Few political terms have such a hazy and imprecise definition in popular discourse as “Zionism.” In part, this is due to the political agenda. Auto-Emancipation has 4 ratings and 0 reviews. A literature on the psychosis of Jew-hatred. Leon Pinsker: Auto-emancipation and self-help In September , a pamphlet entitled “Auto-emancipation! An appeal to his people by a Russian Jew ”.

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In seeking to fuse with other peoples, they delib- erately renounced, to a certain extent, their own na- tionality. But what if our position is more difficult? The destruction is neither possible nor desirable. The proper, the only solution, is in the creation of a Jewish nationality, of a people living upon its own soil, the auto- emancipation of the Jews; their return to the ranks of the nations by the acquisition of a Jewish homeland.

If the Russian Government, and the Russian people as well, realized that an equal distribution of the Jewish population would benefit the entire country, we might have been spared all our sufferings. This is the reason that the charges preferred are usually of the most general character, made up out of whole cloth, based to a certain extent on a priori reasoning, and true at best in individual cases, but not admitting of proof as regards the whole people.

We must not shut our eyes to this natural force which works like every other elemental force; we must take it into account. Thus have Judaism and Anti-Semitism passed for centuries through history as inseparable companions.

“Auto-Emancipation” (Leon Pinsker)

As a psychic aberration it is hereditary, and as a disease transmitted for two thousand years it is incurable. Published by Youth Zionist Organization of America: We must discuss this most important point with all possible precision.


One would think that men of genius were as plentiful among our opponents as blackberries in August. They lived upon their own soil and spoke one languageand therein they certainly had the advantage over us.

The National Question and the Class Struggle. We are a flock scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no shepherd to protect us and bring us together. And if the fear of ghosts is something inborn, and has a certain justification in the psychic life of humanity, what wonder that it asserted itself powerfully at the sight of this dead and yet living- nation?

Under such circumstances, how could there be any question of national self-determination, of a free, active develop- ment of our national force or of our native genius?

Texts Concerning Zionism: “Auto-Emancipation”

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Though you prove yourselves patriots a thousand times, you will still be reminded at every opportunity of your Semitic descent.

The Ghostlike apparition of a living corpse, of a people without unity or organization, without land or other bonds of unity, no longer alive, and yet walking among the living — this spectral form without precedence in history, unlike anything that preceded or followed it, could but strangely affect the imagination of the nations.

Even the unenlightened masses of the Russian Jews have not entirely escaped the influences of the ptinciples of modern culture. But the Western Jews have again learned to suffer the cry, “hep!

pindker If we are ill-treated, robbed, plundered, outraged, we do not dare defend ourselves, and, worse still, we look upon it almost as a matter of course.

The ghostlike apparition of a people without unity or organization, without land or other bond of union, no longer alive, and yet moving about among the living, — this eerie form scarcely paralleled in history, unlike anything that preceded or followed it, could not fail to make a strange, peculiar impression upon the imagination of the nations. Instead of realizing their own position and adopting a rational line of conduct, the Jews appeal to eternal justice, and fondly imagine that the appeal will have some effect.


Full text of “Auto-Emancipation”

Thanks to their ready adaptability, they have all the more easily acquired characteristics, not inborn, of the people among whom fate has thrown them. And it is necessary to know the facts if we would improve our position.

Since those days a generation has passed, and Zionists are now confronted by problems for which neither Pinsker nor Herzl could offer a solution. If no notice is taken of our descent and we are treated like others born in the country, we express our gratitude by actually turning renegades. Its Selected selection is, of course, of the first and highest importance, and must not be left to off-hand decision or to certain preconceived sympathies or indi- viduals, as has, alas, happened lately.

Per- haps the Holy Land wall again become ours.


We did not succumb in this desperate struggle. The time has come for a sober and dispassionate realization of our true position.

leoo In human psychology, then, we find the roots of the prejudice against the Jewish nation; but there are other factors not less important which render impossible the fusion or equalization of the Jews with the other peoples to be considered.

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