Robert Weltsch (1891 - 1982)

Zionist Writer, Editor, and Journalist.

Born in Prague, Weltsch in his youth joined the Zionist student society Bar Kochba. After serving in World War I in the Austro - Hungarian army, he became a member of the Zionist Executive, representing the Ha - Po'el ha - Tsa'ir labor party. From 1920 to 1938, Weltsch edited the journal of the Zionist Organization of Germany, the Judische Rundschau. His article "Wear the Yellow Badge with Pride, " published on April 4, 1933, had a deep impact on German Jewry, raising its morale and helping it to cope with the Nazi persecution

Emigration from Germany.

Following his arrival in Palestine in 1938, Weltsch edited the Mitteilungsblatt, the weekly of the German - speaking immigrants' organization, and also wrote for the Hebrew daily Ha'arets. During the Nuremberg trial, he served as the Ha'arets correspondent in Germany, and later wrote for it from London. He was one of the founders of the Leo Baeck institute and was chairman of its London branch. From 1956 to 1980, he edited twenty - five volumes of the institute's Year Book, summarizing the content of each in his introduction.



Weltsch was a close follower of Chaim Weizmann, whose Zionist policies he supported as a journalist. Regarding the Arab question, however, he backed the line of the Berit Shalom circle, advocating the idea of a binational Arab - Jewish state in Palestine. He opposed David Ben - Gurion's policies as formulated in the Biltmore resolution of 1942, which demanded the formation of a Jewish state, and after the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, he wrote critically of its domestic and foreign policy.

In the festschrift dedicated to Weltsch on his seventieth birthday, the educator Ernst A. Simon wrote, concerning the article "Wear the Yellow Badge with Pride": "It had to be him who in this black hour gathered the strength to find the unique word of courage, of resistance, and of solace. Rightly, this slogan will always be connected with his name."