Theodor Herzl

Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl.jpg
Herzl in 1897
Born(1860-05-02)2 May 1860
Pest, Kingdom of Hungary, Austrian Empire
Died3 July 1904(1904-07-03) (aged 44)
Reichenau an der Rax, Austria-Hungary
Resting place1904–1949: Döblinger Friedhof, Vienna, Austria
1949–present: Mt. Herzl, Jerusalem
31°46′26″N 35°10′50″E / 31°46′26″N 35°10′50″E / 31.77389; 35.18056
ResidenceVienna
CitizenshipAustria-Hungary
EducationLaw
Alma materUniversity of Vienna
OccupationJournalist, playwright, writer, political activist
Known forFather of modern political Zionism
Spouse(s)
Julie Naschauer (m. 1889–1904)
Signature
Theodore Herzl signature.svg

Theodor Herzl (əl/;[1] German: [ˈhɛɐtsl̩]; Hebrew: תאודור הֶרְצֵלTe'odor Hertsel; Hungarian: Herzl Tivadar; Hebrew name given at his brit milah Binyamin Ze'ev (Hebrew: בִּנְיָמִין זְאֵב‬),[2] also known in Hebrew as חוֹזֵה הַמְדִינָה‬, Chozeh HaMedinah, lit. "Visionary of the State"; 2 May 1860 – 3 July 1904) was an Austro-Hungarian journalist, playwright, political activist, and writer who was the father of modern political Zionism. Herzl formed the Zionist Organization and promoted Jewish immigration to Palestine in an effort to form a Jewish state. Though he died before its establishment, he is known as the father of the State of Israel.

While Herzl is specifically mentioned in the Israeli Declaration of Independence and is officially referred to as "the spiritual father of the Jewish State",[3] i.e. the visionary who gave a concrete, practicable platform and framework to political Zionism, he was not the first Zionist theoretician or activist; scholars, many of them religious such as rabbis Yehuda Bibas, Zvi Hirsch Kalischer and Judah Alkalai, promoted a range of proto-Zionist ideas before him.[4][5]

Early life

Herzl and his family, c. 1866–1873

Theodor Herzl was born in the Tabakgasse (Dohány utca in Hungarian), a street in the Jewish quarter of Pest (now eastern part of Budapest), Kingdom of Hungary (now Hungary), to a secular Jewish family.[6] His father's family were originally from Zimony (today Zemun, Serbia).[7] He was the second child of Jeanette and Jakob Herzl, who were German-speaking, assimilated Jews. It is believed Herzl was of both Ashkenazi and Sephardic lineage predominately through his paternal line and to a lesser extent through the maternal line.[8] He also claimed to be a direct descendent of the famous Greek Kabbalist Joseph Taitazak.[citation needed]

Jakob Herzl (1836–1902), Herzl's father, was a highly successful businessman. Herzl had one sister, Pauline, a year older than he was, who died suddenly on 7 February 1878, of typhus.[9] 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.[10][11]

As a youth, Herzl aspired to follow in the footsteps of Ferdinand de Lesseps,[12] builder of the Suez Canal, but did not succeed in the sciences and instead developed a growing enthusiasm for poetry and the humanities. This passion later developed into a successful career in journalism and a less-celebrated pursuit of playwrighting.[13] According to Amos Elon,[14] as a young man, Herzl was an ardent Germanophile who saw the Germans as the best Kulturvolk (cultured people) in Central Europe and embraced the German ideal of Bildung, whereby reading great works of literature by Goethe and Shakespeare could allow one to appreciate the beautiful things in life, and thus become a morally better person (the Bildung theory tended to equate beauty with goodness).[15] Through Bildung, Herzl believed that Hungarian Jews such as himself could shake off their "shameful Jewish characteristics" caused by long centuries of impoverishment and oppression, and become civilized Central Europeans, a true Kulturvolk along the German lines.[15]

In 1878, after the death of his sister, Pauline, the family moved to Vienna, Austria-Hungary, and lived in the 9th district, Alsergrund. At the University of Vienna, Herzl studied law. As a young law student, Herzl became a member of the German nationalist Burschenschaft (fraternity) Albia, which had the motto Ehre, Freiheit, Vaterland ("Honor, Freedom, Fatherland"). He later resigned in protest at the organisation's antisemitism.[16]

After a brief legal career in the University of Vienna and Salzburg,[17] he devoted himself to journalism and literature, working as a journalist for a Viennese newspaper and a correspondent for Neue Freie Presse, in Paris, occasionally making special trips to London and Istanbul. He later became literary editor of Neue Freie Presse, and wrote several comedies and dramas for the Viennese stage. His early work did not focus on Jewish life. It was of the feuilleton order, descriptive rather than political.[18]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Theodor Herzl
Alemannisch: Theodor Herzl
العربية: تيودور هرتزل
aragonés: Theodor Herzl
azərbaycanca: Teodor Hertsl
беларуская: Тэадор Герцль
български: Теодор Херцел
Boarisch: Theodor Herzl
bosanski: Theodore Herzl
català: Theodor Herzl
čeština: Theodor Herzl
Deutsch: Theodor Herzl
Ελληνικά: Τέοντορ Χερτσλ
español: Theodor Herzl
Esperanto: Theodor Herzl
euskara: Theodor Herzl
français: Theodor Herzl
հայերեն: Թեոդոր Հերցլ
hrvatski: Theodor Herzl
Bahasa Indonesia: Theodor Herzl
italiano: Theodor Herzl
latviešu: Teodors Hercls
Lingua Franca Nova: Theodor Herzl
Bahasa Melayu: Theodor Herzl
Nederlands: Theodor Herzl
norsk nynorsk: Theodor Herzl
occitan: Theodor Herzl
Piemontèis: Theodor Herzl
português: Theodor Herzl
română: Theodor Herzl
Simple English: Theodor Herzl
slovenčina: Theodor Herzl
српски / srpski: Теодор Херцл
svenska: Theodor Herzl
Taqbaylit: Theodor Herzl
Türkçe: Theodor Herzl
Türkmençe: Teodor Hertzl
українська: Теодор Герцль
Tiếng Việt: Theodor Herzl
Winaray: Theodor Herzl