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Von Weisl, Ze'ev


VON WEISL, ZE'EV (Wolfgang ) (1896–1974), physician, Zionist leader, journalist and writer. Born in Vienna and an active Zionist from youth, during World War i he was a lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian army, and after the collapse of the monarchy led a Jewish defense unit to forestall attacks on the Jewish Quarter of Vienna.

He graduated as a physician in 1921 and emigrated in 1922 to Palestine where he was a laborer as well as a practicing physician. In 1923 he returned to Vienna, resuming his Zionist activities and contributing to the Neue Freie Presse and the Wiener Morgenzeitung. He was correspondent for the Vossische Zeitung and Chicago Tribune for the Middle East, traveling extensively there, interviewing numerous Moslem leaders including Kings Ibn Saud, Feisal and Fuad. He was imprisoned in Persia as a suspected British spy. Lecturing extensively in Europe on behalf of the Revisionist Movement, he was among its founders and leaders in Palestine, a member of the editorial board of Do'ar ha-Yom, and editor of Ha'am. In 1936 he was elected president of the New Zionist Organization (nzo). In 1940 he escaped from Paris and resumed his political and journalistic activities in Palestine. In 1942 he was chairman of the Palestine nzo. In June 1946 he was interned in the detention camp at Latrun and was released after a prolonged hunger strike, but in 1947 he was again interned together with other Jewish leaders. He was wounded in the War of Independence.

Among his numerous works are Der Kampf um das Heilige Land (1925), Allah ist gross (1937), and Tish'im u-Shenaim Yemei Ma'aẓar ve-Ẓom (1947).


Tidhar, d. 2 (1947), 969–71; 15 (1966), 4802.

[Joseph Nedava (2nd ed.)]

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