DUGDALE, BLANCHE ELIZABETH CAMPBELL°


DUGDALE, BLANCHE ELIZABETH CAMPBELL° (1890–1948), British Zionist; a niece of Arthur James *Balfour. Blanche Dugdale was employed in the British Naval Intelligence Department and became a member of the League of Nations Union and the British government's delegation to the League of Nations Assembly (1932). Described by Chaim Weizmann as "an ardent, lifelong friend of Zionism," "Baffy," as she was affectionately called, constantly tried to influence cabinet ministers and high commissioners by personal contact and in writing, stressing the justice of the Jewish cause in Palestine. She also addressed public meetings, Zionist conferences, and even World Zionist Congresses and advised Weizmann in his political dealings with the British. From 1940 until a few months before her death she worked daily in the political department of the Jewish Agency. During World War II she served on various committees to aid Jewish refugees. She regularly published articles in the Zionist Review and authored a pamphlet The Balfour Declaration: Origins and Background (1940) and a two-volume biography, Arthur James Balfour (1936). Her diary is preserved in the Weizmann archives in Rehovot. Before she died, on May 15, 1948, relatives and friends told her that the State of Israel had been established. Extracts from her diaries, covering the period 1936–47, were edited and published by Norman Rose in 1973. One of the most committed of British "gentile Zionists," it has been said that she "thought of [Jewish] Palestine as her second country."

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Locker, in: Davar (May 9, 1958). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: B.E. Dugdale and N. Rose (eds.), Baffy: The Diaries of Blanche Dugdale, 1936–1947 (1973); ODNB online.

[Josef Fraenkel]


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