Austria: Theodor Herzl

Theodor Herzl was born in Budapest (Hungary) on May 2, 1860, and was a writer, journalist and essayist. He studied law in Vienna, acquiring his doctorate in 1884, although his actual ambition was to be a writer. When the Viennese "Neue Freie Presse" offered him the post of Paris correspondent, he seized the opportunity and moved to France in 1891 to work as a journalist. In Paris, his activity involved observing the Dreyfuss affair and the resulting antisemitic riots. It was under the influence of these events that he began to write his 86-page book "The Jewish State - An Attempt at a Modern Solution to the Jewish Question". In 1896, he was appointed editor of the famous Neue Freie Presse Review in Vienna, and in the same year published his book in an edition of only 3000 copies. This book made the journalist Herzl the most famous Zionist, and the book itself became the prelude to the state of Israel. In 1897, together with O. Marmorek and N. Nordau, he initiated the first Zionist World Congress in Basle with participants from 16 countries, at which he was elected the first President of the World Zionist Organisation. The Viennese monthly journal "Die Welt" was the central publication of the new movement. Herzl negotiated with the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Turkish Sultan, England and Russia, but without success.

Theodor Herzl himself never saw the realisation of his dream, dying of exhaustion on July 3, 1904 in Edlach (Lower Austria). His corpse was transferred to Israel in 1949, and is now buried west of Jerusalem on a mountain named after him.

The stamp is issued jointly with the Hungarian and Israeli post offices.

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