans, a converted Catholic, committed suicide (gunshot) the day of sister Pauline's funeral.[16] He was 39. In 2006 the remains of Pauline and Hans were moved from Bordeaux, France, and placed alongside their father.[17][18]

The youngest daughter, Trude Margarethe, (officially Margarethe, 1893-1943) married Richard Neumann. He lost his fortune in the economic depression. He was burdened by the steep costs of hospitalizing Trude, who was mentally ill, and was finding it difficult to raise the money required to send his son Stephan, 14, to a boarding school in London. After she had spent many years in hospitals, the Nazis sent Trude to Theresienstadt where she died. Her body was burned.[16]{Likewise her mother who died in 1907 was cremated-her ashes were lost by accident}

Trude's son (Herzl's only grandchild), Stephan Theodor Neumann (1918-1946) was sent to England, 1937-1938, for his safety, as rabid Austrian anti-Semitism grew. In England, he read extensively about his grandfather. Stephan became an ardent Zionist. He was the only immediate descendant of Herzl to be a Zionist. Anglicizing his name to Stephen Norman, during World War II, Norman enlisted in the British Army rising to the rank of Captain in the Royal Artillery. In late 1945 and early 1946, he took the opportunity to visit the British Mandate of Palestine "to see what my grandfather had started." He wrote in his diary extensively about his trip. What impressed him the most was that there was a "look of freedom" in the faces of the children, not like the sallow look of those from the concentration camps of Europe. He wrote upon leaving Palestine, "My visit to Palestine is over... It is said that to go away is to die a little. And I know that when I went away from Erez Israel, I died a little. But sure, then, to return is somehow to be reborn. And I will return."

Once discharged from the military in Britain, he took a minor position with a British Economic and Scientific mission in Washington, D.C. in Autumn 1946, where he learned that his family had been exterminated. He became deeply depressed over the fate of his family. Unable to endure the suffering any further, he jumped from the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge in Washington, D.C. to his death. Norman was buried by the Jewish Agency in Washington, D.C. His tombstone reads simply, 'Stephen Theodore Norman, Captain Royal Artillery British Army, Grandson of Theodore Herzl, April 21, 1918 - November 26, 1946'.[19] Norman was the only member of Herzl's family to have been to Palestine. He was reburied with his family on Mt. Herzl on December 5, 2007.[20][21][22][23]


"If you will it, it is no dream," a phrase from Herzl's book Old New Land, became a popular slogan of the Zionist movement—the striving for a Jewish National Home in Israel. Also quoted by fictional character Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) in the Coen Brothers' Film "The Big Lebowski"

  • Plays[24][25]
    • Kompagniearbeit, comedy in one act, Vienna 1880
    • Die Causa Hirschkorn, comedy in one act, Vienna 1882
    • Tabarin, comedy in one act, Vienna 1884
    • Muttersöhnchen, in four acts, Vienna 1885 (Later: "Austoben" by H. Jungmann)
    • Seine Hoheit, comedy in three acts, Vienna 1885
    • Der Flüchtling, comedy in one act, Vienna 1887
    • Wilddiebe, comedy in four acts, in co-authorship with H. Wittmann, Vienna 1888
    • Was wird man sagen?, comedy in four acts, Vienna 1890
    • Die Dame in Schwarz, comedy in four acts, in co-authorship with H. Wittmann, Vienna 1890
    • Prinzen aus Genieland, comedy in four acts, Vienna 1891
    • Die Glosse, comedy in one act, Vienna 1895
    • Das Neue Ghetto, drama in four acts, Vienna 1898. Herzl's only play with Jewish characters.[25]
    • The New Ghetto, translated by Heinz Norden, New York 1955
    • Unser Kätchen, comedy in four acts, Vienna 1899
    • Gretel, comedy in four acts, Vienna 1899
    • I love you, comedy in one act, Vienna 1900
    • Solon in Lydien, drama in three acts, Vienna 1904

