Hans Herzl

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Hans Herzl (10 June 1891 in Vienna, Austria – 15 September 1930 in Bordeaux, France)[1] was the son of Theodor Herzl and Julie Naschauer.

Hans's parents, although Jewish, did not believe in ritual circumcision, so he was not circumcised in accordance with the alleged Abrahamic covenant.

Hans's circumcision

Hans's father died when he was 13 and his mother was addicted to morphine, so he was placed in the custody of Zionist Jews in England who decided to have him circumcised at age 15,[2] which he deeply resented.[3]At the age of 20 he felt unable to form a true relationship with a woman. Perhaps it was because of the circumcision he underwent at the age of 15.[4] Hans was treated by Karl Jung after his circumcision, after which he was able to flirt with girls.[4]

He never was able to overcome the physical and psychic trauma of his circumcision. He never married, nor did he seem to have an occupation. According to Singer, "[h]e ultimately settled in London, where he earned a meager living translating his father’s writings, but the work was intermittent and he struggled financially all his life."[2]


His sister, Pauline, died at Bordeaux, France in 1930 when he was 39. After the funeral, Hans used a firearm to take his own life in his hotel room.[2] [3]


(The following text or part of it is quoted from the free Wikipedia article Theodor Herzl:)

Theodor Herzl's daughter Paulina suffered from mental illness and drug addiction. She died in 1930 at the age of 40 of a heroin overdose. His only son Hans was given a secular upbringing and the Herzls refused to allow him to be circumcised.[5][6] On Herzl's early death, after reportedly being pressured to do so by his Zionist caretakers, Hans, then a ward, submitted to circumcision on 29 May 1905;[5][7][8] he subsequently converted,[9] resenting the way he had been persuaded to be circumcised,[10] and became successively a Baptist, then a Catholic, and flirted with other Protestant denominations. He sought a personal salvation for his own religious needs and a universal solution, as had his father, to Jewish suffering caused by antisemitism. Hans shot himself to death on the day of his sister Paulina's funeral; he was 39 years old.[11]

Hans left a suicide note explaining his reasons.

A Jew remains a Jew, no matter how eagerly he may submit himself to the disciplines of his new religion, how humbly he may place the redeeming cross upon his shoulders for the sake of his former coreligionists, to save them from eternal damnation: a Jew remains a Jew ... I can't go on living. I have lost all trust in God. All my life I've tried to strive for the truth, and must admit today at the end of the road that there is nothing but disappointment. Tonight I have said Kaddish for my parents—and for myself, the last descendant of the family. There is nobody who will say Kaddish for me, who went out to find peace—and who may find peace soon ... My instinct has latterly gone all wrong, and I have made one of those irreparable mistakes, which stamp a whole life with failure. Then it is best to scrap it.[8]
– Hans Herzl[12]


Hans was buried in a Jewish cemetery at Bordeaux along with his sister Pauline in 1930.[2] However, in 2004 the Israeli government had the remains of Pauline and Hans exhumed and reburied in the national cemetery on Mount Herzl near the grave of their honored father, Theodor Herzl.[2]

See also


  1. REFweb Hans Herzl, GENi. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  2. a b c d e REFweb Singer SJ (29 June 2022). The Tragic Story Of Herzl’s Family, The Jewish Press. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  3. a b REFnews Anonymous (18 September 1930)."Hans Herzl, Son of Theodor Herzl, Commits Suicide After Funeral of Sister Paulina". Retrieved 18 September 2024.
  4. a b REFnews Shavit, Uriya (28 July 2000)."The Doomed Dynasty", Haaretz. Retrieved 28 July 2024.
  5. a b REFbook Goldman, Shalom (2009): Zeal for Zion: Christians, Jews, & the Idea of the Promised Land. UNC Press. P. 134. ISBN 978-0-807-83344-5.
  6. REFbook Stewart D (1974): Theodor Herzl. Garden City, New York: Doubleday. P. 202.
  7. REFweb Goldman, Shalom (2 May 2022). Theodor Herzl’s Cursed Children, Tablet.
  8. a b REFbook Sternberger, Ilse: Princes Without a Home: Modern Zionism and the Strange Fate of Theodor Herzl's children. P. 125.
  9. REFdocument Einstein on Theodor Herzl's Son, Hans' Conversion and Suicide (archive URL), Shapell Manuscript Collection. SMF. (3 December 2013).
  10. REFjournal (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) Hans Herzl, Son of Theodor Herzl, Commits Suicide After Funeral of Sister Paulina 18 September 1930;
    Quote: He told the curious fact that he had not been circumcised at birth but had undergone circumcision when he was 13 while he was living in London. He declared he resented this, which, he said antagonized him against the synagogue.
  11. REFweb Spiro (Rabbi), Ken (2 February 2002). Crash Course in Jewish History Part 63 – Modern Zionism (archive URL), Aish HaTorah.
  12. REFweb Stephen Theodore Norman—the last descendant of Theodor Herzl (archive URL), Goliath.ecnext.com, Manta.