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Nahum Goldmann

Statesman without a State

Mark A. Raider

Publication Year: 2009

Explores the life and career of one of the twentieth century's most colorful Zionist leaders.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Series: SUNY series in Israeli Studies

Nahum Goldmann

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-ix

Nahum Goldmann’s life and career illustrate the complexity of the Jewish experience in the twentieth century. Born in 1895, Goldmann’s meteoric trajectory carried him from the isolation of the East European shtetl, to the acculturated German Jewish milieu of central Europe, and next, as a mature adult, into the international public arena as a premier advocate for Jewish life...

Part I. Statesman

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pp. 1

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1. Nahum Goldmann Jewish and Zionist Statesman—An Overview

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pp. 3-60

Many of the chapters included in this volume share a propensity to comment on the diverse and frequently clashing characteristics of the bon vivant who enjoyed the pleasures of life; on the other, the political loner, acerbic, sharp, and unpredictable. Goldmann himself, in his various autobiographical writings1 indulged in rosy descriptions about his life and light-...

Part II. Thinker

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pp. 61

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2. Nahum Goldmann as ZionistThinker

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pp. 63-74

This chapter examines the role of Nahum Goldmann as a Zionist thinker; in other words as an ideologist of Zionism. By way of preface, however, one cannot avoid noting a certain paradox: Goldmann himself repeatedly expressed the view that ideology was but a secondary construct. “Ideologies are usually only a superstructure erected on a given psychological...

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3. Negation of the Galut and the Centrality of Israel

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pp. 75-92

One aspect of Zionist history that is psychologically fascinating, conceptually interesting, and politically important is the existence of “rival pairs” of leaders. Theodor Herzl and Ahad Haam faced off over the essence of Zionism; Menachem Ussishkin and Herzl did so over the Uganda Scheme; Chaim Weizmann and Vladimir Jabotinsky did so over political...

Part III. Maverick

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pp. 93

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4. The GermanYears: Early Chapters in the Biography of a Jewish Statesman

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pp. 95-106

I have lived in Germany from my fifth to my fortieth year, first in Frankfurt and then in Heidelberg, as well as a few years in Murnau and Berlin, and thus I spent my decisive formative years as a Jew in Germany. No other people and no other culture, not even the Jewish one, have influenced me so deeply as the German one. It is true that I began studying...

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5. Nahum Goldmann and the First Two Decades of the World Jewish Congress

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pp. 107-124

The Seventeenth Zionist Congress convened in Basel in 1931. Nahum Goldmann was a prominent representative there, and, among other activities, joined the efforts to remove Chaim Weizmann from the Zionist movement’s presidency. In the wake of the Congress and his broad political activity in the early 1930s, Goldmann became a central activist in the...

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6. Nahum Goldmann and Chaim Weizmann An Ambivalent “Relationship”

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pp. 125-138

About one generation separated Nahum Goldmann, born in 1895, from ChaimWeizmann, born in 1874. Pondering the Zionist paths of both men, one’s first impression is their similarities, starting with their personal traits: two highly gifted individualists, statesmen rather than politicians. Two cosmopolitans, familiar with diverse European languages and cultures...

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7. Idealism,Vision, and Pragmatism: Stephen S.Wise, Nahum Goldmann, and Abba Hillel Silver in the United States

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pp. 139-168

In A Tale of a Tub Jonathan Swift, the Anglo-Irish clergyman and satirist known for his keen wit and deft observations of human nature, notes the paradoxical nature of leadership and power. On the one hand, he alludes to the unusual inner resources and grandness of vision those who seek to transcend...

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8. Toward the Partition of Palestine: The Goldmann Mission in Washington,August 1946

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pp. 169-204

The Executive [of the Jewish Agency] is prepared to discuss a proposal for the establishment of a viable Jewish State in an adequate area of Palestine,” asserted one of the resolutions of a meeting of the Executive in Paris on August 5, 1946. In historical perspective, the decision opened a new chapter in Zionist policy that would reach a climax sixteen months later...

Part IV. Leader

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pp. 205

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9. Nahum Goldmann and Germany after World War II

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pp. 207-232

It is an irony of history that the most important chapter of Nahum Goldmann’s life-long involvement in Germany, and perhaps of his long life in general, began only after the Holocaust.West Germany, despite the Nazi Reich’s decisive defeat, recovered from the war much sooner than expected. Within only a few years, it was already on its way to reestablishing...

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10. “Reparations Made Me”Nahum Goldmann, German Reparations, and the Jewish World

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pp. 233-254

Nahum Goldmann would have been a minor figure in modern Jewish history had it not been for the 1952 Luxembourg Agreements wherein the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) agreed to pay reparations to Israel and to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany (Claims Conference) and to pay indemnification to individual survivors...

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11. Nahum Goldmann and the Establishment of the Diaspora Museum

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pp. 255-272

The fourth meeting of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) plenary, which took place in Stockholm in August 1959, determined: in recognition of the distinguished life-long leadership of Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the [WJC], in contemporary Jewish life and in particular appreciation of his statesman like contribution to the...

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12. Leadership of Accommodation or Protest?Nahum Goldmann and the Struggle for Soviet Jewry

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pp. 273-296

One of the major issues facing World Jewry from 1948 until 1988 was the plight of the Jews in the former Soviet Union (USSR). In May 1967 a resolution of the Conference of Jewish Organizations (COJO), a worldwide body Dr. Nahum Goldmann created in 1958, stressed that “the...

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13. Goldmann’s Initiative to Meet with Nasser in 1970

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pp. 297-324

Nahum Goldmann took pride in being an independent thinker, one not bound by convention. He enjoyed his reputation as a devil’s advocate. At the same time, he was part of a long tradition of international Jewish shtadlanim [intercessors] who used their abilities, their sharp wits, and their intellect to cope with the obstacles that confronted the Jews.1 These two pat...


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pp. 325-328


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pp. 329-343

E-ISBN-13: 9781438425153
E-ISBN-10: 1438425155
Print-ISBN-13: 9781438424996
Print-ISBN-10: 143842499X

Page Count: 353
Publication Year: 2009

Series Title: SUNY series in Israeli Studies