Altneuland Book IV
By Theodore Herzl
It was evening when the guests returned to the Littwak villa, where the Passover celebration had been prepared. The Russian priest was the first to arrive from Sepphoris. Then David appeared with the Franciscan monk, Father Ignaz, a well-nourished, red-cheeked blond-bearded man, whose brown cowl made him seem even stouter than he was. He had come from Cologne a quarter of a century previously, but could still speak nothing except his native dialect. The Russian priest and the English clergyman made praiseworthy attempts to speak to him in his own language.
The Seder table was set in the dining room on the ground floor. Twenty covers were laid on the snowy cloth. David assigned the guests to their places, and himself sat at the foot of the table, since his father was conducting the ceremony. The place at the elder Littwak's right remained vacant. The invalid mother did not feel equal to sitting up. Mrs. Gothland sat on his left.
The ancient, melodramatic Seder service was begun with the filling of the First Cup with wine, and the host's recital of the Kiddush. He rendered thanks for the fruit of the vine and for all the mercies God had shown His people. ..."Eternal, our God, Who hath appointed unto us seasons of rejoicing, feasts and holy days for our happiness, as on this Festival of the unleavened bread, the season of our redemption at Thy holy proclamation, in memory of our exodus from Egypt. ..."
The First Cup was drunk. Kingscourt merely looked on. Mrs. Gothland leaned toward him and whispered in English, "You are expected to do like the others. That is the custom."
Kingscourt smothered several "Devils!" in his windpipe, but had enough savoir taire and humor to imitate the curious rites. The Christian clergymen did not hold aloof.
The host washed his hands in a silver basin brought by Miriam, took a bit of parsley from the platter before him, dipped it into salt water, pronounced a blessing and ate it. Sprigs of parsley were then handed around the table. Kingscourt ate his with a lively grimace at which Mrs. Gothland smiled gently. The egg and roast joint were removed from the platter, and the covered dish was held up with the solemn words, "Behold, this is the bread of affliction which our forefathers ate in the land of Egypt. ..."
Mrs. Gothland came to Kingscourt's aid once more by pointing to the German translation opposite the Hebrew text of the Haggadah.
The Second Cup was filled with wine; and David, as the youngest man in the company, rose to put the traditional Four Questions.
"Mah nishtanah ha-leilah ha-ze mikkol halleloth?" "Wherein doth this night differ from all other nights?" On all other nights we may eat bread, both leavened and unleavened, while on this night we may eat only unleavened bread. On all other nights we may eat every manner of herb, while on this night we may eat only bitter herbs. ...
The flat Passover cakes on the platter were uncovered, and all replied in unison to the Four Questions: "Slaves were we unto Pharaoh in Egypt. And the Eternal our God drew us forth with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm... "
And so they went through with the Seder ceremony half ritual, half family festival. This most Jewish of all the festivals dates back farther in history than any other civilized usage in modern times. For hundreds and hundreds of years it has been observed without change, while the whole world changed. Nations disappeared from history, others rose. The world grew larger. Undreamed of continents emerged from the seas. Unimagined natural forces were harnessed for the pleasure and comfort of man. But this one people still remained unchanged, retaining its ancient customs, true to itself, rehearsing the woes of its forbears. Israel, a people of slavery and freedom, still prayed in ancient words to the Eternal its God.
One guest at that Seder table pronounced the Hebrew words of the Haggadah with the zeal of a penitent. He was finding himself again, and his throat was often so tight with emotion that he had to master his longing to cry out aloud. It was almost thirty years since he himself had asked the Four Questions. ...Then had come "Enlightenment," the break with all that was Jewish, and the final logical leap into the void, when he had had no further hold on life. At this Seder table he seemed to himself a prodigal son, returned to his own people.
The first part of the ceremony ended, dinner was served. Kingscourt called across the table. "Fritz! I'd no idea you were so perfect a Hebrew scholar."
"I confess I did not know it myself. It seems one forgets nothing learned in childhood."
The name of Joseph Levy, whom Kingscourt and Friedrich had not yet met, recurred continually in the table talk. The Steinecks spoke of him as "Tschoe."
"It's all wrong that Tschoe's not here," said the architect loudly.
"Yes," supplemecnted his brother, "it's unnatural for him to be missing. The party is incomplete without him. Understand?"
"Not at all," declared Kingscourt. "I've been wondering all this time what you want of this unknown Joe."
"He doesn't know Joe!" shouted the architect, holding his sides.
"That's a fault in your education, gentlemen," said the Professor. "Joe is a person one must know. Without him, many a man would not be where he is today. Joe has achieved wonders with practically nothing. He's a remarkable fellow. He has a quality that's rarer than gold or platinum or uranium or the rarest metal there is."
"The Devil! You make me curious, Professor! What is this wonderful quality?'
"Simple, sound common sense. Understand?"
"I begin to. ...But now I should like to see this remarkable Joe."
The architect formed a speaking tube with his hands, and shouted, "Tschoe! Tschoe!"
Mrs. Gothland motioned the bawler to be quiet. "My dear friend," said she, "not even you can speak loudly enough for him to hear you. Unless you were to telephone him to Marseilles. Then it would be easy, of course. He arrived there this afternoon, and sends his greetings to all of you. I spoke to him a little while ago."
"Wha-at!" shouted the architect. "So suddenly! And without saying a word to anyone!"
"He decided on the trip several days ago," reported Mrs. Gothland. "You know our Joe. He heard that a manufacturer in Lyons had some new kind of machine. I must have a look at that,' he said, and left for Europe the same day. Notice of his arrival was cabled to the newspapers over there. He is probably being besieged by manufacturers, machinery agents, and engineers. It's always like that when Joe goes to Europe."
"Representatives of all kinds of industries call on him," added Reschid. "He has contacts with England, Germany, France, and particularly with America. Tomorrow he may be on his way to America if he does not go on to London or return to Palestine. You never know what he will do next. But you do know that it will be the right thing. He closes a deal for $5,000,000 sooner than another man buys himself a coat. He orders quickly, pays well, and never makes a mistake."
"Donnerwetter! I like that man!" roared Kingscourt. "What does he do here?"
"He is general director of the Department of Industry," replied David. "Though there is no position he could not fill in our society. He understands everything that reveals itself to sound observation and an iron will. His mind works like lightning, and he can explain the most complicated matter to you in a moment. And when Joe Levy undertakes a thing, you may take your oath upon it that he will see it through. I thought, gentlemen, that you would be interested in meeting this all-round man. You shall hear him speak after dinner, since I cannot otherwise show him to you except in a photograph."
"Then we shall have to go to the telephone," Suggested Kingscourt.
"No, that will not be necessary," smiled David. "You shall listen to him more comfortably than that. And not only yourselves, but posterity, will listen to this speech of Joe's. It occurred to me that it would be worth while preserving the voice of the man who carried through the new Jewish national project. I therefore asked Levy to tell the story of the colonization on the phonograph. You were familiar with that invention twenty years ago, gentlemen, of course. I have had many duplicates made of the Wax rolls on which Joe spoke, and have presented several hundred to the schools as a Passover gift. But you shall enjoy his premiere tonight."
"Capital!" shouted Kingscourt. "A brilliant idea, most estimable man of the future. All this while I have been asking myself about the transition period. The finished product is before us. But how did it come about? That's the gist of the matter! We ignorant Europeans knew all about railways, harbors, factories, automobiles, telephone, photo- and Lord knows what other graphs before We ever set foot in Palestine. But how did you transplant them all? I had been intending to ask you."
"Now that we have shown you the end, Joe will tell you about the beginning," replied David. "This Seder evening seemed the appropriate time. The old Haggadah, which we read at dinner, has a story about the sages who assembled at Bene Berak on a Seder evening, and discussed the Egyptian exodus the whole night through. We are the successors of Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Joshua, Rabbi Eleazer ben Azariah, Rabbi Akibah and Rabbi Tarphon. And this is our evening of Bene Berak. The old passes over into the new. First we shall finish our Seder after the manner of our forefathers, and then we shall let the new era tell you how it was born. Once more there was an Egypt, and again a happy exodus-under twentieth century conditions, of course, and with modern equipment. It could not have been otherwise. The age of machinery had to come first. The great nations had to grow mature enough for a colonial policy. There had to be great screw steamers, with a speed of 22 knots an hour, to supersede the sailing vessels. In brief, the whole stock-in-trade of the year 1900 was needed. We had to become new men, and yet remain loyal to our ancient race. And we also had to win the active sympathy of the other nations and their rulers. Otherwise, the whole enterprise would have been impossible."
"God has helped us," murmured the elder Littwak, and added a Hebrew phrase under his breath.
The Reverend Mr. Hopkins reminded his colleagues of the Easter riots in the old days, and rejoiced that those old quarrels had been resolved into new harmonies. Now they, though Christians, could participate in a Passover celebration at the home of a Jew, without being offended by other people's beliefs. A new springtide had risen for humanity.
"He has risen indeed!" assented the priest of Sepphoris.
The grace after meals was recited, and the Seder service completed. The company then retired to the drawing room, where the phonograph with Joe's narrative stood ready on a little table. It was the same mechanism Kingscourt was familiar with, but it now had a simple automatic device whereby the rolls glided out smoothly one after the other so that there was no noticeable break in the narrative. If it was desired to repeat something, a slight pressure reversed the roll to the desired point. When they had made themselves comfortable on sofas and easy chairs, David sat down beside the machine, set the horn toward his audience, and announced, "Our friend, Mr. Joseph Levy, has the floor."
The machine rattled for a moment. Then a strong masculine voice spoke up clearly.
