Theodor Herzl (in Hungarian: Herzl Tivadar, in Hebrew: בנימין זאב הרצל) was a Hungarian-Austrian playwright and journalist, but is best known for substantiating the Zionist movement, and is considered today the maker of the Jewish homeland in Israel. Born in Pest (today Budapest) in 1860, he is the author of the epoch-making book Der Judenstaat (Versuch einer modernen Lösung der Judenfrage) (in English: The Jewish State: Proposal of a Modern Solution for the Jewish Question), published in 1896 and considered the starting point of the modern movement of creating a Jewish state. Herzl strongly believed that the answer to the ever-growing anti-Semitism is the creation of a Jewish state, preferably in Palestine, but also envisaging different other options, among which Argentina. His writings gave a lot of impetus to the Zionist movement, which was aimed at the foundation of a Jewish homeland, but is now associated with pro-Israeli movements worldwide. Herzl died in 1904, not getting to see the day of Israeli independence in 1948; but is mentioned by name in the Israeli Declaration of Independence as the “spiritual father of the Jewish state”.
Given Herzl’s importance for the foundation of Israel, he is commemorated often on Israeli stamps. Some other countries as well, chose to honor the heritage of Theodor Herzl on their stamps.
Austria, together with Hungary and Israel issued in 2004 – the year of Herzl’s death centennial, issued stamps in a three-party joint issue. The stamps are identical in design and show an effigy of Theodor Herzl accompanied by the title of his best-known work, The Jewish State in German, Hungarian, Hebrew and English. Pictured above the Austrian stamp of the joint issue.Continue reading “Theodor Herzl on Stamps”