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December 09, 1960 - Image 56

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1960-12-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Dr. Yechiel Tschlenow—Zionist Leader who
Pioneered for Palestine with Ussiehkin

I spected physician in Moscow,
After the establishment of the was among the first to find the
State of Israel, -first, the re-1 courage to fight for Zion. He
mains of Theodor Herzl, then gathered young collaborators
those of David Wolffsohn, around him. He established con-
Baron Edmond de Rothschild, tact with the Hovevei Zion lead-
Zvi Perez Chajes and others ers in Western Europe, and,
were taken to Israel for re- when visiting Vienna, met a few
burial. Now, according to a members of the first Zionist
decision of the Zionist Organi- student group, "Kadimah,".and
zation, the remains of Yechiel. discussed with them the Pales-
Tschlenow, too, are to be trans- tine problem. There he read the
ferred from London to Tel Aviv. pamphlet "The Jewish State"
Yechiel Tschlenow and Men- by Theodor Herzl.
The ' majority of Hovevei
ahem Ussischkin were the Si-
amese twins of Russian Zion- Zionists in Berlin, London
ism. They worked together, sup- and "Moscow were opposed to
ported the Hovevei Zion move- Herzl and his political Zion-
ment, campaigned for a Jewish ism. Dr. M. T. Schnirer of
Palestine, fought for practical' the "Kadimah" visited Mos-
Zionism and were as one in cow before the First 'Zionist
their opposition, first, against Congress (1897), but in spite
Herzl, later against Wolffsohn. of his efforts, Tschlenow re-
Nevertheless, they were dif- fused to attend the Congress
ferent in character. Tschlenow, in Basle. Kiev, Kharkov, St.
charming and courteous, had a Petersburg and Odessa were
rented at Basle, but not
sense of humor, was careful in
his choice of words and occa- Moscow. After the Congress
sionally willing to compromise. the picture changed. The re-
Not so Ussischkin. Always ports from Basle gave rise to
serious and obstinate, he had _ great enthusiasm, and Herzl's
and Nordau's speeches
an aggressive appearance, was arounsed new hopes. At last
incapable of saying "yes," and
his silence was ominous. But Tschlenow, too, joined in with
in the struggle for the leader- all his energies and his influ-
ence. From-1898 onwards this
ship in Zionism they were ri- voice
was heard at every Zion-
vals. David Wolffsohn, Herzl's
He dealt with
successor, once said: "When
Tschlenow was elected, Ussisch- all questions relating to or-
kin had to come in too, and ganization, to the Jewish
when Ussischkin was elected, Colonial Bank, the Jewish
Fund, practical work
Tschlenow also insisted on be- National
and culture. Emotionally he
ing a candidate."
belonged to the opposition
Yechiel Tschlenow, born
within the Zionist Organiza-

Sept. 29, 1863, in Krement-
schug, was the son of a strictly
orthodox family and he had
great difficulty in persuading
his parents to send him to
Russian schools. He moved to
Moscow and was eager to
study. There he was at-
tracted by Socialism and the
way to assimilation seemed to
lie before him. But he was
deeply stirred by the Russian
pogroms and his love for Zion
was aroused by the misery in
which the Jews lived. A few
students, Tschlenow and
Ussischkin among them,
founded a students' associa-
tion, "B'nai Zion;" of which
Tschlenow became the chair-
man. Soon afterwards he be-
came the secretary of the
Moscow Hovevei Zion.

The Hovevei Zion was never
a mass movement, not even in
Russia. Of more than five mil-
lion Jews in Russia, only a
fraction had heard the call of
Leon Pinsker, the author of
"Auto-emancipation," to work
for Jewish colonization. The
initial steps were the most dif-
Tschlenow, by then a re-

tion, but his criticism was not
without words of praise and

Theodor Herzl was deeply im-
pressed with the Russian Zion-
ists, and their leaders, Prof.
Max Mandelstamm and Dr. V.
Katzenelson, were among his
best friends. They also were
his advisers and he consulted
them on confidential matters,
which increased Ussischkin's
mistrust of Herzl. Tschlenow,
too, was noticeably displeased,
though to a lesser degree.
Suddenly a new crisis arose
in Zionism. At the Sixth Zion-
ist Congress in Basle (1903)
Herzl reported that England
proposed Uganda for Jewish
colonization. "True, this is not
Zion, and never will be," Herzl
added. When Tschlenow heard
for the first time of the offer
made by the British Minister
for Colonial Affairs, Joseph
Chamberlain, he was enthusi-
astic. He stood up and solemnly
recited "Shehecheyonu." But
later, when Herzl informed the
delegates about Uganda, a
storm broke out at the Con-
gress. Tschlenow changed and
in his speech described his in-