"Esteemed audience! I am to submit to you a report on the new Jewish migration. It was all very simple. Too much fuss has been made about it. I had nothing to do with the political preliminaries. Fortunately. I am not a politician. Never was one. Never shall be. I had my job, and did it.
"Our association was organized under the name of 'The New Society for the Colonization of Palestine.' It entered into a colonization treaty with the Turkish Government, the terms of which are known to all the world. When the charter 2 was about to be signed, I was asked whether we should be able to meet the large annual payments to the Turkish treasury which it called for. I replied with a decided affirmative. We had to pay the Turkish Government two million pounds sterling S in cash when the charter was signed. In addition, we were to make payments of fifty thousand pounds a year for thirty years, plus one fourth of the net annual profits of the New Society for the Colonization of Palestine, to the Turkish Treasury. And, as you know, we shall divide the net profits of the New Society with the Turkish Government at the expiration of the thirty-year period, unless they prefer a permanent annual tribute based on the average of our last ten annual payments. They are obligated to indicate their choice during the twenty-seventh year of the agreement. We may assume that they will prefer to take one-half of the net annual profits of the New Society, since this will bring them a much larger sum. In return for these payments, we received autonomous rights to the regions which we were to colonize, with the ultimate sovereignty reserved to the Sultan.
"Very large sums were, of course, required. It seemed doubtful at first whether the New Society could prosper to such an extent that it would be able to meet these commitments. The land was beggarly, our settlers were drawn from the proletariat of every country. There were, however, at that time several large foundations devoted to national Jewish purposes. In 1900 their combined assets amounted to twelve millions sterling. But, in addition to the money we were to pay to the Turkish Government, we had to find large sums for the purchase of land, for colonizing destitute people, for reclaiming and improving the neglected soil.
"How were all these needs to be met? In our small inner committee there were timid souls who foretold the collapse of the whole undertaking. My friends and I overcame their objections. We proved to them that we could reckon not only with existing values, but with those which-judging by all historic experience-must be created as a result of our work. The enterprise we were building up for the future would be strengthened by the future itself. In ten years the boys we brought here would have become men. And, having men, we should have everything. We would bring men, and train them as needed for their own good and for the good of the community. The logic was the simplest in the world. It was being done in the smallest countries, by the most insignificant peoples. The Jews alone had unlearned the ABC of nationhood.
"There was still another and more important factor which, strangely enough, the Jews did not reckon with, though they utilized it every day in other connections. I refer to their love of enterprise. I shall simply cite the example of the gold rush to the inhospitable Klondike at the end of the nineteenth century. Hordes of fortune hunters stampeded to Alaska. I am speaking now not of the gold-seekers, but of their camp followers. All sorts of things suddenly appeared in the Klondike-beds, tables, chairs, shirts, shoes, coats, tinned foods, wines; all sorts of people-doctors, teachers, singers. In a word, all sorts of things, necessary and unnecessary-found their way to the Klondike because a few people had found money there in its most concentrated form. Only some of those who followed them were gold-diggers. They did not go after the wealth hidden in the ground, but after that already in circulation in the form of money."
The Professor broke into the story with an irrepressible "Understand?" But his brother hissed at him so violently that he relapsed into a shamed silence.
Joe Levy continued. "I quote you this glaring example to prove that every undertaking conceived in a spirit of enterprise soon gives rise to other productive undertakings. Every practical person knows that almost instinctively. He does hot have to be told it by professors of political economy in obscure phrases. The Jews had, as a matter of fact, long been among the most ingenious entrepreneurs. It was only our own future that we had never built upon a business basis. Why? Because guarantees had been lacking. But once those guarantees were created, we could be no less enterprising in Palestine than elsewhere.
"I did not, therefore, worry about the required capital. If the land were prepared and the migration set going, we could get any reasonable amount of money. That is why I replied in the affirmative when I was asked whether we should be able to meet very large obligations to the Turkish Government without fear of running short of capital for investment. I did not feel that we were undertaking an experiment. We were merely utilizing world-old facts and experiences.
"The charter was signed. We made our first payment. Since the direction of the work was entrusted to me from then on, I asked that the signing of the charter be not made public for the moment. I wanted no rush of immigrants, since that would have led to serious disorders. The poorest and the greediest elements would have streamed in. The aged and the sick would have dragged themselves hither, and we should at once have been in the thrall of famine and epidemics. There is an old French play entitled 'The Fear of Joy.' I too feared the effects of joy upon our unfortunate Jews. I had to prepare them carefully. And I had to prepare my working group as well.
"When our New Society was founded, I was named general manager for five years, and allowed a preliminary credit of one million pounds by the board of directors. One of my engineers thought it too little. ..."
"Damned little!" shouted Kingscourt, with a violent gesture. "Stop the rattle trap, please!" David obediently halted the phonograph. "If you really want to explain all this to me, there's just one thing you'll tell an old sea dog. Otherwise, I'll never be able to understand what your Joe and his telephonograph are driving at....What's this New Society? Is it the one they talked about so much in Neudorf? And what sort of a board of directors was it? And where did they get the money, though it wasn't much?"
"I can see why you ask all these questions," nodded David. "Joe Levy did not think of telling about things that every child here understands. The former New Society and the present one are the same organization, and yet different. Originally, it was a stock corporation, and now it is a co-operative. The co-operative is the legal heir of the stock corporation."
"Understand?" queried the Professor.
"No. Did the stockholders give their money away? If that's the idea, it's all a fairy tale."
"It will be clear to you in a moment, Mr. Kingscourt." David assured him. "You need only distinguish between the various legal entities involved. We have here three judicial or abstract persons. Number one comprises the endowed foundations which had a combined capital of twelve millions sterling in 1900. Number two was a joint stock company organized with a capital of ten millions by London financiers who became interested in our cause when the grant of the charter was assured. Number three was the co-operative association of the colonists. The latter were represented at the congresses by their chosemeaders. These leaders set the masses in motion only after an agreement had been reached with the joint stock company that it would later become a co-operative association."
"You astonish me, noble fairy prince!" laughed Kingscourt. "Do you mean to tell me that stockholders, syndicate hyenas, agreed to anything of that sort?"
"They were not syndicate hyenas, Mr. Kingscourt, but reputable business men who contented themselves with a fair profit. Capital and labor came to terms. Neither by itself could have surmounted all the difficulties. The money-people required guarantees. The labor people as well. Had they not agreed between themselves in advance, injustice would have been done one party or the other in the course of time. Either the people would have disregarded the rights of the stockholders, or become enslaved by them. Both eventualities were obviated by an agreement granting the colonists an option for taking over the stock ten years later. The shares were to be redeemable at the equivalent of the average income of the New Society during the previous five years, capitalized at five per cent. But the total of this redemption fund was not to be less than the actual paid-up value of the shares, plus interest..."
Friedrich hesitantly offered an objection. "But that condition seems to me impossible. Where were the impecunious colonists to find the sums required to buy the shares of the stock corporation?"
"Ah, there, my son!" said Kingscourt. "Now I see it all as clearly as a hole in a doughnut. If the enterprise prospered, it would not be difficult for the colonists to find the money. As a prosperous co-operative society, they could get it on tick."
"That's correct," assented David. "When the co-operative decided to redeem the shares, it secured the required capital in the form of a loan at four per cent. And it came off very well on the transaction. The net profits of the settlement from the fifth to the tenth years averaged one million pounds annually. The settlers therefore needed twenty millions to redeem the shares. But, if they undertook an annual interest obligation equal to their net annual profits up to that time, they could borrow twenty five millions through their co-operative society. They did so, and had a balance of five million pounds on hand after taking over the shares...."
"Damn the fellows!" cried Kingscourt. "How did the joint stock company get so rich?"
"Primarily through the increase in the value of its land. However, since the increased values were due to the efforts of the workers, it was only just and proper that they should derive the benefits. You see now how we were able to transfer the land to the commonwealth. The stock corporation came into the possession of the co-operative which, from then on, was officially called the 'New Society.'"
"It may not seem right to our friends," remarked the architect, "that we should have availed ourselves of disreputable means like shares and that sort of thing. But we had no other way of helping ourselves."
"If you think me such a donkey," retorted Kingscourt, "you're very much in error. I have lived in America. I know a spade when I see one. A stock company is a vessel, into which one may put either good things or bad. We might as well object to a bottle, because it can be filled with poison or bad whiskey. Moreover, there are plenty of examples in history of such stock companies for colonization. The East India Company was not at all bad. I even see a kind of moral principle in your New Society...that part where it was turned into a co-operative. ...Now I'd like to hear how it was after that open the rattle trap!"
Joe Levy resumed his narrative, repeating the last words. ..."I was named general manager for five years by the board of directors, and allowed a preliminary credit of 1,000,000 pounds. One of my engineers thought it too little. But it was enough to begin with. I made my plans. It was autumn. I wanted to arrange a systematic immigration immediately after the winter rains. That left me only four months to work in. There was not an hour to lose.
"I established general headquarters in London at once, and appointed as department heads men whom either I knew personally, or who came highly recommended. There was Smith for passenger traffic, Steineck for construction, Rubenz for freight, Warszawski for purchasing machinery, Alladino for land purchase, Kohn and Brownstone for the commissariat, Harburger for seeds and saplings, Leonkin for the accounting department. Wellner was my general secretary. I name them as they occur to me. Fischer was my first assistant and chief engineer until his premature death. He was a splendid fellow, earnest and enthusiastic. We shall always miss him.
