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Yehuda Hugo Herrmann,1887-1940
self portairt, 1905
Herrmann Hugo (1887-1940), Zionist, journalist, editor and author, born in Moravská Trěbově (Mahrisch-Triebau, in German), Czech Republic (then part of the Austria-Hungary).
He studied Romance and German philology at the universities of Prague and Vienna. A secretary of the Zionist Organization of Bohemia from 1909 to 1912, he became one of the leaders of the Bar Kochba, the Zionist students' organization, and later went to Berlin, where he was editor of the Juedische Rundschau until 1914. He also edited there Chad Gadja, Das Pessachbuch (1914) and Moaus Zur. Ein Chanukkahbuch (with S. J. Agnon, 1918). Together with Nathan Birnbaum, he translated from Hebrew into German original records of the persecutions of the Jews during the Crusades, in Edom. Berichte juedischer Zeugen und Zeitgenossen ueber die Judenverfolgungen waahrend der Kreuzzuege (Berlin, 1919).
From 1919 to 1922 he edited the Maahrisch Ostrau Juedisches Volksblatt, and for several years he was director of the Palestine Foundation Fund in Czechoslovakia. In 1934 he settled in Jerusalem.
His later writings include: Palästinakunde, ein Hand und Nachschlagebuch (2nd ed., 1935); Keren Hayessod, the Beginning of the Jewish Public Treasury (1939);, In jenen Jahren memoirs (vol. 1, 1938), a semiautobiographical work dealing with the history of his family and of the Jews in the small communities of Bohemia and Moravia. He also prepared a new handbook of Palestine for the Jesaias Press, and produced a map of Palestine published by the Palestine Foundation Fund.
Hermann died in Jerusalem.
Date of birth: 1887Date of death: 194
"An Emerging World", Impressions from a trip to Palestine, 1925
"The Land of Israel today, lights and shadows", 1935
"Keren Hayesod : the beginnings of a Jewish public treasury", 1939
"Palestine as It Really Is", 1933
Passover Book, 1914, Jewish publishing, Berlin
"Palestine as It Really Is", 1933
"In Those Days", autobiography1938
Anthem of Bar Kochba Association, a Zionist society in Prague, where Hugo
worked as chairman 1909-1910
About my grandfather, Hugo Herrmann, by Viktor Kellner
"Was one of the most successful in Zionist work in Western Europe, an energetic and productive man, who worked hard engaging others in the national idea, convinced many to join him, and did great things to promote the strengthening and fortification of Jewish communities founded by Czech immigrants. He authored influential books and articles filled with complete knowledgeability as well as faithful love of Zion.
His energy to work and perseverance were tremendous. Even during his final years, when he was sick and suffering, he did not stop working, never setting anything he had begun aside until he had finished it. He did not follow the roads paved by propaganda and organization, but invented other means, seeking and finding new ways. He was punctual by nature, liked order to the point of being strict, but never bothered or bored you.
His most prominent characteristic was his practicality. He was the furthest thing from lazy. He specialized in anything he had put his mind to, acquiring profound knowledge in it, truly professional know-how. He was also proficient in all types of printing, knew much about Israeli and world history, as well as literature and art history, and particularly geography of Israel – an area to which he had dedicated most of his essays.
He was a craftsman, and his entire practical and spiritual worlds were founded upon his craft. He was sober, but how wonderfully pleasant was his sobriety, for it was accompanied by concealed warmth, modest love, and love of life. And this craftsman, whose actions were all based on professional knowledge and craftmanship, was also somewhat of an artist. He was gifted with a literary talent, and successfully dabbled in painting too. He loved the beauty in all his characters, and the love of beauty stuck with him. His artistic sense was refined, enhancing his life and diversifying all of his actions.
He had a sense of humor and irony about himself, asked for no respect, and was therefore able to forgive others. He did not have even a hint of pathos, his crystal-clear speeches had no intention of enticing, but rather of proving. He knew how to explain the difficult things well, and would not rest until his listeners understood what he had meant. He would elaborate and preach patiently and attentively, just as he himself patiently listened to his interlocutors.
He was a faithful man, dedicated to his family and wife, ready to assist anyone who required his assistance. He did not reject anyone with pretty but empty words. Whatever he had undertaken to do, he completed. He knew the ways by which to achieve his aim, and took them without sparing himself or tiring. He never did anything for the sake of appearances. You could trust him, and there is nothing greater.
And now he stands before you once again, this heavyset man, his back a little bent from toil and trouble, makes his way to you slowly, his beautiful hand shakes yours with love and affection, he blinks his intelligent, observant and penetrating eyes, and an ironic smile plays at the corner of his mouth, a skeptical smile, understanding and forgiving, a special, youthful grace, that laces his entire being so much so that even the terrible illness could not defeat him. Once again you are charmed by his light but not light, fascinating and compelling conversation. And you feel sorry, so terribly sorry for this man, for you know he will not live long. And he too knows it. Knows but says nothing.
And you like him all the more for restraining himself, for concealing the terror of dying deep within the chambers of his heart. And this restraint allowed him to do what he set his mind to do every day, every hour, until death came and took him away from us."