Marion Anderson Gets Citation

struggle._ He was now
against East Africa (Uganda),
and considered the proposal to
be a dangerous illusion. He _de-
clared that 'the Jews would
have to wait patiently until the
Basle Program could be imple-
mented. His speech closed with
an appeal to Herzl: "Tell Eng-
land that our home is in Zion;
the great British people will un-
derstand our patriotism and not
refuse their help in the achieve-
ment of our aims."


- When the results of the vote
on the dispatch of an expe-
dition to East Africa to in-
vestigate the possibilities of
colonization became known
(295 against 177), Tschlenow
rose and left the hall in pro-
test. He was followed by the
"No-sayers." This demonstra-
tive action established Tsch
lenow as the leader of the
opposition. Herzl attended a,
meeting of the "No-sayers"
and spoke to them of the
sanctity of the Basle Pro-
gram, whereupon Tschlenow
returned, and the "Nosayers"
with him.

Ussischkin did not attend the
Sixth Zionist Congress. A few
months later there was a meet-
ing of the leading members of
the "No-sayers" or "Zione-Zion"
in Kharkov. It was decided to
send a delegation to Vienna, to
present Herzl with an "utima-
turn," although he had contin-
ued his work for Palestine with-
out interruption. Ussischkin, the
moving force against East Af-
rica, in his rebellion, would
have liked to topple the very
pillars of the Zionist Organiza-
tion. Tschlenow, more moderate
and thoughtful, tried to find a
solution within the framework
of Zionist discipline. But there
was great indignation against
the rebels, particularly against
Ussischkin—and also to some
extent against Tschlenow—in
the Zionist world. In this con-
flict, Herzl emerged the victor—
with Tschlenow's help. The de--
cisions of the Sixth Congress
were adhered to, but it became
clear that the next Congress
would refuse to accept Uganda
for Jewish colonization.
After Herzl's death, David
Wolffsohn was elected presi-
dent of the Zionist Organiza-
tion. Tschlenow, although in
favor of political work, pressed
for more practical activities. He
was convinced that Britain
would help the Zionists to col-
onize Palestine and urged the
Jewish National Fund to begin
with the purchase of land. He
had visited Palestine' twice and
gradually discarded the views
of Ahad Ha-am, who had gone
so far as to say that the Jews
would never bec-ome agricul-
tural workers in Palestine. "Our
aim, our plans, are different,"
Tschlenow declared in his pam-
phlet "Five Years of Work in
Palestine," appealing to .Ahad
Ha-am not to undermine the
work of the Zionists.
Tschlenow was also a fighter
for equal rights for the Jews
and an adherent of "Landespoli-
tik." Together with Yizhak
Gruenbaum, Leo Motzkin and
Vladimir Jabotinsky, he played
an important role at the Hel-
singfors Conference (1906).

The eleventh Zionist Con-
gress in Vienna (1913)
elected Yechiel Tschlenow a
member of the Zionist Execu-
tive, with'Prof. Otto Warburg
as president. Here, he had
his last contest with David
Wolffsohn. Tschlenow wanted
to take over control of Zion-
ists funds, but Wolffsohn was
adamant and T s c h l e n o.w
bowed- to his decision.

Marian Anderson, center, shown receiving "Woman of the
Year" citation of National Women's Division, American Friends
of Hebrew University, at the organization's 8th Annual Lunch-
eon from Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and Mrs, Louis S.
Gimbel, Jr., president. The women's group will name a hall
in Hebrew University's new library in Jerusalem in Miss
Anderson's honor.