"The first thing I did was to send Alladino to Palestine to buy up all the available land. He was a Sephardic Jew who traced his pedigree from a family whose ancestors had been among those expelled from Spain. He knew Arabic and Greek, and was a reliable, clever man. Before the signing of the charter was made public, the price of land was still moderate. I knew that the inscrutable Alladino could not be outwitted even by the shrewdest of real estate agents. The cost of the land was of course charged by the New Society to another account than my grant of 1,000,000 pounds. A sum of 2,000,000 pounds was set aside for land. Fifty million francs, in the Palestine of those days, was a large sum for real estate.
"Having asked the Turkish Government to keep the immigration restrictions in force temporarily, I was secured against a precipitate rush of immigrants.
"I divided a map of Palestine into small squares, which I numbered. It was kept in my office, and an exact copy given to Alladino. He was simply to wire me the numbers of the parcels he had bought, and so I knew from hour to hour just how much land we already owned, and what kind of land it was.
"At the same time, I sent Harburger, our botanist, to buy eucalyptus saplings in Australia. He had carte blanche to buy all the Mediterranean plants he wanted for use or decoration. He and Alladino traveled together to Marseilles, and there separated. Alladino took the next boat for Alexandria, while Harburger traveled slowly down the Riviera, placing his orders with horticultural firms for delivery in the spring. A week later he shipped at Naples for Port Said, and I had no further word from him till he reached Melbourne.
"Then, I sent Warszawski, who was a mechanical engineer, to America to buy the most up-to-date agricultural machinery and implements, all kinds of transportable motors, steam rollers, etc. Like all my department chiefs, he understood that my instructions were not to be taken too literally, and that he was always to follow his own judgment on the spot. I wanted no long reports. All important data were cabled to me promptly, with facts and figures. Any of my chiefs who saw something new or practical that we could use-whether it came under his department or not-was to inform me of it, preferably by cable. Some brilliant suggestions came to me in this way. We succeeded because we always kept our methods up to the minute. Before he left, I said to Warszawski, 'Buy me no old scrap iron!' He understood me.
"Warszawski also had an incidental task, namely, to arrange for the re-migration of the East European Jews in America to Palestine. I considered these people very important. They had already shown their mettle by wrenching themselves free from their wretched environment in Eastern Europe, and I had learned to make their way in the good American school of experience. New York was the largest Jewish city in the world, though the vast numbers of East European refugees could not maintain themselves comfortably there, but crowded each other like sardines in a box. They found that they had jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Drawing off the surplus numbers from America would therefore be as great an act of redemption as for the East European Jews themselves. The two migrations to Palestine-from America and from Eastern Europe-were to be prepared for in exactly the same way.
"I instructed Warszawski to have a private conference with the leaders of the local Zionist groups. In order to prevent a premature airing of the plan, he was to tell them merely that a company had been formed with a large amount of capital, which had obtained concessions in Palestine for agricultural and industrial enterprises. Capable workmen, skilled and unskilled, would be needed in February. They were to prepare lists of reliable persons in their groups, showing each person's age, place of birth, present occupation, family circumstances, and economic status. Unmarried men would be preferred for the unskilled labor; married men for the skilled. Each district would be held morally responsible for its nominees. Any district whose nominees refused to serve or showed themselves incompetent would not be permitted to make further nominations. They must make it a point of honor to name only really suitable persons. The manner of choice would be left to the districts. They might designate nominees either at general meetings of their membership, or leave the choice to the executive committees of the district groups. It would be easy to determine the character of the nominees from the reports of their fellow-members in the districts.
"These instructions were also sent to the Zionist district groups in Russia, Roumania, Galicia, and Algiers. Leorikin went to Russia for tQis purpose, Brownstone (who knew Jassy well) to Roumania, Kohn to Galicia, and Smith to Algiers. Leonkin returned to London in three weeks, the others in a fortnight. They had set the machinery going in all those countries.
"Our work had to be closely centralized. I had it announced in the various countries that our office would communicate only with the respective headquarters The leaders of the local groups chose central district committees, and the heads of the district committees in turn appointed national committees. With the offices of these national committees alone did we have any contacts. Otherwise, we would have been deluged with scrawls. All we needed was a record of the local Zionist groups arranged by districts and countries.
"In order to visualize the situation as it developed from day to day, I used a little technical device. I had glass headed pins made in many different colors-dark blue, light blue, red, black, green. Maps of various countries were stretched on boards, and I used the pins to indicate the situation in the various local groups. For example, a white-headed pin meant merely that a local group was compiling lists of workingmen; green signified agricultural workers; red, artisans; yellow, master-workmen. Light blue, again, betokened vocational co-operative societies with capital of their own, which asked only for a tract of land on lease. Districts whose nominees had not made good were stigmatized by black pins. Some of the pins were partly-colored-red-green, blue, pale-yellow, etc. These are trivial details, I admit; but my work was enormously simplified by means of such devices. Thanks to my reports and maps, I was able to keep in daily touch with the most detailed phases of the undertaking through many years. These maps and telegrams followed me everywhere. Later we used numbered pins to denote ships and railways. I knew at any moment the number and whereabouts of all transports under way. When I was traveling, Wellner, my secretary, forwarded me a brief summary of the incoming cables twice a day from London.
"Many people thought in those days that the prospect of emigration would demoralize our people, meaning that they would not care to work or perform their duties because they were so soon to leave. The contrary turned out to be the case. Since the Zionist districts, in their own interest, named only the most industrious and respected men, there was widespread competition for the honor of inclusion in their lists, which, by the way, became rolls of honor. If a man wanted to be thought worthy of being sent to the Promised Land, he must make an honest exertion to qualify. I admit this was a by-product I had not dreamed of. Yet it could quite easily have been foreseen. Many a despairing, negligent man was aroused, and improved his conduct. Many a half-demoralized family pulled itself together. The effects of the systematic migration were thus beneficial for those who still had to remain behind. And, as they strove to improve themselves, they fulfilled their duties all the more conscientiously. The districts were instructed that we would accept only such persons as could show proper emigration certificates from their governments. We had no use for vagabonds. The various governments were kept fully informed of our work, and assisted us as much as they could. But I am anticipating.
"During the first few weeks after sending Alladino, Warszawski and the others on their respective missions, I remained in London with Fischer, Steineck, and Wellner. It was then that we outlined our great technical plans. Many of them were carried into effect; some we had to abandon; while still others were executed far better than we had dared to hope. I do not claim that we created anything new. American, English, French, and German engineers had done the same things before us. But we were the first heralds of technical civilization in the Orient.
"I had Steineck prepare plans for station buildings and for workmen's houses. A few cheap models had to suffice at the beginning. The chief thing was to get them up quickly. We could not stop to consider beauty of construction in those days. Steineck's systematic and at times magnificent work in town-planning came later. When we began, his task was merely to provide bare shelter. At his suggestion, I ordered five hundred barracks from France -a new kind that could be taken apart like a tent and put together in an hour. They were to be delivered at Marseilles by the middle of February, when Rubenz would take charge of them. After the plans for the buildings had been prepared, I gave Steineck general instructions for finding his building materials and workingmen as quickly and cheaply as possible. Wishing to give him an absolutely free hand, since he had to organize his department with the utmost speed, I said, 'Go on to Palestine at once.' His reply startled me. He said, 'I am going to Finland and Sweden first!' ..."
Here the architect's hearty roar drowned out the narrative. His brother called him sternly to order. "Be quiet! You're disturbing everyone!" David set the roller back, repeating the last words... "startled me. He said, 'I'm going to Finland and Sweden first!'...That was hardly the route to Palestine? But I judged too hastily. He went to Sweden to buy lumber. From Sweden he went to Switzerland, Austria and Germany, where he asked the technological institutes for their latest graduates.
"Six weeks later his construction bureau was operating full blast in Jaffa. He had a staff of about the hundred construction engineers and draughtsmen, some of whom soon displayed fine talents. The news of an un-hoped for demand for Jewish technicians was quickly spread through all the institutes by the students' societies. The experience we had had in the Zionist districts repeated itself in a smaller way. The prospects of work, and even perhaps of brilliant careers in Palestine, stimulated the young men in their studies. They took their examinations earlier, and wasted no more time on political tomfoolery or card playing. Their one thought was to make themselves fit for work as soon as possible.
"Steineck reported to Rubenz day by day as he placed orders for lumber in Sweden and Finland, for iron in Germany and Austria. Rubenz made his arrangements with railways, steamship companies, and port authorities. He was an expert traffic manager, and carried out his task very efficiently during those months. His services are quite forgotten nowadays because our facilities for transportation by water between Europe and Palestine are so good. But during the first three or four years, it required much wit to find cheap means of transporting freight. Rubenz used to avail himself of the most curious opportunities on Spanish, Greek, and North African ships. I often suspected him of looking upon freight traffic as a kind of sport. He would send his goods on the oddest journeys and detours, but it was always on hand on the day it was wanted. Often we realized that he had chosen slow transport in order to save storage charges. To him a ship was a floating dock. He, too, had numerous maps in his office, on which colored pins indicated shipments of grain, flour, sugar, coal, wood, iron, etc. I needed only a few moments with his maps to have a complete view of the supply department. Rubenz was thrifty with the pence, too, and she saved us large sums.
