Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia
That evening they saw him again at the English hotel where they were staying. He was dining with a young lady, evidently his daughter. When they met later in the lobby, the conversation of the morning was resumed without any sense of restraint. The Russian introduced himself as Dr. Eichenstamm. "I am an oculist," he explained. "My daughter too."
"What!" cried Kingscourt. "Is this young lady a doctor?"
"Yes. She studied under me at first, and later in Paris. Now she is my assistant. A very learned person, my Sascha."
The young lady doctor blushed at her father's praise. "Oh, papa!" she cried deprecatingly.
Dr. Eichenstamm stroked his long gray beard. "One may say what is true," he said. "We are not here solely for pleasure, gentlemen. We are interested in eye diseases. Unfortunately, there is no lack of them here. Dirt and neglect revenge themselves. Everything is in ruins here. And how beautiful it could be, for it is a golden land!"
"This country?" inquired Friedrich incredulously. "The milk and honey description is no longer true."
"It is always true!" cried Eichenstamm enthusiastically.
"If only we had the people here, all else would follow."
"No," asserted Kingscourt decisively, "there's nothing to be expected from people."
Dr. Sascha turned to her father. "You ought to suggest that the gentlemen see the colonies."
"Which colonies?" asked Friedrich.
"Our Jewish settlements," replied the old gentleman. "Don't you know anything about them either, Dr. Loewenberg? They are the most remarkable phenomenon in modern Jewish life. Societies in Europe and America, the so-called 'Lovers of Zion,' promote the transformation of Jews into farmers in this old land of ours. A number of such Jewish villages already exist. Several rich philanthropists have also contributed funds for the purpose. Our old soil is productive again. You must visit the Jewish villages before you leave Palestine."
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