HERZL, THEODOR. (1860-1904). Hungarian-born, Austrian Jewish writer; founder and leader of the organized Zionist movement. Printed Letter Signed. (“Herzl”) and countersigned by the secretary, Austrian Zionist politician and lawyer DR. OSER KOKESCH (1855-1905). 1p. 4to. Vienna, August 30, 1900. Circular letter (“Circular No. I.”) addressed to his colleagues. In German with translation.
“Experience has shown that in the first period after the Congress our comrades are in a better mood and more suitable for work for our holy cause than usual; however, this favorable period has so far been used poorly or not at all. The collection of shekels and donations, as well as the agitation for the Bank’s shares, began much later. It is time for things to change. As a result of the delayed collection of the shekel and the transfer of the same to the Centralcasse, we were forced in the early days to take on a floating debt (operating fund) mainly for discrete expenses, but also to cover the necessary agitation and administrative costs. On August 31 of this year, we must pay an installment of this debt in the amount of 12,000 crowns. We will then have very little left for further business. If we continue to work at our present slow pace, we may be forced to suspend our activities for lack of the necessary funds. We therefore ask you to do everything in your power to ensure that this time the shekel collection is started immediately and that the incoming sums are sent to us every month. Should you not be sufficiently provided with shekel paper, i.e., shekel and donation blocks, we kindly ask you to inform us of your wishes in this regard, stating exactly to whom such blocks are to be sent…”