Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia
Mrs. Laschner chose this moment to scream to her hushand, "Moriz! You must take me to the Burg Theatre the day after tomorrow!"
"Don't interrupt!" replied the broker. "Dr. Weiss is telling us about the situation in Moravia. Not pleasant, 'pon my honor." Samuel Weinberger, father of the bridegroom, broke into the conversation. "Being a rabbi, Doctor, you see things rather black."
"White (Weiss) always sees black," interjected one of the wits, but the pun went unnoticed.
"I feel quite safe in my factory," continued the elder Weinberger. "When they make any trouble for me, I send for the police, or call on the commandant. Just show bayonets to the mob, and it mends its manners."
"But that in itself is a grave situation," countered Dr. Weiss gently.
Dr. Walter, a lawyer whose name had originally been Veiglstock, remarked, "I don't know who it was that said you could do anything with bayonets except sit on them." "I feel it coming," cried Laschner, "We'll all have to wear the yellow badge."
"Or emigrate," said the rabbi.
"I ask you, where to?" asked Walter. "Are things better anywhere else? Even in free France the anti-Semites have the upper hand,"
Dr. Weiss, a simple rabbi from a provincial town in Moravia, did not know exactly in what company he found himself, and ventured a few shy remarks. "A new movement has arisen within the last few years, which is called Zionism. Its aim is to solve the Jewish problem through colonization on a large scale. All who can no longer bear their present lot will return to our old home, to Palestine."
He spoke very quietly, unaware that the people about him were getting ready for an outburst of laughter. He was therefore dumbfounded at the effect of the word "Palestine." The laughter ran every gamut. The ladies giggled, the gentlemen roared and neighed. Friedrich alone was indignant at the brutal and unseemly merriment at the old man's expense.
Blau took advantage of the first breathing spell to declare that had the new operetta boasted one jest like this, all would have been well with it.
"And I'll be ambassador at Vienna!" shouted Gruen.
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