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Schrenzel, Moses


SCHRENZEL, MOSES (1838–1912), ideologist of Jewish nationalism. Born in Lemberg, Schrenzel was a property owner and, as is apparent from his book on banking problems in Austria (1876), was well informed on economic matters. In 1881 he published a booklet entitled Die Loesung der Judenfrage ("The Solution of the Jewish Problem") and in the same year brought out a supplement. The booklets express the writer's disillusionment with Jewish emancipation in Europe, especially in light of the situation of the Jews in the most advanced country in Western Europe, Germany. He saw the only solution to the Jewish problem in the establishment of an independent Jewish state and Jewish engagement in agriculture there. The best locality for the Jewish state, he believed, was North America, since in Ereẓ Israel land was expensive, and once the rulers of Ereẓ Israel, the Turks, discovered Jewish activities there "not only will they expel us, they will also annihilate us." These two pamphlets aroused much opposition, both among those who believed in emancipation and those who favored the settlement of Ereẓ Israel. The similar ideas advanced by Leon *Pinsker in his Autoemancipation, which appeared after Schrenzel's pamphlets, lead to the assumption that he had read the pamphlets before publishing his book, besides being aware of the controversy they had aroused in the press. Several years later Schrenzel changed his opinion about Ereẓ Israel and founded a society called Kreuzer Verein ("Penny Society"), the contributions of whose members were intended for the purchase of land in Ereẓ Israel for the purpose of Jewish settlement. The society, whose regulations emphasized national ownership of the land to be purchased, never reached the stage of practical activity.


D.B. Weinryb, in: Davar, Literary Supplement (Oct. 23, 1936), 2–3; ibid. (Oct. 30, 1936), 5–6 (Heb. trans. of the booklets with introduction).

[Getzel Kressel]

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