March 06, 1899

Beset by an Ally Turned Detractor, Herzl Says It is a “Miracle” He Hasn’t Become an Anti-Semite

Autograph Letter Signed
2 pages
SMC 331
Running a newspaper, founding a state, and not having enough money to do either, Herzl writes here of constant problems: paying for stories, dealing with scoundrels, and absorbing endless criticism...
Herzl has for Wolff a “question difficile”:  how much does she expect to be paid for her story? His Zionist paper, The World, unfortunately has to make calculations. “I certainly do not want to disappoint you, nor can I impose too heavy a burden on the journal,” he explains. “When it comes to sensitive questions among friends, the best thing is to be frank."  And speaking frankly, he complains of “this undignified fellow L” –  seemingly the New York lawyer,  journalist and one-time editor at The World,  Saul Raphael Landau, who had recently, and acrimoniously, broken with Herzl:
First this scoundrel pushed himself forward, and then exploited me, and, when I finally threw him out, he went as my worst enemy to my worst enemies. It is a miracle from God if I don't become an anti-Semite.
In closing, Herzl sends, as always, his most cordial greetings to his champion, “my dear master Arthur” - Arthur Levysohn, the editor-in-chief of the Berliner Tageblatt – of whom he will never be able to think ill “on account of the poisoned arrows which fly in my direction from the B.T."
Herzl was also consumed, as of writing this, with Zionist business: all of this was taking place as he launched, against great odds, the financial organ of the Zionist state, the Jewish Colonial Trust.
Autograph Letter Signed, in German, 2 pages, on the letterhead of the newspaper Die Welt [The World], emblazoned with a Star of David, Vienna, March 6, 1899. To Ulla Wolff.
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