Schach, Fabius

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SCHACH, FABIUS (1868–1930), one of the first members of the Zionist movement in Germany. Born in Wexna, Lithuania, Schach studied at yeshivot and went to Riga and then Berlin, where he studied at the university. There he made the acquaintance of Max *Bodenheimer, who brought him to Cologne as a Hebrew teacher (1893). Together with Bodenheimer and David Wolffsohn, he founded a Jewish national society that formed the nucleus of the German Zionist Federation. Schach participated in the First Zionist Congress and helped to draw up the *Basle Program. Afterward he fell out with Theodor *Herzl and his associates and spent the following years in Karlsruhe and Berlin. During World War i he worked in Hamburg as the editor of newspapers and journals, including those which opposed Zionism. During his Zionist period he was one of the foremost propagandists of the Zionist cause and a prolific writer, especially in German (but also in Hebrew) on Zionism, Judaism, and the Hebrew and Yiddish languages. Among his works is Volk-oder Salonjudentum (1893). His sister miriam (1867–1956) was a pioneer of political Zionism in France. She left her home in Lithuania in 1879, completed her studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, and taught the liberal arts and languages at various high schools in France. She played an important role, together with Max *Nordau, Alexander *Marmorek, and Bernard *Lazar, in putting Zionist ideas across to the French. She also helped to found the French Zionist newspaper, L'Echo Sioniste (published from 1900). During the last years of her life, she lived in Haifa. A Hebrew version by K.A. Bertini of her memoirs of the beginnings of the Zionist movement in France, titled Asher Ittam Hithallakhti, was published in 1951.


L. Jaffe (ed.), Sefer ha-Congress (19502), 201, 391–2; R. Lichtheim, Toledot ha-Ẓiyyonut be-Germanyah (1951), index.

[Getzel Kressel]