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CULTURE & HERITAGE - Culture & History

THE HERZL MUSEUM IN JERUSALEM                            
Theodore Herzl is buried on Mount Herzl, which also houses the Herzl Museum and the graves of other famous Israeli leaders.

Herzl was born in Budapest, but moved to Vienna as a young man. There, he became a respected journalist and playwright. Although a fervent secularist, Herzl was profoundly shocked by the Dreyfus affair.

Herzl became convinced that the only solution to anti-Semitism was the establishment of a Jewish state.

In 1897, Herzl organized the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, and worked tirelessly in support of his cause until his death in 1904.

                                                                    Herzl's tomb in Jerusalem

Mt. Herzl is adjacent to Yad Vashem and the military cemetery. In addition to Herzl's tomb, Yitzhak Rabin and his wife, Golda Meir, and many other Israeli dignitaries are buried here.
The Museum is located just inside the entrance to Mt. Herzl. It includes a replica of Herzl's study and features a very well done audio-visual presentation on the history of Zionism. Although the museum is small, it is very informative.

The museum is divided into four rooms.
In the first room, we see Herzl’s path to Zionism. We observe Dreyfus Trial and the shocking scene when the Jewish officer has his captain’s rank ripped from his uniform and his sword broken in half, as the angry crowd chants:”Death to the Jews!” This trial had a tremendous impact on Herzl.

Second exhibition room: Herzl becomes involved in Zionist politics. The room is designed to look like the hall in which the various Zionist Congress meetings took place in Basel, the first of which was held in 1897. We will hear about Herzl’s diplomatic efforts to gain an international charter to establish a Jewish state. We will meet the principal leaders at that time, such as the German Kaiser, the Turkish Sultan and Lord Chamberlain from England.

Third exhibition room: Herzl’s office: Exhibited here are the desk at which he sat and wrote Der Judestaat, and some personal belongings. We will learn about his tragic death at the young age of 44 years old.
Forth exhibition room: The state of Israel vs. Altneuland “If you will it, it is not a dream” wrote Herzl. The room leaves us with many points for further thought regarding our future: How do we preserve Herzl’s legacy in our own day? What are the values we want to promote? What have we accomplished and what challenges still remain before us?
Herzl did not live to see the realization of his vision. He died in 1904 near Vienna and his funeral was attended by many.

In light of his final request, following the establishment of the State of Israel, his body was brought for re-interment in 1949, on Mt. Herzl, which was named in his memory.