Sir Victor Gollancz, 73, Jewish publisher, philosopher and essayist, died here this morning after a short illness. The Oxford-educated scion of a rabbinical family, who became highly successful as a publisher, was widely known for his individualistic approach to Judaism, which accepted its ethical teachings, while rejecting formal observance.
Although he kept out of most Jewish communal affairs, he was a member of the board of governors of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an active member of its fund-raising organization in Britain. He drew sharp antagonism for advocating forgiveness for Germans and the German nation after World War II.
His position remained unchanged in the face of criticism by Jews, victims of the Nazis and anti-Germans among the general public, but at the end many respected his peaceful motives, which had also led him to advocate nuclear disarmament.
Sir Victor’s publishing career was marked by his publication of a famous series of brilliantly-written works on Socialism, “The Yellow Books,” which attacked the established order and British foreign policy between World Wars One and Two. He was himself the author of noteworthy essays dealing mostly with interfaith relations.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.