"It was he who thought of negotiating with large firms in England, France and Germany before the beginning of our immigration. They would be only too pleased to find a market for the large quantities of shopworn goods they I had on hand; and for us it was a distinct relief because; we had to provide for all the needs of the immigrants. How could we have prepared all the beds, tables, cupboards, mattresses, pillows, blankets, bowls, plates, pots, underwear, boots and clothing they would need? That would have been a large undertaking in itself. We preferred to leave it to the competing firms which eagerly sought a market in Palestine. True, in our poor immigrants, the merchants had a public of very small cash purchasing power. Payment for purchases was, however, guaranteed because the New Society deducted the agreed-upon installments from the earnings of its officials and laborers, and sent the money directly to the department stores. In this way we had the opportunity of influencing the prices charged to the settlers. Our accounting department entered into agreement with the firms only after fixed price lists had been submitted. The settlers were thus secured against overcharges, while the department stores sold large quantities of goods for which payment was guaranteed. Rarely in the history of commerce have purveyors of goods been able to estimate so closely the amount of stock required for a given period. There was something military about the procedure, and yet competition was entirely free and open to all. The formation of a department store trust was easily hindered, because our accounting department would serve no firm that was a party to a price-fixing agreement. It might whistle for customers.
"We thus arranged a market for the first two or three months. While the local Zionist groups were selecting their best human material for Palestine, English, French, and German firms established branches in Haifa, Jaffa, Jericho, and before the gates of Jerusalem. The natives were astonished at the sudden appearance of Occidental goods in the country, and at first could find no explanation for the marvel. We had an amusing letter from Steineck at the time, in which he described the solemn puzzlement of the Orientals. 'Grave camels stopped stock still,' he wrote, 'and shook their heads.' But the natives began to buy at once, and word of the new bazaars spread quickly to Damascus and Aleppo, to Bagdad and the Persian Gulf. The customers streamed in on all sides. Our enterprise, casting its shadow before, brought on a commercial revival. The business of the first few months was so good that some of the firms began to manufacture the articles most in demand within the country, so as to save freight charges. There was the beginning of our present flourishing industries.
"I was reproached with having enriched the business men. The newspapers, also, attacked me on that score. I did not mind. I had no choice, and one can't please everybody. It was my duty to see to it that no official of the New Society received more than his proper salary. And I did see to it. I was ruthless in such matters. Everyone will bear me out. That I did not enrich myself is also known. But if independent firms made large profits, I was well content. Our own cause was served in that way. People will rush to a place where gold grows out of the earth. How it grows does not matter. I do not underestimate ideal and sentimental motives. But material incentives have their value as well.
"Again I am anticipating a later development. Once Steineck was gone, I found leisure to study Fischer's plans. His sketches for streets, water and power supply, railways, canals and harbors were classic. It was at that time that he submitted to me his plans for his greatest work: the canal from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea in which he utilized the difference in levels very cleverly. In drawing up the canal plans he was helped by a Christian Swiss engineer, who was so enthusiastic a Zionist that he became a Jew and took the name of Abraham. Fischer, who was very modest, always put him forward as the real author of the plan.
"The excellent maps of the English General Army staff, and especially the relief maps prepared by Armstrong for the Palestine Exploration Fund, were of the highest value to us in those days.
"I was urging at this time the formation of the first railway companies. The wretched little Jaffa-Jerusalem line would of course be wholly inadequate for the coming needs. First of all, we made sure of a coast-line railway southward from Jaffa to Port Said and northward to Beirut, via Caesarea, Haifa, Tyre and Sidon, with a junction at Damascus.s After that came the new line to Jerusalem; the Jordan Valley trunk line with spurs to the east and one to the west to Lake Kinneret; the Lebanon lines. The capital for the railways was raised by Leonkin in Russia and by Warszawski in America. I had my troubles with the board of directors over the interest guarantees. They thought me- insanely bold to be willing to guarantee profits from such railways. But I forced my ideas through, and the event justified me. .It took me five years to secure approval for one line after the other. All that is an old story now, and the railways have been taken over by the New Society.
"After transportation problems, I occupied myself chiefly with the question of draught animals-one of my tasks being to found a very large agricultural settlement. We not only had to find our cattle, but to transport them to Palestine and to feed them. I had many conferences about it with Brownstone, within whose department the matter came. I was not altogether satisfied with his proposals. The idea of buying thousands of heads of cattle in the Danubian countries and transporting them slowly over land and sea gave me much anxiety. Brownstone was urging that it was high time to act, but I could not make up my mind. I should have preferred to bring in the cattle from Egypt. But there were objections to that scheme as well.
"It was impossible for me, during those first weeks, to leave London. Once, though, I did manage to run over to Germany to look at a new electric plow. It was just what we needed. The electric plow is one of the greatest inventions of the nineteenth century. In its present form, it is much more practical to be sure; but I thought it excellent even then. I bought up the factory's entire stock at once, and ordered all they could promise to deliver by February.. I also telegraphed Warszawski in New York: 'Buy as many electric plows as possible by February.' He replied: 'Shall see.' Returning to London, I found a second telegram: 'Three hundred electric plows middle February Jaffa.
"These electric plows relieved me of various cares. My first meeting with Brownstone after I came back from Germany was funny. As I spied him, I shouted exuberantly, 'My dear fellow! You've become superfluous! We don't need any more oxen!' I can still see his dumbfounded, insulted expression. And I didn't even realize how droll it sounded until the bystanders laughed. I begged his pardon and explained. He cheered. So did everyone else. But our friend Brownstone had by no means become superfluous. Even though he was expected to provide fewer draught oxen, there was plenty of work left for him to do. We still had to find large numbers of horses, milch cows, sheep, poultry, and feed for the whole menagerie. This happened soon after Brownstone returned from Roumania. I sent him also to Holland, Switzerland and Hungary to buy cattle.
"Instead of fodder for oxen, we had to buy coal for our plows. That was Rubenz's affair. Asiatic coal was not so easily obtainable in those days as now. He wired an order for coal to England, and the matter was arranged within twenty-four hours. It was one of those happy moments in which one sees civilization making strides forward....We did not yet have water power from the Dead Sea Canal. Nowadays we do not need English coal for plowing the soil of Palestine. We have wires which carry electric power from the Jordan falls, the Dead Sea Canal, and the brooks of the Hermon and the Lebanon to plows in all parts of the country. Instead of coal, we have water.
"Such, in outline, were my first measu..."
The Professor noisily asked permission to speak. David halted the machine.
"There's something I want to say at this point," he said. "It's rather in the nature of a literary remark, so don't take it amiss. Do you know what that invisible Joe of ours is describing? I'll tell you. The new Had Gadyal Understand?"
Kingscourt naturally did not understand. They told him that "Had Gadyal Had Gadyal" ("One Kidl One Kidl") was a serio-comic legend in the book of the Seder service. The cat ate the kid, the dog mangled the cat, the stick beat the dog, the fire consumed the stick, the water extinguished the fire, the ox drank the water, the slaughterer killed the ox, the Angel of Death carried off the slaughterer, while above all was God, Who reigns all the way from the Angel of Death to "One Kid! One Kid!"
"That's how," added the Professor, "the story of the New Society runs. The ox is replaced by the coal, and the coal by the water. ..."
Whereupon the elder Littwak said, "And above all is God!"
It had grown late, and the listeners were weary. The end of the phonograph narrative was postponed, and the party broke up.
The walk from the villa along the lake shore in the full moonlight was very pleasant. Kingscourt walked ahead with Professor Steineck, asking one question after another. He had gradually warmed up to this "Jewish affair," but insisted that for him the most attractive element in it (attractive more or less, that is to say) was its "big business" aspect. In the destiny of human beings, Jews or non-Jews, he was not the least interested. He was and would remain a hater of mankind. Sheer nonsense to trouble about your neighbor. You'd get nothing in return but black ingratitude. But he rather liked the idea of this Jewish migration as a curious sort of mass undertaking. He would even be ready tomorrow to listen to the rest of Joe's story.
The others followed in twos and threes, Sarah and Friedrich bringing up the rear. The latter was so deep in reverie that he had no word for his charming companion. When they had almost reached the hotel, she teased him about his silence.
"What a night'" he sighed, coming to life. "That moon over Lake Kinneret, and all the remarkable things that have been done here. I too should like to ask the Seder question. 'Wherein doth this night differ from all other nights?' I can guess the answer. The difference is in the freedom through which we have at last become human beings. Ah, Mrs. Littwak, if a man might only enjoy it here...."
"And may you not?"
"No, Kingscourt wants to go on immediately."
"Oh," she laughed, "we'll arrange all that. You both belong to us-you as the savior of our family, and he as your friend. You'll see, I'll soon have you settled here. You're not to contradict me, please! I've a word to say in this too. As for that old growler-bear, I'll chain him with bonds of love."
"Do you mean to marry him off?" cried Friedrich, highly amused.
"I could if I cared to," she declared. "To Mrs. Gothland, for instance, or to my sister-in-law Miriam."
"The joke bears a bit hardly on the old man."
"A man is never too old to marry," replied Sarah seriously. "You still have that advantage over us, in spite of our equal rights. But I was thinking of other bonds of affection for Mr. Kingscourt. He's enchanted with my Fritzchen...I've noticed that. I'm not a bit surprised. Anyone can see that there was never a child like him." Friedrich smiled indulgently at the maternal naivete. "So lovely'" he assented.
"He is cleverer than he is beautiful, and his good nature exceeds even his cleverness," continued the mother ardently. "Do you think that my Fritzchen won't twine himself around Mr. Kingscourt's heart if I leave him, often with the old man? He'll never be able to tear himself away, and so he'll have to remain here and you with him."
Friedrich, though he smiled, was touched by the maternal foolishness of the clever woman. He did not disturb her faith that no one could tear himself away from her baby. Fritzchen really was a sweet, merry little fellow; and it even seemed that Sarah had not in fact overestimated her son's hold on the old gentleman.
