Theodore Herzl Writes a Condolence Letter, Seemingly in Connection With Anti-Semitic Attacks

April 17, 1890

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Theodore Herzl Writes a Condolence Letter, Seemingly in Connection With Anti-Semitic Attacks
Autograph Letter Signed
1 page | SMC 729

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      Background

      This condolence letter, coming so shortly after an anti-Semitic mob attacked Jews in the working class districts of Vienna of Ottakring and Neulerchenfeld on April 8th,1890, seems to suggest a connection. To an Agnes Goldschmidt, Herzl writes:

      Just today it became known to me what a dreadful misfortune has befallen you and your dear children. Now, when this immeasurable pain is still fresh and bleeding, no attempt can be made to express a word of comfort. I beg you, though, dear, most honored, gracious lady, to believe that no one takes a more empathetic interest in your heavy loss than I.

      The violence which had begun in Vienna spread throughout Austria and, by April 19th, newspapers as far away the New York Times were warning of “grave unrest in Europe.” The most painful aspect of the situation, the Times reported, was the insistence of “the rabble” on instigating an “anti-Jewish crusade”…


      Autograph Letter Signed, in German, 1 page, quarto, no place, April 17, 1890. To Agnes Goldschmidt.
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      Frau Kircheu, 17/4/ 890

      Most honored gracious Lady!

      Just today it became known to me what a dreadful misfortune has befallen you and your dear children.  Now, when this immeasurable pain is still fresh and bleeding, no attempt can be made to express a word of comfort.

      I beg you, though, dear, most honored, gracious lady, to believe that no one takes a more empathetic interest in your heavy loss than I.

      Your cordially reverent and sincerely devoted,

      THEODOR HERZL

      [Translated from German]