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Blumenfeld, Kurt Yehudah

BLUMENFELD, KURT YEHUDAH

BLUMENFELD, KURT YEHUDAH (1884–1963), German Zionist leader. Blumenfeld, who was born in Treuberg, East Prussia, studied law at the universities of Berlin, Freiburg, and Koenigsberg. He joined the Zionist movement in 1904 while still a student and became a student leader of the movement. From 1910 to 1914 he directed the department of information of the World Zionist executive, whose seat was then in Berlin, visiting many countries in the course of his work. In 1913–14 he was the editor of Die Welt, and in 1920 was among the founders of Keren Hayesod. He was president of the German Zionist Federation from 1923 to 1933. Blumenfeld settled in Jerusalem in 1933 and became a member of the Keren Hayesod directorate. He was a delegate to every Zionist Congress from the ninth (1909) on, and was a member of the Zionist General Council from 1920.

During World War ii Blumenfeld stayed in the U.S., where he was occupied with Zionist politics. In 1946 he moved back to Jerusalem. His influence on West European personalities, including Albert Einstein, derived primarily from his intellectualism and his specific "post-assimilation" Zionism, i.e., the Zionist ideology he evolved to appeal to Jews who were already assimilated. Blumenfeld was in many ways a representative of the "post-assimilation" generation. His memoirs, Erlebte Judenfrage; ein Vierteljahrhundert deutscher Zionismus (1962), have been translated into Hebrew.

bibliography:

S. Esh, in: jjso, 6 (1964), 232–42; Y.K. Blumenfeld in Memoriam (1964); Davar (April 25, 1962); mb (May 29, 1964). add. bibliography: J. Hackeschmidt, Von Kurt Blumenfeld zu Norbert Elias (1997)

[Alexander Bein /

Noam Zadoff (2nd ed.)]

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