Herzl, Theodor (tāˈōdôr hĕrˈtsəl) [key], 1860–1904, Hungarian Jew, founder of modern Zionism. Sent to Paris as a correspondent for the Vienna Neue Frei Presse, he reported on the Dreyfus affair. Appalled by the vicious anti-Semitism he observed, he decided that Jewish assimilation in Europe was impossible and that the only solution to the Jewish problem was the establishment of a Jewish national state. He stated his ideas in his famous pamphlet, Der Judenstaat, first published in 1896. Herzl organized the first Zionist World Congress (1897) and served as its president from its inception until his death. In 1949 his body was moved from Vienna to Jerusalem, for burial with the highest honors by the Israeli nation.
See his diaries (ed. by R. Patai, tr. 1960); biographies by A. Bein (tr. 1962), D. Stewart (1974), and N. H. Finkelstein (1987); I. Friedman and H. M. Sacher, ed., Herzl's Political Activity, 1897–1904 (1988).