Biographies of Theodor Herzl

  • Falk, Avner (1993). Herzl, King of the Jews: A Psychoanalytic Biography of Theodor Herzl. Washington: University Press of America. ISBN 0819189251. 
  • Elon, Amos (1975). Herzl. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. ISBN 003013126X.  Amos Elon has also written The Israelis: Founders and Sons, and Jerusalem: City of Mirrors. His biography of Herzl is also a portrait of Europe at the end of the 19th century.
  • Alex Bein (1934) Theodor Herzl; Biographie. mit 63 Bildern und einer Ahnentafel. (German)
  • Alex Bein, Maurice Samuel (translator), (1941) Theodore Herzl: A Biography of the Founder of the Modern Zionism

See also


  1. ^ "Theodor Herzl (1860-1904". Jewish Agency for Israel. Retrieved 2009-08-08. "He received a doctorate in law in 1884 and worked for a short while in courts in Vienna and Salzburg." 
  2. ^ Rubenstein, Richard L., and Roth, John K. (2003). Approaches to Auschwitz: The Holocaust and Its Legacy, p. 94. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 0664223532.
  3. ^ Kornberg, Jacques (December 1, 1993). Theodor Herzl: From Assimilation to Zionism. Jewish Literature and Culture. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. pp. 193–194. ISBN 978-0-253-33203-5. Retrieved 2009-08-08. ""Thus, for the time being, antisemitism is alien to the French people, and they are unable to comprehend it...
    By contrast, several months later...Herzl was to offer a far different assessment of antisemitism in Austria, as a power and mainline movement on an upward course. Moreover, his fury over Austrian antisemitism had no parallel in his reaction to French antisemitism."
  4. ^ Herzl, Der Judenstaat, cited by C.D. Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 2001, 4th ed., p. 53
  5. ^ Reuben R Hecht, When the Shofar sounds, 2006, p. 43
  6. ^ Catholicism, France and Zionism: 1895-1904
  7. ^ 'Obituary', The Times, Thursday, July 7, 1904; pg. 10; Issue 37440; col B.
  8. ^ Avineri, Shlomo (September 2, 2009). "Herzl's vision of racism". Haaretz. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  9. ^ a b L.C.M. van der Hoeven Leonhard, "Shlomo and David, Palestine, 1907", in From Haven to Conquest, 1971, W. Khalidi (ed.), pp. 118-19.
  10. ^ Oriental Zionism of Arab-born Jews, One thousand years before Theodore Herzl
  11. ^ European Jewish Congress - Serbia
  12. ^ Theodore Herzl - Background
  13. ^ Herzl, Theodor (January 1898). "An Autobiography". London Jewish Chronicle: 20. Retrieved 2008-03-18. "I was born in 1860 in Budapest in a house next to the synagogue where lately the rabbi denounced me from the pulpit in very sharp terms (...)". 
  14. ^ Herzl, Theodor (1960). "Herzl Speaks: His Mind on Issues, Events and Men". Herzl Institute Pamphlet (New York: The Herzl Press) 16. "I the synagogue [in Paris] and found the services once again solemn and moving. Much reminded me of my youth and the Tabakgasse synagogue in Pest.". 
  15. ^ Theodor Herzl on
  16. ^ a b Crash Course in Jewish History Part 63 - Modern Zionism
  17. ^ Herzl's children to be disinterred on Tuesday in Bordeaux, France
  18. ^ Fulfilling Historical Justice: Herzl's Children Come Home
  19. ^ "These Children Bore the Mark of Freedom, by Jerry Klinger, Theodor Herzl Foundation, in Midtstream, A Bi-Monthly Jewish Review, May/June 2007, pages 21-24, ISSN 0026-332X
  20. ^ Theodor Herzl's only grandson reinterred in J'lem cemetery, Haaretz Dec.6, 2007
  21. ^ Washington Jewish Week, June 27, 2007, "Zionist set to come 'home' Herzl's grandson slated to be reburied in Israel", by Richard Greenberg
  22. ^ "A Zionist who deserves to come home", by Jerry Klinger, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 12, 2003. Crash Course in Jewish History Part 63 - Modern Zionism at
  23. ^ Guttman, Nathan (August 29, 2007). "Jerusalem Plans a Hero's Burial to Long Deceased Grandson of Herzl". Jewish Daily Forward. 
  24. ^ "Theodor Herzl 2004". The Department for Jewish Zionist Education. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  25. ^ a b Balsam, Mashav. "Theodor Herzl: From the Theatre Stage to The Stage of Life". All About Jewish Theatre. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 

