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Gelber, Nathan Michael


GELBER, NATHAN MICHAEL (1891–1966), Austrian historian and Zionist leader. Gelber was born in Lvov, Galicia and studied at the universities of Vienna and Berlin. He served in World War i as an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army; thereafter he assumed the post of general secretary of the Eastern Galician delegation of the Va'ad Le'ummi in Vienna (1918–21) and, subsequently, became an active participant in the Austrian Pro-Palestine Committee and first secretary of the Austrian Zionist Organization (1921–30). In 1934 he immigrated to Palestine where, until his retirement in 1954, he worked in the Keren Hayesod head office in Jerusalem. His last years were devoted to Jewish scholarship, which he had pursued extensively, though not professionally, all his life.

Gelber was a prolific author who published close to 1,000 books and articles in Hebrew, German, Yiddish, and Polish on Jewish history and contemporary Jewish life, in addition to scores of articles on contemporary issues in daily newspapers. He was a major contributor to the Juedisches Lexikon, the Encyclopaedia Judaica, the Encyclopaedia Hebraica, and other encyclopedias. His most significant works deal with the history of Zionism and Galician Jewry. Among them are Zur Vorgeschichte des Zionismus (1927); Haẓharat Balfour ve-Toledoteha (1939); Toledot ha-Tenu'ah ha-Ẓiyyonit be-Galiẓyah, 1875–1918 (2 vols., 1958); Aktenstuecke zur Judenfrage am Wiener Kongress 1814–1815 (1920); Die Juden und der polnische Aufstand (1923); a volume on Brody (vol. 6 of Arim ve-Immahot be-Yisrael, 1955); and "Toledot Yehudei Lvov" (in eg, 4 (1956), 22–390). After his death his article "History of the Jews in Kalisch" (Kalisch Book, vol. 2) was published, in 1968.


H. Gold, in: Sefer ha-Yovel le-Nathan Michael Gelber (1963), 235–64.

[Michael A. Meyer /

Bjoern Siegel (2nd ed.)]

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