Theodor Herzl's Character Traits (04:49)
Dr. Daniel Polisar discusses Herzl's ambition, work ethic, manic personality with hyperfocus, and sense of honor. He was not religiously observant but was passionate about Jewish peoplehood.
The Birth of a Zionist Leader (05:08)
An 1895 meeting with Baron Maurice de Hirsch helped Herzl form his Zionist vision. Polisar outlines intellectual, political and diplomatic challenges Herzl faced. In this lecture, he will examine Herzl's life and motivation for pursuing Jewish statehood.
An Overview of Herzl's Life until Age 35: Early Years and School (05:54)
Herzl was born in 1860 in Pest to a wealthy Germanophilic family belonging to the Liberal Reformed Temple. Hear details of his upbringing and education that fostered a writing career. When he was 17, his sister died and the family moved to Vienna.
University Years (03:20)
At his parents' request, Herzl studied law while pursuing a writing career. He joined the Student Cultural Association as a literary leader until it became anti-Semitic. He joined the Albia dueling fraternity, wrote fiction works, and published essays.
Literary Career (03:35)
After graduating in 1884, Herzl traveled throughout Europe. His plays were produced in Vienna and Berlin and a feuilleton published. He married Julie Naschauer; they had three children. In 1891, Herzl was posted to Paris as the Neue Freie Presse correspondent.
Herzl's Key Assets: Jewish Attitudes (10:39)
Polisar dispels the myth that Herzl's Zionism developed as a reaction to the Dreyfus Affair. His writing shows a lifelong interest in the "Jewish question." He resigned from his fraternity to protest Antisemitism during Wagner's funeral and wrote "The New Ghetto" in 1894.
Education and Experiences (03:25)
Polisar discusses Herzl's liberal arts education. He was well traveled and wrote in diverse genres. He gained political knowledge while covering French politics and possessed an ability to create new realities. However, he had little knowledge about the Jewish world.
Character Traits (03:14)
Polisar discusses how Herzl's ambition, confidence, work ethic, manic personality and hyper focus, and sense of honor and justice contributed to his leadership.
Professional Assets (05:09)
Herzl's position as feuilleton editor at the Neue Freie Presse gave him access to key people as he built the Zionist movement. He had financial independence and freedom from family obligations. He also possessed the right physical characteristics for leadership.
Called to Zionism (04:59)
Polisar cites incidents in Herzl's life that led him to build the movement for Jewish statehood. These included a conversation with a sculptor about artists tainted by money, observing Dreyfus' degradation, and his meeting with Baron Hirsch.
Credits: What Made Herzl Unique? (00:08)
Credits: What Made Herzl Unique?
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