Chaim Weizmann

(1874—1952) Zionist leader and president of Israel

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(b. 27 Nov. 1874, d. 9 Nov. 1952).

President of Israel 1948–52 Born in Motol in Russian Poland, he received a doctorate degree at the University of Freiburg, and from 1904 lectured at the University of Manchester. He became a leading Zionist figure in England and lobbied successfully to bring about the Balfour Declaration. Chairman of the Zionist Commission to Palestine in 1918, he was the president of the World Zionist Organization (1920–31, 1935–46). In 1929 he succeeded in obtaining from Britain recognition of the Jewish Agency, in which he played a major part. He supported the establishment of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and other cultural institutions that were prerequisites for statehood. He was an effective and influential lobbyist for the international recognition of a state of Israel after World War II, gaining the sympathy of the UN as well as of the USA under Truman. The importance of his role in the establishment of an Israeli state was reflected in his election as the country's first head of state.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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