Lucien Wolf’s efforts for the Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe*

By:
Articles Image

The diplomatic history of the Jews in Europe is a relatively new subject of study. Since the State of Israel was founded a lot of attention has been devoted to Zionist diplomacy before the First World War, leading to its culmination in the Balfour Declaration. But even more intensive study has been made of the diplomatic activities which led finally to the establishment of Israel. This has reached almost flood proportions.((The literature on the Balfour Declaration and Zionist diplomacy leading to the establish? ment of the State of Israel is enormous. The most important studies are: L. Stein, The Balfour Declaration (London 1961); M. Verete, 'The Balfour Declaration and its Makers', Middle Eastern Studies 6 (1970) 48-76; Dvorah Bar? clay, 'On the Genesis of the Balfour Declara? tion', Zion 0erusalem 1966, Hebrew) 200ff; C. Abramsky, War, Revolution and the Jewish Dilemma (London 1975); Ben Halpern, The Idea of the Jewish State. Practically everyone who was connected with the Balfour Declaration wrote important memoirs. The literature deal? ing with the establishment of the State of Israel is outside the scope of this paper.)) In comparison, other fields of Jewish diplomacy have been to a certain degree neglected.

Recently, however, renewed interest has been aroused in the political diplomatic history of the fight for the amelioration of Jewish rights in Eastern and Central Europe during the inter-war period, resulting in a lively awareness of the diplomatic activities of Lucien Wolf on behalf of Eastern and Central European Jews.

Of late not only Anglo-Jewish historians have done considerable research on him, such as the late Redcliffe N. Salaman, the present Lord Beloff, Joseph Fraenkel and C. C. Aronsfeld, but also a gifted young Oxford historian, Mark Levene, wrote an impressive doctorate on his diplomacy at War and Peace, covering the period 1912-1919. Even a number of important scholars in America and Israel have been drawn to study some of the activities of Lucien Wolf.((Just to mention the most important studies, see Redcliffe N. Salaman, Whither Luden Wolf's Anglo-Jewish Community? (London !953); Max Beloff, Lucien Wolf and the Anglo Russian Entente 1907-1914 (London 1957); Joseph Fraenkel, 'Lucien Wolf and Theodor Herzl', Trans JHSE XX (March 1959) 161-88; Salo W. Baron, The Russian Jew under Tsars and Soviets (2nd edition, New York 1976); S. Ettinger, 'Jews and Non-Jews in Eastern and Central Europe between the Wars?An Out? line', in Belo Vago and George Mosse (eds), The Jews and Non-Jews in Eastern Europe (Jerusalem, New York, 1974) 8-11, and especially notes 29? 32-5; Nathaniel Katzburg, 'The Jewish Question in Hungary During the Interwar Period?Jewish Attitudes', Ibid. 113-17, and notes 13-17; C. C. Aronsfeld (see n. 11); Mark Levene, Jewish Diplomacy at War and Peace: A Study ofLucien Wolf 1914-1919 (DPhil Thesis, Oxford 1981) Unpublished. I am very grateful to Dr Levene for allowing me to read his thesis; some of our research covers identical ground. It is a very valuable thesis which, I hope, will be published shortly. Zosa Szakowski, 'Conflicts in the Alliance Israelite and the foundations

Become a member to read the full article
Become a member today

£7

24 hour access to JHSE online resources

Instant access to over 700 articles View the original articles as a PDF
Learn More

£40

Annual JHSE Membership

Members are entitled to a free copy of the latest Jewish Historical Studies, free access to our online resources and associate membership of the UCL Library in London.  In addition, they receive the JHSE Newsletter, special offers on books for sale and pay less to attend our series of lectures and other public events.
Learn More

£20

Student Membership

The JHSE want to encourage students to engage with Jewish history.  Apply for a Student Membership with your university email account and once we have verified your status you will soon have all the benefits of being a full JHSE member.
Learn More

£80

Associate your Institution with the JHSE

Give your members access to JHSE online resources and special offers on book sales.  Use your institutional email account when applying, and once your status is verified we will explain the scheme.  Preferred payment is by credit or debit card.
Learn More
0

Your Cart