ZAMENHOF, L[UDWIK] L[EJZER]. (1859-1917). Polish linguist and creator of the constructed international language of Esperanto, the most successful language of its kind. ALS. (“Zamenhof”). 1p. 8vo. Warsaw, N.d. To Edouard Kührt in Prague. Written on his personal stationery in Esperanto with two words in Czech.
“It was with great pleasure that I read your letter with the welcome report about the progress of our project in Prague. I also received the ‘obchodní dopisy’ [Czech for ‘business letters’] and thank you for those. Unfortunately our Warsaw group can do nothing in support of the Prague Esperantists because the current horrible condition of our city and country means we have not been able to meet at all for months…”
Born to Lithuanian Jews, Zamenhof grew up in Białystok, a multi-ethnic and linguistically diverse city then part of the Russian Empire, where he spoke Yiddish, Russian, French, German, and Polish. Likely influenced by his father, a language teacher, Zamenhof also studied Latin, Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic in school.