For, the very next morning Friedrich surprised Kingscourt in a shameful situation. The old man was crawling about the nursery on all fours with Fritzchen riding on his back. "That fellow will certainly become a cavalryman," he said in confusion, as Friedrich helped him to his feet. "And now go to your nurse, or I'll spank you until your hide cracks!"
Since the threat was accompanied by Kingscourt's friendliest grin, Fritzchen showed no fear, not knowing that he was having commerce with a most ferocious enemy of the human race. The little boy was about to be sent on a visit to his grandparents; but, because Kingscourt was remaining behind, he howled so frightfully that the desperate mother asked him to help her out. What was Kingscourt to do? He offered with a show of resignation to sacrifice himself, but smiled broadly when Fritzchen showed a sunny face again. Let the others follow later if they liked; he'd give in this once to the naughty young villain. A few moments later, Sarah, David and Friedrich followed them along the lake shore. Kingscourt was walking a step or two behind the nurse, who carried the child on her arm. Ignoring the passersby, he played the clown all along the road for the baby's amusement. Kingscourt had grown old without having known the tyrannical witchery of a little child, and had had no idea that a rosy baby could so endanger a man's peace of mind. Therefore he fell unsuspectingly and defensively into a very amusing serfdom. Fritzchenhad named him "Otto." The philologists of their circle derived the name from the "Huh! Hottoh.!" which had marked the beginning of friendly relations between Adalbert von Koenigshoff and Fritzchen Littwak. Be that as it may have been, old Kingscourt was "Otto!" to Fritzchen.
When Fritzchen was awake, "Otto" was not allowed to .concern himself with anything or anyone else. It was therefore not until the rosy cheeked despot had fallen asleep after his lunch that Kingscourt was free to ask for the continuation of Joe Levy's tale. Not all of last night's company were present. Mrs. Gothland, who was head of a nursing society, had gone to visit the sick. The Russian priest had returned to Sepphoris. Father Ignaz, too, was occupied. The Steinecks were to come later in the day. But, as the story could be repeated at any time, there was no need to wait for anyone's return.
David had the machine brought up to the first floor salon adjoining his mother's room. They wheeled in the invalid, who was feeling slightly better. She sat and listened with a wistful smile playing over her waxen features. Miriam squatted on a stool beside her, occasionally feeling her pulse. The older Littwak and Kingscourt made themselves comfortable in great easy chairs. Reschid helped David to adjust the machine, and then slid quietly into a chair. The Reverend Mr. Hopkins took a seat beside Friedrich. The latter, from where he sat, had a view of the lake and the mountains on the farther shore. In a line with the view was Miriam's figure outlined in light.
Joe Levy took up the thread of his story. "...my first measures. Alladino sent favorable reports about his land purchases. Steineck promised that by March he would have a new kind of brick kiln and cement factory going in Haifa. Leonkin and Warszawski reported a splendid spirit in the Zionist districts. Brownstone and Kohn had already arranged to have grain and cattle delivered by the spring.
"We had to think not only of the penniless masses, but of the more well-to-do elements whom we wanted to attract to Palestine. Offers of employment or of direct assistance would not tempt them, of course. Some other inducement had to be found. I followed in the steps of the Khedive Ismail of Egypt, who had offered a free building site to anyone pledging himself to erect a home costing no less than 30,000 francs. I did the same thing, but made the proviso that the land was to revert to the New Society after fifty years (since we had reinstituted the old jubilee year). As everyone knows, it was through the Khedive's clever device that the delightful city of Cairo sprang up. It worked equally well in our case.
"Hardly had our representatives abroad announced the offer than we were deluged with applications from all parts of the world. Wellner worked out a set of model plans for homes in consultation with Fischer. The town plans for Haifa, Jaffa, Tiberias and other places had been prepared by Steineck before he left London. Steineck had also made several model plans for pretty middle-class homes. Simultaneously with the announcement of the free building sites, we had large numbers of copies made of his plans and sent them to prospective home-builders. The latter were not obliged to follow these plans. It was only intended to show them what kind of homes could be put up in Palestine and at what cost.
The allotment of the sites was to take place on the twenty-first of March, the first day of spring. The application lists were closed on the first of March. Whoever was given a site was required to join the general co-operative association of our settlers, and to deposit one-third of the building costs in cash or securities with the New Society. Applicants were required, also, to appear in person or by proxy when the allocations were made. The deposits might be withdrawn as soon as building was actually begun.
"I had Wellner work out the method of allocating the plots. Officials of the New Society were to come to all places where would-be builders were reported, and to arrange for the formation of committees of three, five, or seven persons according to the length of the respective lists. Precedence was given to those willing to build immediately. When there was no difference in time, groups were given the preference over individuals. If all other conditions were equal, lots were cast.
"Our preference for groups was due to our desire everywhere to found strong colonizing nuclei, which would be expected to assume local communal responsibilities themselves. As it worked out, individuals attached themselves to groups even before the allotments were made; and the smaller groups attached themselves to the larger ones. In this way, controversies were avoided, while all due freedom of action was observed.
"There were also rules for the allotment of sites to individuals within the groups. Anyone who was willing to assume a larger share of the local responsibilities, such as laying of streets and roads, sewerage, lighting, water supply and so on, received a correspondingly better or larger site. These just, simple rules were easily observed. The New Society officials recorded the assignments, and their record was countersigned by each local committee.
"That same day the lists of allotments were forwarded to our legal department at Haifa." If the rules had been followed and no protest was lodged by any responsible person, the allotments were held to be legally binding and title was registered after one week. If, however, a protest was received, the case was investigated immediately and on the spot.
"For this purpose I organized a staff of traveling investigators, who were attached to the legal department in Haifa. This staff consisted of two officials with legal training and a secretary. They were provided with a list of the places from which the complaints had been received, and instructed to go from place to place; as speedily as possible. The costs for investigating the complaints were defrayed by the party against whom judgment was rendered. There was no further court of appeal.
"For such and similar tasks, I had Wellner, who was in charge of the Haifa bureau, engage fifty young graduate lawyers and doctors; of law from various countries. We needed these multilingual legal forces for our correspondence as well, which had to be carried on in many languages.
"Most of our letters were sent in reply to requests for data received from independent business men. Here Wellner's legal bureau worked hand in glove with Fischer's engineering department. We had announced in the press of many countries that business men with some capital who were interested in establishing industries in a Mediterranean country could secure reliable data and advice on labor and market conditions, and even credits for the purchase of machinery. Every mail brought sheaves of inquiries from the offices of the newspapers in which we had advertised. They were easy to answer, as most of them merely asked which country was meant. I had six or seven forms worked out in reply to such inquiries, and the office merely had to fill in the names and addresses. However, some hundreds of serious business men did emerge from among the thousands of inquirers. They were by no means all Jews. At first, indeed, the English and the German Protestants predominated, since those nations are the most enterprising and boldest of colonizers. In replying to questions, we were not in any way swayed by considerations of race or creed. Everyone who wanted to work the soil of Israel was welcome. Our technical bureau and our secretariat conscientiously furnished whatever information was desired. Of course, before we entered into close relations with anyone, we investigated his references carefully. Business men who came to us bought their experience more cheaply than elsewhere, because we told them where competition was keen or likely to become so. In its own interest, the New Society was obligated to foster all enterprises which attached themselves to it. We therefore regarded independent business men as persons who were furthering our own plans.
"Out of all these questions and answers there was gradually evolved a department of labor and industrial statistics to which were greatly indebted for our prosperity. Working on the information with which it provided us, we were able to establish ourselves in commercial freedom without either hectic over-production or interference in the affairs of the individual manufacturer....
"When all of these projects were under way, I permitted myself a jolly diversion...."
The invalid beckoned to her son. He halted the machine, and hurried over to her. She was tired and wanted to be put back to bed. David and Miriam shoved the wheel chair back into the sick room. The poor invalid made her farewell to the guests with a gentle glance. The elder Littwak sighed, and the whole company felt under a cloud.
When David returned to the room, he asked whether they desired to listen further to Joe's narrative. There was ready assent, and Joe resumed his story.
"Permitted myself a jolly diversion. At first, it was looked upon as a sort of game or entertainment, and I was very much criticized for it. I am referring to my Ship of the Wise. I wanted this ship to visit 'Old-New-Land' prior to the Return of the Jews. Its very appearance in Mediterranean waters was to herald the new era.
"It was not difficult to arrange. I explained my idea to the manager of a large English tourist bureau. Two weeks later he handed me estimates, contract forms, and plans.. At his suggestion, I chartered a fine modern steamer, the 'Futuro,' from an Italian line plying between Naples and Alexandria. She was to be ready for us at Genoa on the fifteenth of March, and would remain at our disposal for six weeks. In the meantime, the tourist manager reserved accommodations for five hundred guests at first-class hotels in Italy, Egypt, Asia Minor and Greece, and provided them with tickets on the Italian railways (they were to embark either at Naples or at Genoa, as they chose). Outwardly, the expedition resembled the pleasure tours of the Near East already common in those days. But it was really much more.
"The ladies and gentlemen whom we invited for that six weeks' spring Lour of the eastern Mediterranean belonged to the intellectual aristocracy of the whole civilized world. The choicest spirits were called, without distinction of race or creed; and they came. They came not only because we offered them a delightful excursion, but because they knew this to be a unique occasion for meeting with their peers. On board the 'Futuro' were gathered poets and philosophers, inventors, explorers, investigators and artists of every type, political economists, statesmen, publicists, journalists.
