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Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia

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He promptly took the stub out of his lantern and handed it to Friedrich. Then he disappeared, muttering. Friedrich climbed up the five flights. It was well they had the candle; the darkness was impenetrable.

The Littwaks' one-windowed room, too, was in darkness, though the woman was awake and sitting upright on her straw pallet. Friedrich noticed that the narrow room contained no stick of furniture whatever. Not a chair, table, or cupboard. On the window sill were a few small bottles and some broken pots. It was a picture of deepest poverty. A whimpering baby lay at the woman's flabby breast. The mother stared at him anxiously out of her hollow eyes.

"Who is this, Hayim?" she moaned fearfully.

"A kind gentleman," her husband reassured her.

"Mother, here is some bread," said David approaching her.

She broke it with difficulty and slowly put a bit into her mouth. She was emaciated and very weak, but the careworn face still showed traces of beauty.

"Here we live," said Hayim Littwak with a bitter laugh. "But I don't know whether the day after tomorrow we shall have even this. We have been told to move."

The woman sighed heavily. David cowered in the straw and nestled against her.

"How much do you need in order to remain here?" asked Friedrich.

"Three gulden," replied Littwak. "One gulden twenty for rent, and the rest we owe the janitor's wife. But how shall I get three gulden by the day after tomorrow? We and the children will lie in the street."

The woman wept softly, hopelessly. "Three gulden!"

Friedrich reached into his pocket and found eight gulden. He handed them to the peddler.

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