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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Theodor Herzl 03: Herzl becomes a legend - family members

Herzl becomes a legend - parents and grandparents - children and grandchild
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Theodor Herzl, vol.
                    8, col. 421, Mount Herzl in Jerusalem with Herzl's
                    tomb of racist Herzl
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Theodor Herzl, vol. 8, col. 421, Mount Herzl in Jerusalem with Herzl's tomb of racist Herzl

from: Herzl, Theodor; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 8

presented by Michael Palomino (2008)

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<Activist and Thinker.

In his lifetime Herzl impressed all who met him with his handsome appearance and dignified bearing. Those who knew his work admired his capacity for prophetic vision, the breadth of his political outlook, his organizing ability, and his utter dedication to the cause that he held sacred. After his death his stature increased further in the Jewish world and he became an almost legendary figure. It took only a few years for the results of his endeavors to become apparent: the Jews were recognized as a nation and a new chapter was opened in their age-old history. Herzl had transformed Zionism from a weak and insignificant movement into a world organization and a (col. 419)

political entity that Great Britain was prepared to accept as the authorized representative of the Jewish people. This in turn led to the *Balfour Declaration and eventually to the founding of the State of Israel.

[[Arabs are not mentioned]].

As a thinker, Herzl succeeded in arriving at a clear and profound analysis of the Jewish problem. In Der Judenstaat and even more in Altneuland (his Zionist novel published in October 1902; Old New Land, trans. into English by Paula Arnold, 1960) he foresaw future events in the history of the Jewish people. He called for the use of science and technology in the development of Erez Israel,

[[to drive the Arabs away]]

for tolerance in all spheres - including the relations between Jews and Arabs -

[[the Arabs should be the slaves]]

and for the organization of the new society that was to rise in Erez Israel on a cooperative ("mutualist") basis

[[without any Arab integrated]].

In Altneuland he gave matchless expression to the yearning of the Jewish people for its historical homeland. The motto of the book, "If you will, it is no fairytale", became the watchword of the entire Zionist Movement.

It does not derogate from his greatness, however, to mention the shortcomings for which he was criticized by his contemporaries: that he was a stranger to Jewish tradition and culture and that he ignored the significance of the Hebrew language for the renaissance of the Jewish people. Much about his personality can be learned from his diaries which were translated into English by H. Zohn (5 vols., 1960; an abridged vol. ed. by M. Lowenthal, 1962).

In his last will, Herzl asked to be buried beside his father's grave in Vienna until such time as the Jewish people would transfer his remains to Erez Israel. Thus in Aug. 1949, shortly after the State of Israel was established, Herzl's remains were reinterred on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem (as were the remains of his parents and his sister Pauline) and a Herzl museum (including his original Vienna study) has been built nearby. The anniversary of his death, the 20th of Tammuz, was declared a national memorial day in Israel.

[A.B.]> (col. 420)

[[So the Jews are in an eternal war since 1948 and Zionist Jews are torn into the trap to fight against Arab anti-Semitism. And the base problem of anti-Semitism in the Church was not solved...]].

Herzl's Parents and Grandparents.

[Father Herzl supports Zionism of his son Theodor]

JACOB HERZL (1835-1902), Theodor's father, was a highly successful businessman. Utterly devoted to his son, he enabled him to develop his many talents and did all in his power to advance Herzl's plans. He helped him in his Zionist activities with advice and financial support. Theodor, in fact, regarded his father as his strongest source of moral support. Jacob Herzl put at his son's disposal a large sum that he had saved over many years of hard work; it was spent in a short period of time to finance the new and penniless Zionist Movement. At a later stage, when it became necessary to publish a Yiddish edition of Die Welt [["The World"]], the central organ of the Zionist Movement, Herzl's father allocated another substantial sum for the purpose. Jacob Herzl was also a delegate to the Second Zionist Congress.

[Mother Herzl encouraging Zionism of her son Theodor]

Herzl's mother, JEANETTE (née Diamant), was a handsome and wise woman. She took pride in her son, but did not have a successful relationship with her daughter-in-law. She also encouraged Herzl in the pursuit of his Zionist work, although she knew that due to his weak heart, her son would not be able to withstand for long the many vicissitudes of his hectic life, and she foresaw his early death.

German was the language that prevailed in Herzl's parental home in Budapest, although this did not imply any sense of identification with German national aspirations. Neither did his parents support the ambitious Hungarian nationalism, and this may have been one of the reasons for their move to Vienna. (On the other hand, Herzl's maternal uncle, Wilhelm *Diamant, was an adherent of the Hungarian national movement and served as an officer in the Hungarian Revolutionary Forces in 1848-49).