"Ample physical and intellectual recreation was provided. All the comforts known to tourist agencies were to be found on board, for our guests were to enjoy six weeks without a cloud. Nothing that could give them pleasure was overlooked from the ship's orchestra that played at mealtime to the ship's paper published every morning. With such a passenger list, you may imagine that that sheet did not lack fascinating content. The trip was taken along many coasts; and, at every port, the 'Futuro' picked up news telegrams from the whole world, which promptly appeared in the next morning's paper. But, of course, by far the most valuable section was the literary page, where the events and experiences of each day were described by master pens. For example, the celebrated 'Table Talks,' which were later referred to as the New Platonic Dialogues, appeared there from day to day. Questions of the highest import were discussed -on an exalted level, you may be sure. The noblest minds of the period were expressing themselves, giving and receiving memorable stimulation.
"I shall mention only a few of the topics they discussed, such as the establishment of a truly modern commonwealth, education through art, land reform, charity organization, social welfare for workingmen, the role of women in civilized society, the progress of applied science, and many other topics. The 'Futuro Table Talks' have long been a gem of world literature. I myself know them only from the printed page, for it was not given me to hear them with my own ears.
"I had not the time then to make a pleasure trip, since I had to keep closely at my work. When the 'Futuro' anchored at Genoa, I had already been in Palestine for some time. But I read the ship's bulletin with a close attention and appreciation I have never given a newspaper before or since. I am not a philosopher, and in those days certainly was too busy to occupy myself with abstractions. But I searched in those 'Table Talks' for whatever seemed practical, and then tried to apply the ideas.
"It was as if the spirit of the times were speaking to the Jewish people from the 'Futuro' at the very moment when we were about to re-establish ourselves as a nation. The words that came from the ship were treasured and taken to heart by us. But it was when our honored guests actually trod upon the soil of Palestine that their comments were particularly fruitful and stimulating.
"The Ship of the Wise sailed along our coast. The passengers traveled about the country in large groups or small as they preferred. Their comfort was well looked after in every case.
"Not all of them were interested in the same things or in equal degree. The geologists wanted to see this, the electrical engineers that. Botanists, architects, painters, political economists-all sought out their own fields. The groups formed themselves naturally for the expeditions on shore; but so delightful was the spirit on the 'Futuro' that some of the passengers rarely left the ship at all. There were among them some who saw nothing of Palestine but the railway between Jerusalem and Haifa. There is a story, which I do not vouch for, that one accomplished writer never left the ship for a moment, declaring, 'This ship is Zion!' Later, however, he described Palestine and its people very fully.
"I must admit that this writer had excellent sources of information. When his fellow-passengers returned to the boat, they brought back an abundance of material which they had observed with expert eyes, and described it in masterly fashion. Each time after an excursion there were new themes for the table talk, which gave rise to the marvelous dialogues concerning what could be done in Palestine. I read and re-read those dialogues until I knew them by heart, as I do to this day. The comments of the artists impressed me most deeply-perhaps because I am myself no artist. On its practical side, our enterprise required only enough common sense to adapt the available facilities to Palestinian conditions. But it is to the artists. of the- 'Futuro' that I owe the valuable lesson that our land had much natural beauty; and that it must be made beautiful everywhere, always more beautiful. For beauty gladdens the heart of man.
"It is one of my most curious experiences that I never properly saw the 'Futuro.' I arranged the cruise, followed its developments, took to heart the words of wisdom that came from the ship, but-saw nothing of it. This is how it happened:
"When the 'Futuro' appeared off our coast, I was busy inland. Fischer, Steineck and Alladino presented the compliments of the New Society when she anchored at Jaffa. I intended to present myself when I should have completed an urgent piece of business. But it was a time when I was traveling day and night from one labor camp to another. Very often I slept in my touring car. And in those days there were no such comforts as we now have. When I knew in advance where I was going to spend the night, a barrack was knocked together for me. However, it was not always possible to foresee this. Besides, it was just as well for me to appear here and there unannounced in order to inspect the laying of the roads, the distribution of land, and the agricultural work. Though detailed plans and instructions had been prepared for everything, I preferred to convince myself in person that all was going according to schedule. I was in constant touch with my Haifa headquarters. Thence came messages which sent me scurrying from one end of the country to the other. Despite all our planning, it was not possible always to prevent occasional hitches with the workmen or in the commissariat. These things required rapid action and revised arrangements. At times there would be Gordian knots in connection with assigning land that no one but myself could cut.
"We were doing the spring planting on the lands of the New Society. Though we had organized agricultural producers co-operatives on the Rahaline model, our people were still new at it, needing guidance, and also at times someone in authority to make decisions. Our tasks were by no means extraordinary, but they did require close attention. There's no art in planting summer wheat, barley, oats, maize or turnips. And yet all sorts of difficulties arose. We had to battle with the neglected soil, which resisted our efforts. However, we had the newest agricultural equipment and cast-iron determination so that in the end, we mastered the soil, and it became our friend. Organization is the chief thing; and we had organized everything down to the last detail before our mobilization.
"The men in the employ of the New Society worked only several hours a day, but they concentrated all their strength into those seven hours. They laid roads, dug canals, built houses, cleared stones from the fields that were to be plowed with electric plows, planted trees. Each man knew that he was working for all his comrades, and that all were working for him. They went out singing to their work in the morning, and returned singing at night. Our work was like a sudden burst of spring, when bare trees turn green over night. And every day increased our momentum.
"I installed a telephone and telegraph system immediately. Though these services could not be made available to the public in the beginning, we made use of them at once in our administrative work. The wires ran out from Haifa. In the convoy car behind mine, .I carried a telegrapher who connected me quickly with my Haifa office and with the London headquarters. Only in this way could I have supervised the distribution of labor and materials.
"Every day five hundred, a thousand or two thousand immigrants arrived at the various ports between Beirut and Jaffa. They were set to work the day after they landed. No delays! We needed tens of thousands of men for railway construction alone, and still more to erect the public buildings of the New Society-the administration offices, schools, hospitals, etc. No great skill was required once the plans had been adopted, and all that had been arranged well in advance. For their work on the roads, railways and other public utilities, our laborers received not only wages (minus deductions for goods they might have purchased from the department stores), but they were also entitled .to be settled on the land. An immigrant whom we assigned to various jobs that spring, was to have a house built for him by the autumn in which to receive his family.
"As I have said, carrying out the work was a simple matter once the plans were there. The military staffs of the great European powers had far more difficult tasks in the nineteenth century. It is really immodest to compare our tasks with achievements like theirs. We had only to settle half a million people by the autumn, and could count upon a harvest in the meantime, while the old military staffs had to feed millions of men, often in enemy territory, and usually in times of a general dislocation of commerce and traffic. We, however, were in a friendly country, on our ancestral soil, in fact. And we not only did not frighten business off, but attracted it strongly. The people for whom we had to provide began at once to produce the means for their own maintenance and also for the later comers.
"All over the country independent manufacturers were erecting factories that were to be roofed over by the autumn. As a matter of fact, any sensible person could see what splendid industrial prospects were opening up in this country: the local market for goods created by the large immigration; the low freight rates on the outbound ships, which still carried little return cargo; the long coast line; the central situation of the country between Europe and Asia. All these factors tempted people hither.
"After our first harvest, which was not especially good, but only fair, I reviewed the situation and decided that it was not necessary to interrupt the immigration in the autumn as we had planned originally. When I cabled the local Zionist federations that it was not necessary to halt the stream of immigrants, there was great enthusiasm everywhere. I date the triumph of our New Society from that first harvest. We were to have more abundant harvests in later years; the old gold of the wheat was to grow more plentifully out of our soil; but we never again harvested so much as in that year, for we then reaped the confidence of our brethren allover the world. Barely a twelve-month after I had established our headquarters in London, I was able to say to my staff in Haifa that it had been a good year.
"Our administration building in Haifa was roofed over by the autumn, but still unfinished within. We were to occupy it only in the spring. But I could say to my valiant assistants, 'Now we have a roof over our heads.' I referred to the whole structure of the New Society. We had merely to keep on as we were going, to overlook no detail, and to keep a watchful eye on our work. Our tasks grew more extensive, but they were easier to carry out as time went on.
"The larger engineering enterprises-the water works had been finished. We linked ourselves with a very ancient Jewish heritage-the Pools of Solomon's which still bear witness to the skill of our ancestors. We had, indeed, to do more than furnish water for Jerusalem and the other cities; electric light and power also had to be produced. The Dead Sea Canal and our other engineering works prove that our engineers did not spare themselves-Fischer, their splendid chief, less than anyone else.
"There also poured into our land a stream of capital and credit. Our purposeful work and immediate successes had won for us the confidence of the public. Just as we had organized agricultural producers' co-operatives with our new peasants, so we had brought modern agricultural credits into the country. At first some people thought that we should soon exhaust our credits if we gave our settlers dwelling houses, farm buildings, machinery, horses, cows, sheep, poultry, wagons, implements, seed, and fodder. The cost of settling one family on the land was about 600 pounds. Our clever opponents therefore calculated that the cost of settling one thousand families would be 600,000 pounds, ten thousand families 6,000,000 pounds, etc., etc., and so ascertained the exact date when our funds would give out altogether. These expert calculators overlooked one trifle, namely, that settlers represent an appreciable economic value, and that money can always be borrowed on good collateral. The New Society could if it chose, have increased its cash resources very largely by well-covered, amortizable loans. In a word, the more settlers we brought into the country, the more money flowed in. So it is allover the world with good management. Why should it not have worked out equally well in our case?
"But I see that I have digressed from the subject in hand. As I have said, the 'Futuro' visited us at a time when I was busy in the interior. I was forced to postpone my trip to Jaffa from one day to the next all the while the Ship of the Wise lay anchored there.
