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Biographical/Historical Information

Born in Budapest in 1860, Theodor Herzl was the founder of modern political Zionism and the World Zionist Organization. He came from a family of German-speaking, assimilated Jews. He moved with his family to Vienna in 1878, where he studied law and eventually became a journalist, writing for the "Neue Freie Presse" in Paris. In 1896, he published "Der Judenstaat," which outlined his proposal for the establishment of a Jewish state. In 1897, he organized the First Zionist Congress in Basel. The rest of his life was devoted to the Zionist movement, meeting with multiple heads of state in the hope of advancing negotiations for the Jewish state’s territory. Herzl died in 1904 in Austria and is buried in Jerusalem.

Hermann (Chaim Aaron ben David) Struck was born in 1876 in Germany. He is best known as a master etcher, lithographer and early Zionist. He studied for five years at the Berlin Academy and in 1908 wrote "Die Kunst des Radierens" (The Art of Etching), while mentoring artists such as Marc Chagall, Max Liebermann and Lesser Ury. His art was included in an exhibition at the Fifth Zionist Congress and he helped establish the religious Zionist movement called Mizrachi. Struck was an Orthodox Jew but believed that culture and religion could thrive cooperatively in the Land of Israel. He emigrated to Haifa where he created an artistic community and participated in the development of the Tel Aviv Museum and the Bezalel art school in Jerusalem. Hermann Struck died in 1944.

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Struck, Hermann: Theodor Herzl / Hermann Struck Fecit, Leo Baeck Institute, 81.220a.