Jerusalem (Jun. 17)
Jews throughout the world were profoundly shocked today as news of the murder of Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff, thirty-five-year-old head of the political department and member of the Palestine Executive of the Jewish Agency for Palestine in Tel-Aviv last night, became generally known. Messages of condolences were being received here from Jews and non-Jews in all parts of the world, describing the death of the brilliant young Zionist labor leader as an irreparable loss to the movement to establish a Jewish national home in Palestine and the greatest tragedy that has befallen this country since the Arab-Jewish disturbances in 1929.
Dr. Arlosoroff was shot and killed by two unknown assailants Friday night as he was walking with his wife near the Moslem cemetery. They had left the Kaetedan, a pension on Yarkon Street, where they had been spending the week-end following Dr. Arlosoroff’s return from Europe and were near the old cemetery when two strangers asked Dr. Arlosoroff, in Hebrew, what time it was. He replied it was eleven o’clock.
Thereupon, two shots were fired from a revolver, and Arlosoroff fell. The assassins escaped. Two Jewish youths, some distance away, heard Mrs. Arlosoroff’s cries and rushed to the scene. They took the wounded man to the Hadassah hospital where he died while surgeons were preparing to operate in a desperate attempt to save his life.
WERE BEING FOLLOWED
Mrs. Arlosoroff, five minutes be fore the shooting took place, had warned her husband that they were being followed but he ignored the warning, declaring he did not care.
Government police officials announced that they had begun an intensive investigation. A reward of fifteen hundred pounds, one thousand of which was contributed by the Jewish Agency, was offered for the capture of the murderers.
The Acting Chief Secretary of the Palestine Government, receiving the press this morning, expressed his abhorrence at the “ghastly crime”, and said no arrests had yet been made in the case. Earlier reports were to the effect that several men had been taken into custody by the police but that their nationalities or names had not been disclosed.
The High Commissioner, Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope, received Dr. Maurice B. Hexter, American member of the Palestine Executive of the Jewish Agency, this afternoon and expressed his deep sorrow at Dr. Arlosoroff’s death.
FUNERAL THIS MORNING
He instructed all members of the Government executive council and the heads of all departments to attend the funeral which will be held tomorrow at eleven o’clock.
A general cessation of all Jewish work and the closing of schools as a mark of respect to the late Jewish leader was proclaimed by the funeral committee. Chaim Nachman Bialik, Hebrew poet; M. M. Ussishkin, president of the Keren Kayemeth (Jewish National Fund); M. Dizengoff, mayor of Tel Aviv, and a representative of Palestine labor will speak at the funeral services.
Dr. Arlosoroff had just returned from Berlin and London where he had formulated two comprehensive plans for dealing with the German Jewish situation by settlement of the German Jews in Palestine and had conferred with the British Colonial Office regarding Government approval of his projects.
Victor Chaim Arlosoroff was born in Romny, in the Ukraine, in 1899. He lived in Germany from 1905 until 1924, when he took up permanent residence in Palestine. Known as one of the most brilliant of the younger Zionist leaders, he first leaped into world prominence when he took the floor in the thirteenth Zionist Congress in 1923 and criticized the Zionist financial and economic policies, proposing a comprehensive plan for the financing of the reconstruction of Palestine by means of an international loan. His plan was worked out in all details and included details for guaranteeing repayment and interest payments on the loan.
He was one of the founders and chief theoreticians of the Histadruth, Zionist labor faction, which united the Hapoel Hazair and the Poale Zion, and was the author of numerous pamphlets and articles expounding his views. He recently proposed a plan for a method to repay the German Reich for allowing German Jews to export their capital to Palestine and a scheme for their settlement there.
Only thirty-five years old at the time of his death, he was known to Zionists throughout the world as one of the ablest diplomats and orators enlisted in the movement to rebuild Palestine as a Jewish National Home. He was an intimate and trusted adviser of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, former president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and of the World Zionist Organization, and was generally considered as Dr. Weizmann’s successor.
Dr. Arlosoroff was educated in German schools and received the degree of doctor of philosophy from the University of Berlin. He served in the German army during the War. He became active in the German Poale Hazair in 1918 and was the leader of the German delegation to the world conference of that organization in Prague in 1919. He was a member of the world executive of the Poale Hazair in 1920 in charge of it’s Berlin bureau. He became the leader of the Palestinian Histadruth in 1923.
He was elected to membership on the Actions Committee of the World Zionist Organization in 1920 and in 1926 visited this country with the Weizmann delegation. He was one of the three representatives of the Vaad Leumi (Jewish National Council) to the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations in 1928, presenting the views of the Palestine Yishub. At the time of his death he was a member of the Palestine Executive of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and of the National Council of the Vaad Leumi.
Dr. Arlosoroff is survived by his wife, who witnessed his assassination, and two children, a girl, aged ten, and a boy, three years old.