Further reading

  • Beller, Steven. Herzl (2004)
  • Brenner, Michael, and Shelley Frisch. Zionism: A Brief History (2003) excerpt and text search
  • Friedman, Isaiah. "Theodor Herzl: Political Activity and Achievements," Israel Studies 2004 9(3): 46-79, online in EBSCO
  • Pawel, Ernst. The Labyrinth of Exile: A Life of Theodor Herzl (1992) excerpt and text search

Vital, David (April 1980). The Origins of Zionism (Paperback ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198274391. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 


Primary sources

  • Herzl, Theodor. A Jewish state: an attempt at a modern solution of the Jewish question‎ (1896) full text online
  • Herzl, Theodor. Theodor Herzl: Excerpts from His Diaries‎ (2006) excerpt and text search

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

At Basel, I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter. Perhaps in five years, certainly in fifty, everyone will know it.

Theodor Herzl (May 2, 1860July 3, 1904) was an Austrian Jewish journalist who became the founder of modern political Zionism. His Hebrew personal names were Binyamin Ze'ev.


  • Realists are, as a rule, only men in the rut of routine who are incapable of transcending a narrow circle of antiquated notions.
  • אם תרצו, אין זו אגדה
    • Im tirtsu, ein zo agada
    • If you will it, it is no legend.
    • Altneuland [Old, New Land] (1902)
  • Were I to sum up the Basel Congress in a word — which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly — it would be this: At Basel, I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter. Perhaps in five years, certainly in fifty, everyone will know it.
    • Diary entry (3 September 1897), a few days after the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, as quoted in'Nonstate Nations in International Politics: Comparative System Analyses (1997) by Judy S. Bertelsen, p. 37
    • Variant translation: Were I to sum up the Basel Congress in a few words — which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly — it would be this: At Basel, I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter. Perhaps in five years, and certainly in fifty, everyone will realize it.
      • As quoted in The Jewish Question: Biography of a World Problem (1990) by Alex Bein
  • In reference to the area of the Jewish state: From the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates.
    • As quoted in Complete Diaries by Theodor Herzl, Volume II, page 711.
Dream and deed are not as different as many think. All the deeds of men are dreams at first, and become dreams in the end.
  • Dream and deed are not as different as many think. All the deeds of men are dreams at first, and become dreams in the end.
    • As quoted in The Israelis : Founders and Sons (1971) by Amos Elon, p. 57

The Diaries of Theodore Herzl (1956)

The Diaries of Theodore Herzl as edited and translated by Marvin Lowenthal (Dial Press, New York, 1956),
  • In Paris... I achieved a freer attitude toward anti-Semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon. Above all, I recognized the emptiness and futility of trying to "combat" anti-Semitism.
  • The anti-Semites will become our most loyal friends; the anti-Semitic nations will become our allies.
    • Noting that anti-semite's desire to expel Jews from their nations would aid the Zionist cause.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

