Father of Political Zionism, Visionary of the modern State of Israel.
Herzl was born in Budapest, Hungary to a middle class, sectarian, a-religious Jewish family. He completed a Doctorate in Law from the University of Vienna, but chose to direct his professional energies as a writer and later columnist for the Neue Freie Presse. The newspaper sent him to Paris to cover the trial of Alfred Dreyfus (1895). Presented with irrepressible French anti-Semitism, compounded by revitalized anti-Semitism in Austria and Germany, Herzl was forced to reconsider the "Jewish problem". Over a period of weeks, Herzl wrote Der Juden Staadt, the Jewish State. His solution, to endemic anti-Semitism, was for the Jewish people to return to the historic homeland that they had been nearly completely driven from 1900 years earlier by the Romans – Palestine. Herzl organized the first World Zionist Congress that met in Basel, Switzerland, August, 1897. He obtained political recognition of his Zionist movement by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany (1898). Herzl created The Jewish Colonial Trust (1898) which actively purchased land in Palestine for Jewish resettlement. Herzl failed to create a Jewish homeland by the time of his death in 1904. The political movement he gave impetus continued leading to the creation of the modern state of Israel, May, 1948. He was reburied in Jerusalem, 1949.
Bio by: Jerry klinger