Zion Receives Pinsker Remains Amidst Impressive Ceremonies
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Zion Receives Pinsker Remains Amidst Impressive Ceremonies

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Impressive funeral ceremonies were held here today over the remains of Dr. Leo Pinsker, noted Jewish writer, author of “Auto-emancipation,” and hailed as the direct forerunner of Dr. Theodor Herzl, founder of modern Zionism.

After the remains had been carried in a huge procession through the principal streets of Tel Aviv, including Pinsker Street, recently named for him, the funeral cortege proceeded to Jerusalem, to a tomb on the grounds of the Hebrew University, where final interment took place.

Dr. Pinsker died in Odessa, Russia, in 1891, and was buried in a Jewish cemetery. His remains were recently brought from Odessa to Tel Aviv, where plans were made for a national Jewish funeral.

All business in Tel Aviv was at a standstill during the funeral. The procession followed a route which led through the main streets of this all-Jewish city, and wound up at the city hall, where vice-mayor Israel Rokeach delivered an eulogy for Dr. Pinsker.


The procession was headed by children from the upper grades of Tel Aviv schools. An honor guard was furnished by the Boy Scouts, Jewish policemen, representatives of Jewish national institutions, the municipality of Tel Aviv and delegations from all Jewish colonies.

From Tel Aviv the funeral cortege wound to Jerusalem, where a huge crowd waited the procession in the courtyard of the Jewish Agency building, headed by members of the Jewish Agency and the Vaad Leumi, the Jewish National Council of Palestine. Following a short halt, the remains were taken to the Hebrew University grounds, where the life and writings of Dr. Pinsker were extolled by Menachem Mendel Ussishkin, veteran Zionists’ leader, and Dr. Jehuda Leib Magnes, Chancellor of the Hebrew University.


Dr. Pinsker was born in Tomaschow, Poland, in 1821, son of the noted Orientalist, Simcha Pinsker. He studied medicine, but after his graduation turned to journalism. A convinced assimilationist, he became one of the editors of the first Jewish weekly to be printed in Russian, Rasswjet. In his articles Dr. Pinsher urged the Russian Jewish masses to learn Russian and educate their children in Russian schools.

By 1880, however, he became convinced he had been on the wrong track and published his famous work, “Auto-emancipation,” in which he asserted that there would be no solution for the Jewish problem until the Jews were a territorially independent nation. As a scientist Dr. Pinsker regarded anti-Semtism as pathological in nature and his brochure on the subject, “Judophobia,” attracted wide interest.

He became an active leader of the Choveve Zion, pioneer Zionist organization in Russia and was very active in the work of the group until his death in 1891.

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