Az elfeledett Nathan Birnbaum és a megtalált keleti zsidóság
Link to Library Catalogue: http://opac.elte.hu/F?func=direct&doc_number=000946636
Nathan Birnbaum was a remarkable figure in the Jewish political life of the Austro–Hungarian Monarchy and beyond. He played a very important role in all the major Eastern European Jewish political movements. He was acknowledged not only as one of the founders of the Zionism but also as a major figure of the Jewish politics and thought. His life had three main phases, representing a progression in his thinking: a Zionist phase (1882 – 1899); a Jewish cultural autonomy phase (1900 – 1914) which included the organization of the first Yiddish language conference in Czernowitz; and last period of his life (1915–1937) when he turned to Orthodox Judaism. Nathan Birnbaum coined the term „Zionism” and founded the first Jewish nationalist periodical Selbst–Emanzipation. In 1897 he was elected Secretary General of the Zionist Organization. Due to political and ideological conflict with Theodor Herzl he left the Zionist movement and became a leading spokesman for Jewish cultural autonomy in Galicia and Bukowina. He began to advocate adopting Yiddish language as national language for Jewish Nation and struggled for the Jewish national rights in Habsburg Empire. In this period he invented a new term: the Golus Nationalism (Diaspora Nationalism). In his last years he reconnected with the observant Judaism and became the General Secretary of the Agudath Israel Party. Despite his distinguished life and remarkable written and intellectual legacy, has received little attention from historians and unfortunately little of his legacy is known. According to Birbaum’s biographer Jess Olson, his unusual intellectual trajectory has reduced the space that might have been assigned to him in the history of the Jewish politics.