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Alleged 1897 quote from Theodore Herzl predicting The First World War

Posted: 1 year 6 months ago (Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:28 pm)
by Lamprecht
The following quote is attributed to the "Father of Zionism" Theodor Herzl, supposedly in conversation with Litman Rosenthal, a delegate at the First Zionist Congress in 1897, Basel Switzerland. Herzl complained that his fellow Jews were having a hard time persuading the Turks (Ottoman Empire, at the time) to give Palestine to the Jews, and that Jewish leaders had plans to get around the Turks.

The quote is reproduced below:
"It may be that Turkey will refuse or be unable to understand us. This will not discourage us. We will seek other means to accomplish our end. The Orient question is now the question of the day. Sooner or later it will bring about a conflict among the nations. A European war is imminent ...The great European War must come. With my watch in hand do I await this terrible moment. After the great European war is ended the Peace Conference will assemble. We must be ready for that time. We will assuredly be called to this great conference of the nations and we must prove to them the urgent importance of a Zionist solution to the Jewish Question. We must prove to them that the problem of the Orient and Palestine is one with the problem of the Jews - both must be solved together. We must prove to them that the Jewish problem is a world problem and that a world problem must be solved by the world. And the solution must be the return of Palestine to the Jewish people."

The primary source is claimed to be from "My Siberian Diary" by Litman Rosenthal, which seems to be impossible to locate. It is also claimed that Rosenthal wrote the quote in his diary entry of 15 December 1914, which was after the war had started, claiming he recalled the conversation then. So it's not very definitive.

The following sources have used this quote as well:

- American Messianic Fellowship (1919) A.M.F. Monthly, Volumes 28-30. p. 128 ... &q&f=false

- American Jewish News, 7 March 1919. or PDF: ... 190919.pdf