Page 159 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 49

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L IP T Z IN / R EM EM B ER ING S T E F A N ZW E IG
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hordes. T h e Jews were portrayed as innocent victims and scape­
goats, exiled and forced to wander on and on. “But, scattered
as we are and thrown like weeds from the morn ing to the m id­
night o f this earth , we have nevertheless remained a people,
a single and solitary people among the nations, because o f ou r
God and o u r faith in Him. An invisible something binds us,
preserves us, and keeps us together; and this invisible something
is o u r God.” Despite these vague sentiments, voiced on the brink
o f despair, Zweig’s affirmation o f Jewishness is unconvincing.
He remained to the end an uproo ted European o f Viennese
vintage, as evidenced by his last work, his autobiography
The
World o f Yesterday,
published posthumously.
I f only Zweig had listened to the call o f his friend Herzl and
jo ined Beer-Hofmann , Martin Buber and the precious few Vi­
ennese who sparked the national Jewish rebirth , he might have
emerged from the World o f Yesterday to a b righ ter dawn! In ­
stead o f end ing his life in despair, he could have gloried in
the regeneration o f his people and its rejuvenation on its ancient
soil.