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Otto Warburg, German Zionist Leader, Dies at 78

January 12, 1938
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Prof. Otto Warburg, former president of the World Zionist Organization and a noted botanist, died in Berlin yesterday at the age of 78 after a brief illness, according to word received here today.

A memorial meeting was held here tonight at which Prof. Selig Brodetsky paid tribute to Dr. Warburg in the name of the World Zionist Executive and Dr. Martin Rosenblueth on behalf of the German Zionists.

Dr. Warburg, who was born in Hamburg, was appointed Professor of Botany at Berlin University in 1892 and was author of several books on botany.

He became interested in Zionism in the early days of the movement, and was one of the heads of the Palestine Commission appointed by the Sixth Zionist Congress. However, he had little taste for “diplomatic Zionism” and devoted himself largely to “practical Zionism,” or colonization work in Palestine.

He was active in preparing the groundwork for the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and initiated numerous industrial and agricultural enterprises. He served as president of the World Zionist Organization from 1911 until 1920. In later life he held the positions of head of the Palestine Agricultural Experimentation Station and of the Hebrew University’s Institute of the Natural History of Palestine. Speaking at a celebration of his 70th birthday, he predicted Palestine would become a center of cultural life in the East.

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