"Once it happened that a party from the boat was driving in several cars along a new road bordering some fields where I was riding about on horseback. They glanced at the great steam roller being used there, and observed some of our men working in the fields. The bright silk veils fluttering from the ladies' hats was a pretty sight. I did not ride up to them, because I was all dusty and perspiring and looked like a highwayman. I still thought then that I should be able to present myself to their distinguished company while the 'Futuro' lay at Jaffa. But it turned out otherwise. The next day I received a telegram which obliged me to hurry off to Constantinople. There was a very important matter to be arranged with the Turkish Government. I ordered my yacht put under steam at once, and called my department chiefs together. I appointed Fischer (who knew all my views) acting director, and sailed for Constantinople the next day with my secretary.
"It was impossible for me to visit the 'Futuro' then, but I counted upon her remaining along the coast of Palestine until I returned. I did everything in my power to hurry things in Constantinople, but everything dragged as it occasionally does in that charming but sleepy city and my impatience helped me not at all. In spirit I was in Palestine all the while. I was in hourly touch with Fischer and my London office. Only with those delightful people on the 'Futuro' I could have no communication. My regrets grew the greater as the ship sailed northward. Fischer kept me informed as to her movements. Now she was in Tyre, then in Sidon. She was to stay over a bit in Beirut, so as to allow time for an excursion to Damascus. I hoped that she would still be at Beirut when I finally got away from Constantinople. My presence was urgently required in Palestine, but I did want to allow myself half a day at Beirut in order to board the 'Futuro.' My good yacht flew over the waves, for I had asked my captain to make his best speed. And at that we were too late. Passing Cyprus one morning I noticed a ship in the distance bound in the opposite direction. It flashed upon me that she might be the 'Futuro.' I rushed to the bridge, but was not a good enough seaman to identify a ship at that distance. The captain unfortunately was downstairs in his cabin. By the time he had been called to the bridge, the ship was out of sight. To race after her on a chance was inadvisable. For one thing, it was doubtful whether we could overtake her; for another, the 'Futuro' might still be lying at Beirut, and then I would probably miss her. When we reached Beirut, I learned that my surmise had been correct: the ship I had seen in the morning sunlight off Cyprus had indeed been the 'Futuro.'
"I felt a certain pang. Ever since then I have cherished the wish that it might be granted me to see the return of the 'Futuro' after twenty five years. I don't mean the same boat, of course-she would be obsolete, and we shall have a splendid new one; nor the identical group of guests: Some of .them will have died, and there many new stars will have arisen on the horizon of civilization in the meantime. But we intend that every twenty-five years a ship named the 'Futuro' shall bring us such an Aeropagus, before whose judgment we shall bow. We shall set up no make-believe villages as at a world's fair, but shall place our whole country on exhibit before the 'Futuro' as an honored jury.
"When they come again and it is given me not to miss them...should they find that Joe Levy has performed his simple but onerous task with some degree of skill, why then-I shall go on the retired list. And when I die, lay me beside my dear friend Fischer, up there in the Carmel cemetery, overlooking our beloved land and sea."
Joe's story was finished. His last words had deeply touched his listeners.
Kingscourt cleared his throat noisily. "Seems to be a charming fellow, this .Joe. Very charming fellow. Too bad he's not here. Should like to shake his hand. Hope to see him before we move on. There's one thing he's got me excited about-that Dead Sea Canal. Seems to be a kind of world's wonder. When do we get a peep at this myth?"
David promised to take them immediately after Passover. Meanwhile, life was pleasant in Tiberias. Kingscourt ate the unleavened bread valiantly, and swore that he, a Christian German nobleman, was becoming thoroughly "judaized." His most violent oaths were aimed at Fritzchen, whose tyranny grew more exacting from day to day. The little rascal thought, did he that Kingscourt had nothing better to do in his old age than to play hobby horse for him? However, he permitted himself rebellious remarks only when his tyrant was asleep. When the baby woke and called for "Otto," the growling bear became his obedient slave immediately.
When they made plans for the trip through the Jordan Valley to Jericho, David thought of leaving the baby with his grandparents; but Kingscourt interposed all sorts of objections. The boy ought to learn something about the country, just like other people. David would be an unnatural rather if he left him behind. In the worst event, if Fritzchen did not come along, he would forego the whole .Dead Sea Canal and stay with the baby. He was so determined that the parents finally yielded; then he pretended utter indifference. He wasn't at all concerned personally. He had merely taken the part of a helpless child!
In the meantime, Reschid Bey returned to his family, promising to meet his friends in Jerusalem. Steineck (the architect) also went on to Haifa, being much concerned with the elections to the forthcoming congress. Judging both from private and newspaper reports, the Geyer party seemed to be exerting itself mightily. Steineck therefore had to be at his post at the Haifa campaign headquarters, which was in hourly touch with the local committees.
David, however, had some private business to transact in the Jaulan district before he would be free to make the Jordan Valley trip. He invited Kingscourt and Friedrich to accompany him. The latter assented readily, since Miriam and Professor Steineck were also to be of the party. Kingscourt, however, remained in Tiberias because-so he said-he did not wish to let Sarah and Mrs. Gothland travel alone in the motor car to Beisan. His weakness for Fritzchen being already pretty well taken for granted, he was not teased overmuch for this decision. It was arranged that all of them meet at a Beisan hotel (in the Jordan Valley) two days later.
A handsome electric launch was waiting to take the four travelers across Lake Kinneret. Those who were remaining in Tiberias came to the pier to see them off. When Friedrich shook hands with Kingscourt, the latter said, "Do you know, Fritze, that this is the first day we have spent apart in twenty years? Don't get lost on a byroad in the place with the crazy Arab name-or may a thousand salted Donnerwetters overtake you! And you, Miss Miriam, please don't take advantage of the opportunity to turn this boy's head. He's forty-three years old. The most dangerous age! And now God bless you! We'll meet you at Beisan!"
Miriam and Friedrich both blushed at the old man's crude joke, and showed their embarrassment as they entered the launch. Kingscourt winked significantly at Mrs. Gothland, much pleased at his success in discomfiting them.
It was a mild spring day. The yacht skimmed over the waves, which were slightly rippled by a playful breeze. The lovely mansions and villas of Tiberias receded as the steep shores of the eastern side of the lake loomed up before them. They had a magnificent view of Mount Hermon to the north, and enjoyed watching the craft of all shapes and sizes that dotted the lake. The crossing was as fleet as a dream, and the launch soon docked in a little bay. It was only a few yards walk to the electric railway station, where they soon caught a train. Their destination was EI-Kunetra, where David had his appointments. From their seats in the drawing-room car they observed the gradual ascent of the roadbed to the town, which lay a thousand feet above sea-level. EI-Kunetra, as a railway junction between Safed and Damascus, was a town of some commercial importance in Transjordania.
When they alighted from their train, they noticed a train on the next track marked for Beirut. Boyish voices were singing in one of the cars-they guessed the youngsters to be from fourteen to sixteen years old. "Are they off on a little trip?" asked Friedrich. "Yes," smiled Professor Steineck, "around the world!"
Miriam explained the character of this school excursion. It was modeled after the trips which the French Benedictine monks used to arrange a quarter of a century previously for pupils under the escort of their teachers. The young men learned foreign languages and customs on their travels, so that study and seeing the world were systematically interwoven. They were much more mature for their years than the youth of the previous generation. Their education was not only more sound, but less expensive, since they were ready to assume adult duties earlier. The money invested by the New Society in these school caravans soon bore interest.
Only the best pupils were given this opportunity. No public moneys were wasted on lazy or incompetent boys, while the honor was eagerly sought by those who were diligent and ambitious. The love of adventure which boys had in the trying adolescent age was not only curbed by this means but stimulated into wholesome channels, just as an automobile was propelled forward by a series of little explosions.
These school caravans were systematically planned by the Education Department of the New Society, which had equipped school buildings in the various countries visited, where every provision was made for the care as well as for the instruction of the boys. These buildings were always situated in small towns near the great capitals. In France, for example, the educational building of the New Society was at Versailles. It was better for the physical and spiritual welfare of the pupils that they should live away from the dangerous capital cities. Each of the institutions was in charge of a resident principal, and the caravans were conducted by class teachers who spent three months abroad with their pupils. The itineraries were arranged at the educational headquarters in Jerusalem. Thus the boys saw something of the world without interruption of their studies.
"What about the girls?" quizzed Friedrich.
"Girls don't go on such tours," replied Miriam. "We believe that the place of a growing girl is beside her mother, even when she has been well trained for her duties in the New Society and fulfills them."
While David was engaged with his affairs, Miriam, Friedrich, and Professor Steineck sauntered through the busy town. They saw very little Oriental merchandise in the shops, most of which were agencies for European firms.
They had very good accommodations at an English hotel. Friedrich no longer marveled at the comforts found in Palestine. It was natural enough that a center of international traffic should provide for the comfort of travelers.
That evening they had an early dinner, intending to make an early start the next morning for the so called "granary" of Palestine.
The morning sky was glowing with delicate color as they boarded the electric train that was to carry them through a bewitching spring landscape. Friedrich felt stirring of the springtides of his boyhood in his blood. And, though he dared hardly admit it to himself, the proximity of the lovely Miriam was not without its influence upon his mood. How capably she explained the things that attracted his attention. Sometimes, when she was not fully enough informed, David and Steineck helped her out.
