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Philipp Newlinski

(1841 - 1899)

Philipp Michael Newlinski was the diplomatic agent of Zionist leader Theodor Herzl in Constantinople and the Balkan countries.

The son of a Polish aristocratic family, Newlinski took up journalism as a young adult. He was appointed to the staff of the Austro-Hungarian embassy in Constantinople where he became familiar with the situation in Turkey and the Balkan States, established contacts with the royal houses, and gained influence with the sultan. In 1880, he resumed his profession as a journalist, first in Paris and from 1887 in Vienna, where he founded his own newspaper, Correspondance de l'Est. He also published booklets on political themes.

Herzl established contact with Newlinski in 1896 and persuaded him to work for the realization of Zionist aims. At first Newlinski was paid for his efforts, but under Herzl's influence he became a zealous supporter of the movement and served as Herzl's trusted adviser. He accompanied Herzl on his first visit to Constantinople and tried to arrange an audience with the sultan, but succeeded only in attaining a decoration for Herzl as a sign of the sultan's esteem. Newlinski did arrange a meeting between Herzl and Crown Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria, and himself met with the king of Serbia, obtaining the latter's support for the Zionist cause. He tried to gain the sympathy of Bismarck and the Vatican and in general was instrumental in recruiting many prominent personalities in support of Herzl's vision.

Illness prevented Newlinski from attending the First Zionist Congress in 1897, but he was present at the Second Congress. His newspaper devoted a special column to Zionist affairs. In 1899, Herzl sent him to Constantinople, where he was received by the sultan. On his return from this mission Newlinski passed away.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.