Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia
From the vantage point of their enforced halt, they looked up several streets, in which the architecture was fascinatingly varied. The dwelling houses for the most part were small and charming, intended for only one family like those in the Belgian cities. The public and commercial buildings, which could easily be recognized, seemed all the more imposing by contrast. Littwak pointed out several as they passed-the Marine Department, the Department of Commerce, the Employment Department, the Department of Education, the Department of Electricity. A large, handsome edifice, with a frescoed loggia in its facade, caught their attention.
"That is the Building Department," explained Littwak. "The headquarters of Steineck, our chief architect. He made the city plans."
"That man had a large task," remarked Friedrich.
"Yes, indeed, but a very grateful one," replied Littwak. "Like the rest of us, he had abundant material from which to create. Never in history were cities built so quickly or so well, because never before were so many technical facilities available. By the end of the nineteenth century humanity had already achieved a high degree of technical skill. We merely had to transplant existing inventions to this country. I shall tell you how it all happened another time."
They were now in a residential section of the city, upon Mount Carmel, where there were many elegant mansions surrounded by fragrant gardens. Several houses of Moorish design had close wooden lattices over some of their windows. David anticipated their question, saying that these were the homes of prominent Moslems. "There's my friend Reschid Bey," he added.
A handsome man of thirty-five was standing beside a wrought iron gate as they drove by. He wore dark European clothing and a red fez. His salute to them was the Oriental gesture which signifies lifting and kissing the dust. David called to him in Arabic, and Reschid replied in German-with a slight northern accent. "Wish you much joy of your guests!"
Kingscourt stared. "Who's the little Muslim?" he asked. "He studied in Berlin," replied David laughingly. "His father was among the first to understand the beneficent character of the Jewish immigration, and enriched himself, because he kept pace with our economic progress. Reschid himself is a member of our New Society."
"The New Society?" repeated Friedrich. "What's that?"
"Dearly beloved," added Kingscourt, turning to David. "You must instruct us like newborn calves in all that's worth knowing. We know neither the old nor the new society."
"Oh, but," replied Littwak, "you know the old order, or you did know it. I shall explain our New Society to you at our leisure. Now there is no more time. In a moment we shall arrive at the house which is henceforth to be your home."
The serpentine road opened wider and wider prospects. Now the city and harbor of Haifa lay before the entranced eyes of the travelers. On the near side the broad bay with its zone of gardens; beyond, Acco with its background of mountains. They were on the summit of the northern ridge of the Carmel. To the right and to the left, to the north and to the south, a magnificent expanse lay spread out before them. The sea glittered blue and gold into an infinite horizon. White-capped waves fluttered over it like gulls toward the light brown strand. David ordered the driver to stop the car so that they might enjoy the unique view. As they alighted, he turned to Freidrich. "See, Dr. Loewenberg, this is the land of our fathers."
Friedrich did not know why his eyes grew warm with tears at the young man's simple words. This was an altogether different mood from that of the night in Jerusalem twenty years before. He had looked then upon moonlit Death; now, Life sparkled joyously in the sun. He looked at David. So this was the Jewboy beggar! A free, healthy, cultured man who gazed steadfastly upon the world and seemed to stand firmly in his shoes. David had barely referred to his own circumstances in life; he could hardly be poor, though, if he lived in this district of villas and mansions. He seemed to be a prominent citizen, too. On the drive many people had greeted him in the streets. Even elderly men had been the first to bow. Here he stood on the heights of the Carmel, an expression of profound joy upon his features as he gazed out over land and sea. Only now did it seem to Friedrich that he could recognize in the upstanding man before him the remarkable boy of the Brigittenauer Laende in Vienna, who once upon a time had said that he would return to the Land of Israel.
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