Email Email   

HESS, MOSES (1812-1875).

Political leader, writer, and forerunner of modern Zionism. He was born in Bonn, Germany, and died in Paris. As a youth he was attracted to the study of philosophy and later participated in the Socialist movement with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Then he turned to Ferdinand Lassalle, founder of the German Socialist Democratic Party, and became active in the workers’ movement. After the failure of the 1848 Revolution in Germany, Hess settled in Paris, where he began to study the problem of the Jewish people and to think about its destiny. In 1962, he published a small book titled Rome and Jerusalem in which he wrote that Jewish national consciousness could not be erased, as the German Jewish Reform movement attempted. Humankind is a family of many nations, and small peoples have the right to an equal place in it. Every cultural group has something to contribute to world civilization, he said, and Jewish people, too, have much to contribute. The only solution to the Jewish question is the settlement of Palestine, under the protection of some European power. His ideas in Rome and Jerusalem came to be a basic part of Zionist thinking, and for them Moses Hess is remembered.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email