The Israeli government will disinter the bodies of two children of Theodore Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, and fly them to Israel to be buried near their father, in keeping with his century-old will, the government announced Sunday.
Herzl, who died in 1904 at age 44, was buried in Vienna, Austria, but specified in his will that he wanted his body, and those of his close relatives, moved to the Jewish state he hoped would one day be created.
In 1949, a year after Israel's founding, Herzl's body was brought to Jerusalem and buried in the national cemetery that bears his name. But his children remained buried in Europe.
The bodies of his daughter Pauline and his son, Hans, will be disinterred from their graves in Bordeaux, France, on Tuesday and flown to Israel, according to the Jewish Agency, a quasi-governmental body that deals with Israel's ties with the Jewish Diaspora.
Their bodies, which will be accompanied by representatives of Israel's prime minister ands chief rabbis, are to be reburied Wednesday at a state ceremony on Mt. Herzl, according to the Jewish Agency.
All three of Herzl's children died tragically. Pauline suffered from mental illness and died in 1930, apparently of a drug overdose. Hans committed suicide when he learned of her death. Herzl's youngest daughter, Trude, died in a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust, and her body has never been found.