Bambi, the Zionist

Felix Salten, born Siegmund Salzmann, the man who gave the world (and Disney) Bambi was not only a Jew, but a Zionist.

I had no idea until today, when I read it on the excellent Jewish travel and miscellany blog kept by my first boss in journalism, Esther Hecht:

In 1925 Salten wrote a travel diary of his visit to Palestine in which he commented, “As a Jew I would be embarrassed to the depths of my soul if I did not help and contribute to the best of my ability to the building of Palestine.”

I’d call this a scoop, but apparently it’s not exactly new — it’s become a feature of the academic lecture circuit.

You know, love, loss and the agonies of assuming responsibility for oneself — the tale has a 20th century Zionist resonance.

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