Dr. Tschlenow, as a member
of the board of the Haifa Tech-
nicum, was involved in the
struggle over the language of
instruction. The Hebrew lang-
uage emerged triumphant and
with the help of the Zionist

Organization it became the of-
ficial language in schools all
over the country.
Tschlenow, who had moved
from Moscow to Berlin, became
the driving force behind the
new executive. He seemed des-
tined to become the next presi-
dent of the Z.O.
During the First World War
the Zionist headquarters were
moved from Berlin to Copen-
hagen. Tschlenow and the other
members of the executive were
in favor of strict neutrality and
this enabled the Z.O. to con-
tinue its activities in almost
every country. Nahum Sokolow,
as a member of the Zionist
Executive, came to London
first, to be followed by -Tschle-
now and here, together with
Chaim Weizmann and the lead-
ers of the English Zionist Fed-
eration, they undertook politi-
cal work.
In 1915, Dr. Tschlenow re-
turned to Russia where he held
conferences, addressed meet-
ings and made contact with
the Russian government. Tens
of thousands came to hear him
speak and it was hoped that
Russia would at last grant the
Jews equality of citizenship.
Both Tschlenow and Ussisch-
kin cpntinued to cling stub-
bornly to neutrality. Even in
May, 1917, Tschlenow declared
at the Zionist conference in
Petrograd that to break away
from neutrality would be an
act of disloyalty to Turkey and
other countries. On these
grounds, too, he was against
the activities of Vladimir Jabo-
tinsky and the formation of the
Jewish Legion.

Is Sign of Faith


(Copyright, 1960, Jewish Telegraphic
Agency, Inc.)

Some people leave some food
on their plate - instead of finish-
ing it off completely.
The Talmud (Baba Bathra
60b) explains that such prac-
tices as leaving something on
one's plate, not finishing the
Plaster of one's house, and leav-
ing certain ornaments unfin-
ished, are all a means of re-

membering the destruction of
the Temple.
Jewish tradition ruled against
the extremists who would fore-
go the pleasure Of meat and
wine, etc. On the other hand it
had no use for those who were
entirely calloused and oblivious
to our national castastrophe. A
golden mean was reached
whereby a Jew was allOwed to
have a new home, consume meat
and wine, wear ornaments, etc.
The only thing he was asked
to do was to make himself a
sign of incompleteness, such as
not finishing his food, his home
or his ornaments completely, to
demonstrate that his happiness
and 'satisfaction were incom-
plete because of the destruction

of his spiritual home, and the
dispersion of his people.

`Family!' Novel
by Fannie Hurst

A new novel by Fanny Hurst,
entitled "Family!", just pub-
lished by Doubleday, marks the-
continuation of an uninter-
rupted literary career that has
elevated Miss Hurst- to high
ranks in literature.
"Family!" is just what the
Although tired and ill he ,title implies. It deals with a
returned to London again family, with
where he was an active wit- i t s conflicts
ness of the great achievement with a number
—the Balfour Declaration. He of its m e m -
savored to the full this signifi- bers who dif-
cant period in Jewish life and fered greatly
saw in the Balfour Declara- but whose
tion the fulfillment of his 34 make-up is al-
years of work and the guaran- most like a
tee that it would eventually pattern in dif-
lead to the Jewish State. And ferences
in the proclamation to the among so
Jewish people, signed by many Ameri- Fannie Hurst
Sokolow, Tschlenow a n d cans whose life this story por7
Weizmann, two historical trays.
dates were stressed: the 29th
There is even the ' Jewish
of August, 1897, ' when the angle, that of the able pianist,
Zionist Organization was Myra GoldonSky, who marries
founded at the First Zionist into the Sprague family. The
Congress, and the 2nd of No- Goldonsky family is injected
vember,' 1917—Balfour Dec- into the story and there is a
laration day.
brief account of the Goldonskys
When Tschlenow died, Feb. and their friends. The entire
1, 1918, in London, the Jewish Jewish episode could be inter-
world mourned him. In the preted as incidental to the
name of the Zionists, Nahum story, although there emerges
Sokolow promised that his body evidence of prejudice in the
would be taken to Israel.
hearts of some of the characters
Sokolow's remains were re- in "Family!"
Miss Hurst's new novel_ is
interred in Israel in 1956, 20
years after his death, and now, worthy of the tradition she has
at last, the body of Dr. Yechiel established for good story-tell-
Tschlenow too will be reburied ing and fine writing. "Family!"


in Tel Aviv. enhances her creative efforts.

Knesset Speaker Discusses ORT

The Speaker . of Israel's Knesset, Mr. Kadish Lux, is shown
(right) with an ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation Through
Training) student, who takes time out to discuss the work
he is doing. Visiting the Syngalowski Vocational Center near
Tel Aviv, built by Women's American ORT, Lux declared that

"ORT projects make an important contribution to the develop-
ment of the individual. In this development lies the key to the
advancement of Israel'i economy."


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