Postcards from Theodor Herzl digitized by National Library of Israel

Herzl sent postcards to his daughter while travelling to the Middle East, the only time he ever visited the land of Israel.

April 6, 2019 06:33
Theodor Herzl: ‘It felt as if the great dream of our nation, of 2,000 years.'

Theodor Herzl: ‘It felt as if the great dream of our nation, of 2,000 years.'. (photo credit: GPO)


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In 1898, Theodor Herzl made what would be his only trip to the Middle East, during which he visited Turkey and the land of Israel. 

Throughout the trip he mailed postcards to his eight year old daughter Paulina, who was in Vienna at the time.
The National Library of Israel has recently digitized a collection of these postcards; they can now be viewed online here

The messages on the postcards contain short but heartfelt expressions of love for his daughter. 

On one dated October 15, 1898, Herzl wrote "Tender kisses to my delicate daughter Paulina from her faithful Papa." That particular postcard was sent from Constantinople, which would soon be renamed Istanbul.

"Herzl is remarkable in that his greatness has almost universally been recognized across the Zionist spectrum," commented Dr. Hezi Amiur, curator of the National Library's Israel Collection. "There are few if any other figures in Zionist or Israeli history for which this can be said."

The postcards are from the Abraham Schwadron Collection at the National Library. 

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