Friedrich, having been trained only in the law and never having studied the applied sciences, really had little notion of modem technical progress and in this he was like most of the educated men of his day. He therefore thought Steineck must be teasing him with some scientific joke when he said that the waters which flowed up from the north and the south met at the watershed here. Steineck did, as it happened, want his little joke with the unscientific Friedrich, but did not long withhold the explanation. Of course, the waters did not flow uphill of themselves, but were forced up by hydraulic pressure. Even in "Old-New-Land" it had been no more possible to change the laws of Nature than the nature of man. But, with the progress of civilization, men had come to understand natural forces better, and had learned how to utilize them. It was no longer necessary to set a mill wheel directly under a waterfall, as in the simple old days. Nowadays the mill wheel was driven by a brook flowing fifteen or twenty miles away, whose power was carried in the form of electric current over cables. By the end of the nineteenth century, this problem had been fully solved; in America, especially, they had gone far in this respect. Electric power from Niagara Falls had been transmitted over a distance of one hundred and sixty-two kilometers and current had also been carried, with a very slight loss of power, for one hundred and thirty-three kilometers from the San Bernardino mountains in Southern California to the city of Los Angeles. These things were easily copied in Palestine. The water power of the Dead Sea Canal in the south and of the springs of the Hermon and the Lebanon in the north was also transmitted in the same way.
"The real founders of 'Old-New-Land,'" said David, "were the hydraulic engineers. There was everything in having the swamps drained, the arid tracts irrigated, and a system of power supply installed."
After traveling for an hour and a half, they reached a model farm established by a millionaire benevolent association and supervised by the New Society. The manager showed them over the whole magnificent estate. Friedrich was especially taken with the central electric station near the administration building. Its walls were covered with buttons, numbers, and little tablets. Two simply dressed young girls were working there under the instructions of an official who sat at a desk and continually put up the telephone receiver to his ear. It reminded Friedrich of a visit he had once paid to a telephone exchange. The manager explained that the electric current was transmitted from this station to all parts of the estate as needed, and shut off the moment it was not needed. The station served not only the farm, but also several allied industrial enterprises-a sugar factory, a brewery, a spirit refinery, a mill, etc.
The farm buildings which they saw, like the .factories, roads, and fields, had the last word in technical appliances. The place was painfully clean, and all work was performed so quietly that one could not help noting it. The great wheels of the estate turned with a minimum of noise. A group of workers in uniform passed by, tools slung over their shoulders, and eyes averted. Some of them seemed sullen, others shy. They gave the manager the military salute.
"May I be allowed a criticism?" asked Friedrich. "We have admired so many fine things in 'Old-New-Land' that perhaps I may venture a misgiving."
"Certainly!" replied David. "What is it?"
"These laborers seem peculiarly depressed, as if the splendid machine they serve had somehow crushed something in them. Of what good are all the clever mechanical devices if people are none the happier for using them? These men remind me of the factory workers of my day. I admit, they look less sad, and seem to be healthier. Nevertheless, there is a resemblance. That is what troubles me. Knowing that this farm belongs to a benevolent association, I expected to see happier-looking people. I confess, I am a bit disappointed."
The manager gave him a surprised glance, and turned questioningly to the others. "Doesn't Dr. Loewenberg know where he is?" he asked.
"No," replied David. "We purposely did not tell him, as we wanted him to gain an unbiased impression. It Was to be a surprise for him that this is a penal colony."
"Impossible!" cried Friedrich. "A penal colony! That alters the case, of course! Will you please tell me," he asked the manager, "if you get effective educational results?"
"Our people are restored to physical and moral health. Most of them come to love life on the land, and don't want to leave it. After serving their terms, they are often glad to remain here as hired laborers. Sometimes we settle them as independent farmers in remote districts. The profits of the estate are used to finance such settlements, which begin to repay the loans after a few years. We restore the dregs of society to manhood."
When, the next day at Beisan, Friedrich reported what he had seen to Kingscourt, the old man exploded, "Of course! All the marvels happen when I'm not there. Water flows uphill, and prisons are free!"
The Noah's ark carried them southward along the Jordan Valley on a well-paved road, which often followed the river bed and as often diverged from it. The Jordan was at its spring rise, the landscape on both shores softly green. Lovely villages, towns, and residential suburbs peeped out from wooded slopes on the eastern and western heights. Every now and then the Jordan Valley train rushed by on the right bank. There was also lively traffic on the high road. It was the season when most of the tourists forsook Jericho now a famous winter resort. The Jordan Valley was already too warm for the spoiled darlings of fashion who had run away from the European winter. There were many large touring cars on the road which resembled David's ark, with parties of smartly dressed men and women traveling northward, the Lebanon season being now at its height. The tourists would take ship for Europe at the end of April from Beirut, unless they preferred the quicker land route to Constantinople by the Asia Minor express.
But, though the pleasure-seekers left the Jordan Valley when the hot weather set in, the sturdiest elements - the workers-remained at home there. The plains on both sides of the river, famed since ancient times for their fertility, were more luxuriantly planted than ever before. Now that the Jordan Valley was worked with the newest and best agricultural machinery available, it yielded abundant crops of rice, sugar cane, tobacco and cotton, which brought rich profits.
The hydraulic engineers had achieved remarkable things in this region. Regulation of the Jordan had been only one of their tasks. By means of magnificent dams in the valleys between the mountains on the eastern side, the abundant water supply of the land had been utilized to the full. In the ages when the land had lain neglected, the rain had been allowed to run off into the ground. Now, by the simple system of dams so well known throughout the civilized world, every drop of water that fell from the heavens was exploited for the public, good. Milk and honey once more flowed in the ancient home of the Jews. Palestine was again the Promised Land.
All these useful works were placed in a setting of beauty. White structures gleamed out of green gardens upon the terraced slopes on both sides of the river. Marble villas towered above the level of the travelers' vision. The marble was brought from quarries not far away-near the Dead Sea. One pleasant surprise after another revealed itself to Kingscourt and Friedrich as they drove along. When they approached the beautiful town of Jericho, even the critical Kingscourt became speechless at sight of the many beautiful hotels, mansions and villas nestling within tropical plantations and clumps of palm trees. He had never imagined it to be so enchanting a health resort. Now he asked that they drive down directly to the Dead Sea before stopping at their hotel. Fortunately for him Fritzchen had fallen asleep, or "Otto" would not have been allowed such separatist notions. The ladies alighted at the hotel with the child, and the others drove down the short distance to the valley where the Dead Sea was spread out like a deep blue mirror. Their ears were assailed by a roaring-the thunder of the Canal waters, led hither through tunnels from the Mediterranean, rushing down to the depths.
David briefly explained the plan of the works. The Dead Sea, as everyone knew, was the lowest point on the earth's surface, lying three hundred and ninety-four meters below the level of the Mediterranean. To convert this tremendous difference in levels into a source of power was the simplest idea in the world. There was a loss of only eighty-odd meters in the course of the Canal from the coast to the Dead Sea. There still remained, therefore, a net difference of over three hundred feet. The Canal, which was ten meters wide and three deep, provided about 50,000 horsepower.
Kingscourt would by no means admit surprise. "Even in my time," said he, "the power station at Niagara Falls provided 40,000 horse-power."
"But," retorted David, "the Dead Sea Canal cannot be compared with the Niagara Falls. Even though the Falls are only fifty meters high, there are millions of horsepower there because of the enormous amount of water. But we are quite satisfied with the total of 500,000 horsepower that we produce at the various power stations in the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea Canal."
"Quite right, highly esteemed water-power artist," admitted the old man. "But there's one thing I don't understand. Much more water now flows into the Dead Sea basin than before, but it still has no outlet. Is the evaporation greater now?"
"Not a bad question," remarked the Professor. "Only you must realize, gentlemen, that we draw as much water out of the Dead Sea as we pour into it. We take great quantities of fresh water from it, which are pumped into reservoirs and used for irrigation in areas where water is as necessary as it is superfluous here. Understand?"
"Of course I understand!" shouted Kingscourt, and this once his shouting was pardonable because they stood by the roaring waterfall. "You're damned sly fellows, I must admit!"
And now they were in front of the power station. While driving down from Jericho, they had not been able to get a full view of the Dead Sea. Now they saw it lying broad and blue in the sun" no smaller than the Lake of Geneva. On the northern shore, near where they stood, was a narrow, pointed strip of land extending behind the rocks over which the waters of the Canal came thundering down. Below were the turbine sheds; above, extensive factory buildings. There were, in fact, as far as the eye could reach around the shore, numerous large manufacturing plants. The water power at source had attracted many industries; the Canal had stirred the Dead Sea to life. The iron tubes through which the waters of the Canal beat down upon the turbine wheels reminded Kingscourt of the apparatus at Niagara. There were some twenty of these mighty iron tubes at the Dead Sea, jutting out from the rocks at equal distances. They were set vertically upon the turbine sheds, resembling fantastic chimneys. The roaring from the tubes and the white foam on the outflowing waters bore witness to a mighty work.
They stepped into one of the turbine sheds. Friedrich was overwhelmed by the immensity of the power development shown him, but Kingscourt seemed quite at his ease in the tumult of this industrial apparatus. With all his might he screamed comments no one could possibly hear; but they could see from his face that for once he was wholly satisfied. It really was a magnificent, Cyclopean sight as the waters crashed down upon the huge bronze spokes of the turbine wheels and drove them to furious turnings.
From here the tamed natural forces were conducted into electric generators, and the current sent along wires throughout all parts of the country. The "Old-New-Land" had been fructified into a garden and a home for people who had once been poor, weak, hopeless, and homeless.
"I feel myself crushed by all this greatness," sighed Friedrich, when at last he could speak.
"Not we," responded David earnestly. "We have not been crushed by the greatness of these forces-it has lifted us up!"
Source: Zionism and Israel Information Center