Russia and the Jews

London Daily News – Wednesday 26th August 1903

I have a suspicion that Zionism will feature strongly in this exploration of the Holocaust story. Everything I’ve seen and read so far brings me to believe that these two things are intrinsically entwined. I suspect too that Dr Herzl will be making a few appearances in this blog.

Here is a newspaper article including some of the key words, Jewish Question, Palestine


Full text reads.



 (From Our Special Correspondent.)

 BASEL, Tuesday,

Dr. Herzl has received the following letter from M. de Plehve, the Russian Minister the Interior. It will be noted that the Russian Government tolerates Zionism only on the condition bluntly stated by M. Plehve that it will aid it in getting rid of the Jews. M. Plehve writes follows:

 St. Petersburg, 12th August.

 Sir,—You expressed a desire preserve memorandum of our interview. I agree willingly to this wish, in order to set aside everything which might, give rise exaggerated hopes or disquieting doubts. I have occasion to inform you of the point view from which the Russian Government actually regards Zionism. The Government, in fact, might very easily be obliged to change its policy of toleration view measures dictated by the national safety. As long Zionism consisted in wishing to create independent State Palestine, and promised to organize the emigration from Russia of certain number of its Jewish subjects, the Russian Government was perfectly well able to favourable, but from the moment when this principal aim Zionism is found to abandoned in order to replaced by simple propaganda of national Jewish concentration Russia, it is natural that the Government cannot tolerate this new departure Zionism. only effect would to create groups of individuals, perfectly strange and even hostile to the patriotic sentiments which are the power every State.         That is why Zionism cannot tolerated except on condition that it returns its former plan of action. It could in that case count on moral and material support when certain its practical measures should cause a diminution in the Jewish population Russia. This support might consist protecting the agents the Zionists near the Ottoman Government, helping the action of emigration societies, and even in supplementing the needs these societies evidently outside the means the State, means of contributions levied on the Jews. I consider it necessary to add that the Russian Government, obliged conform in its mode of action in the Jewish question the interests of the State, has nevertheless never departed from the great principles of morality and humanity. Quite recently it has enlarged the rights domicile within the borders of the localities destined for the Jewish population, and nothing prevents it hoping that the carrying out these measures will serve to ameliorate the conditions of living of the Russian Jews, especially if emigration diminishes their number.—Yours, etc..


BASEL, August 25,

 At this morning’s sitting of the Zionist Congress the delegates’ credentials were examined and confirmed. Of the thousand delegates elected to attend the Congress more than 600 have arrived. . The latter and greater part of the sitting was taken up with the reading the report of Mr. Israel Zangwill, of London, Zionism and Jewish charitable institutions, of which a glowing picture was given. The speaker went on to show that the majority of Jewish philanthropic institutions would become useless if the Jews returned to Palestine or to any other country that should be their own, but he recognised that Zionism was the only solution the political problem of Jewish settlement. At this afternoon’s sitting there was a general debate on the British East African colonization scheme, which has unexpectedly become the chief subject discussion of this year’s Congress. Seventy-six delegates have entered their names to speak upon it, and each is allowed a time limit of ten minutes. The Russian delegates urge the rejection of the scheme forthwith, while the German, English, and Italian delegates propose that an investigation committee, consisting of twenty-0ne members, should be appointed. Mr. Salzberger, of Philadelphia, has recommended that the scheme should be energetically followed up and referred to the tendency in England and the United States to check Jewish immigration. Dr. Herzl, the President of the Congress, has not yet made any speech either in favour of or against the colonization scheme, but it is understood that he is in favour the scheme being adopted, and his views will perhaps exercise decisive influence on the final decision. The debate is not expected finished today.—Reuter.


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