THEODOR HERZL (1860-1904), founder of modern political Zionism, was born in Budapest on the 2nd of May 1860, and died at Edlach on the 3rd of July 1904. The greater part of his career was associated with Vienna, where he acquired high repute as a literary journalist. He was also a dramatist, and apart from his prominence as a Jewish Nationalist would have found a niche in the temple of fame. All his other claims to renown, however, sink into insignificance when compared with his work as the reviver of Jewish hopes for a restoration to political autonomy. Herzl was stirred by sympathy for the misery of Jews under persecution, but he was even more powerfully moved by the difficulties experienced under conditions of assimilation. Modern anti-Semitism, he felt, was both like and unlike the medieval. The old physical attacks on the Jews continued in Russia, but there was added the reluctance of several national groups in Europe to admit the Jews to social equality. Herzl believed that the humanitarian hopes which inspired men at the end of the 18th and during the larger part of the 19th centuries had failed. The walls of the ghettos had been cast down, but the Jews could find no entry into the comity of nations. The new nationalism of 1848 did not deprive the Jews of political rights, but it denied them both the amenities of friendly intercourse and the opportunity of distinction in the university, the army and the professions. Many Jews questioned this diagnosis, and refused to see in the new anti-Semitism (q.v.) which spread over Europe in 1881 any more than a temporary reaction against the cosmopolitanism of the French Revolution. In 1896 Herzl published his famous pamphlet "Der Judenstaat." Holding that the only alternatives for the Jews were complete merging by intermarriage or self-preservation by a national re-union, he boldly advocated the second course. He did not at first insist on Palestine as the new Jewish home, nor did he attach himself to religious sentiment. The expectation of a Messianic restoration to the Holy Land has always been strong, if often latent, in the Jewish consciousness. But Herzl approached the subject entirely on its secular side, and his solution was economic and political rather than sentimental. He was a strong advocate for the complete separation of Church and State. The influence of Herzl's pamphlet, the progress of the movement he initiated, the subsequent modifications of his plans, are told at length in the article Zionism.

His proposals undoubtedly roused an extraordinary enthusiasm, and though he almost completely failed to win to his cause the classes, he rallied the masses with sensational success. He unexpectedly gained the accession of many Jews by race who were indifferent to the religious aspect of Judaism, but he quite failed to convince the leaders of Jewish thought, who from first to last remained (with such conspicuous exceptions as Nordau and Zangwill) deaf to his pleading. The orthodox were at first cool because they had always dreamed of a nationalism inspired by messianic ideals, while the liberals had long come to dissociate those universalistic ideals from all national limitations. Herzl, however, succeeded in assembling several congresses at Basel (beginning in 1897), and at these congresses were enacted remarkable scenes of enthusiasm for the cause and devotion to its leader. At all these assemblies the same ideal was formulated: "the establishing for the Jewish people a publicly and legally assured home in Palestine." Herzl's personal charm was irresistible. Among his political opponents he had some close personal friends. His sincerity, his eloquence, his tact, his devotion, his power, were recognized on all hands. He spent his whole strength in the furtherance of his ideas. Diplomatic interviews, exhausting journeys, impressive mass meetings, brilliant literary propaganda - all these methods were employed by him to the utmost limit of self-denial. In 1901 he was received by the sultan; the pope and many European statesmen gave him audiences. The British government was ready to grant land for an autonomous settlement in East Africa. This last scheme was fatal to Herzl's peace of mind. Even as a temporary measure, the choice of an extra-Palestinian site for the Jewish state was bitterly opposed by many Zionists; others (with whom Herzl appears to have sympathized) thought that as Palestine was, at all events momentarily, inaccessible, it was expedient to form a settlement elsewhere. Herzl's health had been failing and he did not long survive the initiation of the somewhat embittered "territorial" controversy. He died in the summer of 1904, amid the consternation of supporters and the deep grief of opponents of his Zionistic aims.

Herzl was beyond question the most influential Jewish personality of the 19th century. He had no profound insight into the problem of Judaism, and there was no lasting validity in his view that the problem - the thousands of years' old mystery - could be solved by a retrogression to local nationality. But he brought home to Jews the perils that confronted them; he compelled many a "semi-detached" son of Israel to rejoin the camp; he forced the "assimilationists" to realize their position and to define it; his scheme gave a new impulse to "Jewish culture," including the popularization of Hebrew as a living speech; and he effectively roused Jews all the world over to an earnest and vital interest in their present and their future. Herzl thus left an indelible mark on his time, and his renown is assured whatever be the fate in store for the political Zionism which he founded and for which he gave his life. (I. A.)

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