[Herzl's grandfathers]

Herzl's grandfathers, both of whom he knew well, had a much closer attachment to traditional Judaism. His paternal grandfather, SIMON LEIB HERZL (1805-1879), lived in Zemlin, and his maternal grandfather, HERMANN DIAMANT (1805-1871), lived in Budapest. Theodor admired them both. Two of his paternal grandfather's brothers and his maternal grandmother's brother rank as unusual characters, exemplifying complete estrangement and rejection of Judaism, on the one hand, and utter loyalty and devotion to (col. 420)

Judaism and Erez Israel, on the other. His grandfather's brothers, MOSHE and HERSHEL HERZL, converted as adults to the Serbian Orthodox faith (although their wives and sons remained Jews). They changed their names to Lafero Spasoevitch and Costa Petrovich. The family thoroughly disapproved of their actions and would not let their names pass their lips.

The exact opposite to these great-uncles was SAMUEL BILIZ (1796-1885), the brother of Herzl's paternal grandmother. Biliz was a pre-Herzlian Zionist who began his Zionist activities in the 1950s and in 1862 conducted negotiations with Chaim *Lorje, a Hovevei Zion leader in Central Europe. Biliz served as an Austrian consular official in various Balkan cities and spent many years in Philippopolis (Plovdiv), Bulgaria. At an advanced age he settled in Jerusalem.


[[It seems really unthinkable that nobody of the Herzl family - and Theodor Herzl had a doctorate in law - could see the big Arab anti-Semitism which would be caused by a Jewish invasion and a "Jewish State" on the Mediterranean coast line which is the main connection between Muslim Middle East and Muslim Africa. Herzl never gave any right to the Arabs. The eternal war was foreseeable, and with the oil power the Arabs since the 1920s there was given any power to the Arabs they wanted and the strategy against anti-Semitism had to be changed. Many non-Zionists chose other countries without any war risk, e.g. Argentina, or stayed in Europe where the Church had to give up anti-Semitism. So human rights would be good]].

The End of Herzl's Family.

[Drug addiction - suicide - concentration camp Theresienstadt - suicide]

The fate of Herzl's family was tragic. His eldest daughter, Pauline (1890-1930), was an unstable character. Her marriage broke down; she became a philanderer and a drug addict and died in a hospital in Bordeaux, France.

Hans (1891-1930), who was circumcised at the age of 15, displayed manic depressive features. His interest in religion led him to several conversions, including various Christian denominations. Pauline's final illness brought him to Bordeaux where he shot himself on the day of her burial.

The younger daughter, Trude (officially Margarethe, 1893-1943), was hospitalized many times. In 1943 the Nazis sent her to Theresienstadt where she died.

Her son and Herzl's only grandchild, Stephan Theodor Neumann (1918-1946), grew up in England and changed his surname to Norman. During World War II he became a captain in the British army and visited Palestine in 1945 and 1946, on his way to the Far East and back. He later described in moving words his impressions of the country and the yishuv [[Jews settling in Palestine]]. After leaving the army he became an economic adviser in the British mission in Washington, D.C., where he committed suicide by jumping from a bridge int the river.

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-- A. Bein: Theodor Herzl (Eng., 1940, latest ed. 1970), includes a comprehensive bibliography and full list of Herzl's works
-- idem, in: Herzl Year Book, 2 (1959)
-- J. Fraenkel: Theodor Herzl (Eng., 1946)
-- J. De Haas: Theodor Herzl , 2 vols. (Eng., 1927)
-- L. Kellner: Theodor Herzls Lehrjahre 1860-1895 (1920)
-- A. Friedemann: Das Leben Theodor Herzls (1919)
-- E. Rosenberger: Herzls as I Remember Him (1959)
-- O.K. Rabinowicz: Architect of the Balfour Declaration (1958)
-- H. and B. Ellern: Herzl, Hechler, the Grand Duke of Baden and the German Empoeror (1961)
-- J. Adler: Herzl Paradox, Social and Economic Theories of a Realist (1962)
-- I.M. Bodenheimer: Prelude to Israel (1963), 99-166, 169-211, 295-318
-- H.H. Bodenheimer: Toledot Tokhnit Basel (1947)
-- idem: Im Anfang der zionistischen Bewegung (1965)
-- B. Halpern: Idea of the Jewish State (1961), index
-- J. Patai: Herzl (Hunhg., 1931, Ger., 1936)
-- A. Chouraqui: A Man Alone (1970)
-- P. Diamant: Herzls vaetelriche und muetterliche Vorfahren (1934);
-- A. Stern: The Genetic Tragedy of Theodor Herzl (1965)> (col. 421)

Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Theodor Herzl,
                        vol. 8, col. 419-420
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Theodor Herzl, vol. 8, col. 419-420
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Theodor Herzl,
                        vol. 8, col. 421
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Theodor Herzl, vol. 8, col. 421

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