Birth of Theodor Herzl, Journalist & Zionist Hot

Birth of Theodor Herzl, Journalist & Zionist

Theodor Herzl
Source: Wikipedia

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Religious History
Jewish History

Theodor Herzl, Austrian journalist and founder of the Zionist movement, is born in Pest, Hungary. Though his family are Ashkenazi Jews, he has little interest as a child in religion or Jewish tradition and his immediate relatives aren't much different.

His environment is one of emancipated, secular Jews who rely more on German culture, philosophy, and traditions than anything uniquely Jewish. Theodor Herzl's own personal attitude towards religion generally will be that it's uncivilized and no longer necessary in the modern, scientific world.

During the incredible anti-Semitic hysteria that grips France during the notorious Dreyfus Affair, Herzl comes to realize that emancipation for Jews will never be enough because Europeans will never truly accept Jews as full civil and social equals — not even secular Jews like himself. This is, according to some, the birth of Zionism: the political and ideological quest for a homeland for Jews because Jews must completely remove themselves from Europe for their own safety.

The earlier rise of the anti-Semitic Viennese mayor Karl Lueger in 1895 may have an even greater impact on Herzl's thinking. People like him cause Theodor Herzl to conclude that anti-Semitism cannot be cured or eliminated.


1949 Theodore Herzl returns to Israel

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