League of East European States

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The League of East European States or Federation of East European States (German: osteuropäischer Staatenbund) was a political idea conceived during World War I for the establishment of a buffer state (Pufferstaat) within the Jewish Pale of Settlement of Russia, , which would be a de facto protectorate of the German Empire in Mitteleuropa.

The idea was conceived by prominent Zionist Max Bodenheimer.[1] Bodenheimer was a founder of the German Committee for Freeing of Russian Jews.[2] The Committee drew up a plan to establish a buffer state between Germany and Russia, created from territory to be taken from Imperial Russia.[3] It would be a federation of Poles, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians but "the Germans, and Jews would hold the power".[1] According to this plan, the new state should be a monarchy ruled by the Hohenzollern dynasty[citation needed].

Bodenheimer submitted a Memorandum with the proposal to the German Foreign Office in 1914, where it and the Committee received the support of Erich Ludendorff and then Paul von Hindenburg.[4]

The plan soon proved unpopular with other German officials and Bodenheimer's Zionist colleagues, and was dead by the following year.[5][6] The Poles were not very keen on the plan either.[7]

The idea was criticized by various Zionist leaders as impractical and dangerous, and eventually was given up after Wilhelm II of Germany and Franz Joseph of Austria issued the Act of November 5th 1916 in which they proclaimed the creation of the Kingdom of Poland.

The Bodenheimer plan was cited by the author Andrzej Leszek Szcześniak as an example of "Judeopolonia" in his 2001 book of the same name, echoing the anti-semitic conspiracy theory positing a future Jewish domination of Poland that arose in the late nineteenth century.[8][9]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bodenheimer, Henriette Hannah Max Bodenheimer 1865-1940 : political genius for Zionism Pentland Press, (1990) p73
  2. ^ Budnitskii, Oleg Russian Jews Between the Reds and the Whites, 1917-1920 University of Pennsylvania Press (2012) p228
  3. ^ Sirutavičius, Vladas and Staliūnas, Darius (editors) A Pragmatic Alliance: Jewish-Lithuanian Political Cooperation at the Beginning of the 20th Century Central European University Press (2011) p124-5
  4. ^ Bodenheimer, Henriette Hannah Max Bodenheimer 1865-1940 : political genius for Zionism Pentland Press, (1990) p75
  5. ^ Walter Laqueur. A History of Zionism. Tauris Parke, 2003 Pages 173-4.
  6. ^ Isaiah Friedman. Germany, Turkey, Zionism, 1897-1918. Transaction Publishers, 1997, p2312ff
  7. ^ Bodenheimer, Henriette Hannah Max Bodenheimer 1865-1940 : political genius for Zionism Pentland Press, (1990) p77
  8. ^ Michlic, Joanna Beata (2006). Poland's Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present, pp. 48, 55-56. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-3240-3.
  9. ^ Blobaum, Robert (2005). Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland, p. 61. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-4347-4.

References[edit]

  • Zosa Szajkowski Demands for Complete Emancipation of German Jewry during World War I, in: The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Ser., Vol. 55, No. 4 (Apr., 1965), pp 350–363.
  • Zosa Szajkowski The German Appeal to the Jews of Poland, August 1914, in: The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Ser., Vol. 59, No. 4 (Apr., 1969), pp 311–320.
  • Andrzej Leszek Szcześniak Judeopolonia - żydowskie państwo w państwie polskim 2004 ISBN 83-88822-92-6