Germany, Turkey, and Zionism 1897-1918


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For the most part, studies on Zionism as an international movement have centered on Great Britain. Professor Friedman has focused on a new point of view. Using unpublished official German and Zionist records and contemporary diaries, memoirs, and other private sources, he proves conclusively that in spite of the opposition of her Turkish ally, the German government emerged as the foremost protector of the Zionist cause during World War I. Germany was the first European power to view Zionist aspirations with favor. Friedman argues that had it not been for her persistent intervention with the Turkish government, the Jewish community in Palestine would not have survived. Apart from propaganda value, Germany discovered in Zionism an instrument for solving the Jewish problem in Eastern Europe after the war and a means for strengthening its own influence in the Middle East. Moreover, by maintaining good relations with German officials and the press, the German Zionists inadvertently created an atmosphere of competition among the European Powers, and thus indirectly accelerated the publication of Balfour's Declaration. Friedman's revealing study is a comprehensive and definitive work on a little known aspect of German-Turkish-Zionist relations, and complements his previous book, The Question of Palestine, also published by Transaction. The book was hailed upon publication as "a careful and intelligent use of the many available sources" by the Times Literary Supplement; "a persuasive, nourishing and durable study, eminently readable" by Middle East Journal; and "a fascinating story in which the heroes are German Zionists who managed to win the protection of the German government" in Choice.

Author:Isiah Friedman
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