Friday, March 5, 2010
The Herzl Museum
Today we went to the Herzl Museum. The Herzl Museum is a museum that explains and shows the story of Theodore Herzl's life. Theodore Herzl was a huge Zionist. (A Zionist is someone who believes that the land of Israel should exist.) He was born on May 2nd, (my birthday!!) 1860 in Budapest, Hungary (or then, the Austro-Hungarian Empire) and died in 1904, at the age of 44, in Edlach, Austria Hungary. He died of heart failure. At the age of 18 he and his family moved to Vienna, where he spent most of his 44 years. Though Theodore Herzl was only dedicated to Zionism for a little less than ten years, he put those ten years of his life fully into trying to get the land of Israel to be a land for the Jews. He planned the First Zionist Congress in 1897 in Basel, Switzerland. He was elected president until he died in 1904. There six Zionist Congress meetings in total, the last one in 1903. At one of the Congresses the delegates came up with the "Uganda Project." The "Uganda Project" was an idea that the Jews would be able to have a state to call their one in Uganda; most of the Jews didn't like this plan and that is why the Jewish state is Israel, not Uganda. Herzl wrote a book, Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State). It was a book that announced why Zionism was needed, it was written in pamphlet-length political program. If you would like to read more about Theodore Herzl's life please go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_Herzl The museum that told us all of this information was very nicely put together and designed. It is on Mount Herzl (named after Theodore Herzl). The museum wasn't like any other museum I've ever been to, there were a bunch of rooms with movies that our group stopped and watched about Herzl's life. Though the movies weren't typical explaining-history movies, they were movies that showed how a actor who was going to play the part of Herzl in a movie learned about his character, Theodore Herzl. Watching that kind of movie was much more interesting than watching a typical-learning-about-history movie. One of the rooms was Theodore Herzl's actual study! It was shipped from Vienna. After we were done with the tour we walked around the grounds that surround the Herzl Museum. On the grounds there are a lot of graves, it is sort of like Israel's version of Arlington National Cemetery. Many famous people are buried there, as well as many soldiers. We saw Herzl's grave as well as Yitzhak Rabin and many other famous Israelis. This cemetery was very beautiful and every grave was well maintained and I could tell that these people were very well loved and will always be remembered.