centenary of Herzl’s birth “Herzl’s life in pictures” photo album 1960


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A satchel of photos on Herzl’s life is published by the Joint committee of the Israeli government and the management of the Zionist Organization to mark the centenary of Herzl’s birth (1860-1960) Jerusalem 1960 The Jewish Agency for Israel – 40 pages size 30×22 cm From as pictured. Cover detached. Out of 40 pages, page #4 is missing on which Herzl is recorded as a student.

Photo album printed in JERUSALEM 1960


Biography of Herzl

“If you will it, it is no fairy-tale.
…But if you do not will it, it is and will remain a fairy-tale, this story that I have told you…All the activity of mankind was a dream once – and will again be a dream”. (Herzl, Theodor, Altneuland (Hebrew), Haifa, 1961 p.226)
Herzl was born in 1860 in Budapest, Hungary. In 1878 he moved with his family to Vienna, where he completed his law studies. After a year of practicing law he started writing. He published stories and plays, some of which were performed in Austria and in Germany.
In 1881 Herzl started to serve as the Paris correspondent of the Viennese Neue Freie Presse. When anti-Semitism in France mounted, his interest in the Jewish question increased. His coverage of the Dreifuss Affair in the years 1894-95 led him to the conclusion that there was only one solution to the Jewish problem – the departure of the Jews from their countries of residence, and their concentration in a territory of their own, in which they could maintain sovereign independence.
“The plan is conditioned on the motivation. And what is the motivation? The distress of the Jews.” (Herzl, Theodor, The Jewish State (Hebrew), Jerusalem, 1996 p.2)
In the years 1896-98 Herzl tried to obtain the support of wealthy Jews – Baron Morris Hirsch and Baron Edmond de Rothschild – for the establishment of a Jewish State. He also tried to receive a concession from the Ottoman Empire for Jewish settlement in Eretz Yisrael, and for this purpose met with the Sultan and the Grand Vizier.In 1898 Herzl met the German Kaiser in Jerusalem and proposed to him that the Jews should undertake to rehabilitate the finances of the Ottoman Empire in return for the Sultan foregoing his rule over Eretz Yisrael, and for his agreement to establish an independent Jewish State. His efforts did not bear fruit.
The Zionist Movement preceded Herzl, who was not aware of the activity of the “Hovevei Zion” Associations that had been established in Russia at the end of the 19th Century, advocating immigration to Eretz Yisrael and settlement in it.
Most of the West European Jews, and even some of the Hovevei Zion in the East and the West, rejected Herzl’s plan that appeared to them far-reaching. However, many Hovevei Zion, and the Zionist students in Austria and other states, received his ideas with enthusiasm.
“Placing the Jews under one hat will be terribly oppressive labor, even though each one of them has a head, or maybe specifically because of that.” (Herzl, Theodor, Diaries 1895-1904 (Hebrew, Volume A), Jerusalem 1997-2001, p. 55)
As a result of his contacts with Hovevei Zion, especially in Eastern Europe, Herzl realized that only in Eretz Yisrael – and not in Argentina or any other country – would the Jews wish to establish their state.
“The Land of Israel is our unforgettable historic home. Its very name would attract our people with a great and potent force”. (Herzl, Theodor, The Jewish State (Hebrew), Jerusalem, 1996 p.27)
In August 1897 Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress – the National Assembly of the Jewish People seeking its renaissance – in Basle. At this Congress the Basle program, according to which the goal of Zionism was “to establish a National Home for the Jewish People in Eretz Yisrael, that will be secured on the basis of the Law of Nations”, was approved, and the Zionist Organization was established. Herzl chaired the debates in the Congress, and was elected President of the Zionist Organization. He served in this position until his death.
“In Basle I established the Jewish State. If I were to say it publicly today, the response would be laughter from all directions. Perhaps in another five years, 50 years at the most, everyone will recognize it”. (Herzl, Theodor, Diaries 1895-1904 (Hebrew, Volume A), Jerusalem 1997-2001, p. 482)
Herzl chose to hold the Congress in the municipal casino building; On the gate of the building there was a sign saying: “Congress of Zionists”, and a Star of David was drawn above.
In the years 1897-1901 Herzl acted to establish institutions that would assist in the realization of the Zionist program. At his initiative the Jewish Colonial Trust and the Jewish National Fund were established.
“We have no flag. We need one. If one wishes to lead many people, one must raise a banner above their heads”. (Herzl, Theodor, The Jewish State (Hebrew), Jerusalem, 1996 p.78)
In August 1903, at the Zionist Congress that convened in Basle, Herzl presented the Uganda Plan. He viewed Uganda as a temporary haven for Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe, especially after the Kishinev pogrom. The plan caused unrest and vigorous opposition at the Congress. However, Herzl managed to prevent a split in the movement, and at the closing sitting of the Congress declared in Hebrew: “Im eshkacheh Yerushalayim, tishckah yemini“- If I forget you, O Jerusalsem, may my right hand forget its cunning.Herzl passed away in 1904 in Austria. In August 1949 his remains were moved to Jerusalem and were buried in Mount Herzl, on the basis of a law passed for this purpose.

In 2004 the “Binyamin Ze’ev Herzl (Marking his memory and achievements) Law” was passed by the Knesset. According to article 1 of this law its goals are “to bequeath for generations the vision, heritage and achievements of Binyamin Ze`ev Herzl, to mark his memory and lead to the education of future generations and the formulation of the State of Israel, its institutions, goals and image, in accordance with his Zionist vision”. Article 10(a) in the law lays down that “Once a year, on 10 Iyar – the birthday of Binyamin Ze’ev Herzl – Herzl Day will be celebrated”.


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