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Israel Waldmann

WALDMANN, ISRAEL (1881–1940), Zionist, active in the Ukrainian government-in-exile. Waldmann was born in Chortkov, east Galicia. In 1897 he was forced to leave school before completing his studies because of his connections with Zionism. He worked as a legal assistant to the Ukrainian leader Dr. V. Holubovych in Ternopol, and through the latter's influence became acquainted with the Ukrainian intelligentsia and its fledgling nationalist movement. (The Zionist movement stayed neutral in the struggle for Ukrainian self-determination.) Waldmann engaged in Zionist politics during the elections to the Austrian parliament in 1907 and 1911. During World War I he left for Vienna, where he continued his close contacts with the Ukrainian nationalists who had set up their national council in Vienna under Dr. Petrushevych. At that time he published a daily, Lemberger Zeitung, supporting Jewish national claims. He was chosen to serve as Jewish representative for eastern Galicia in the Ukrainian national government which was organized in 1918 in Stanislav, but, before his appointment was officially recognized, the expansionist Polish regime annexed Galicia, and the Ukrainian administration was transferred to Vienna in May 1919. Waldmann continued as a propagandist for the Ukrainian leadership and accompanied their representative to the peace talks between Russia and Poland held in Riga in 1921.

In the *Steiger case (1924–25), when a Jew was accused of attempting to kill the Polish president, Waldmann tried to induce the Ukrainian nationalists to admit publicly their responsibility for the act. When his pleadings were ignored, he decided to reveal the Ukrainians' guilt to the public, thereby dissolving his connections with their movement. He testified before the court in Lvov, and several days later Steiger was acquitted. Waldmann was denied residence in Poland and thereafter lived in Vienna until 1935, when he went to Palestine. He died in Jerusalem.


EG, 3 (1955), 145; R. Fahn, Geshikhte fun der Yidisher Natsional-Autonomie inem Period fun der Mayrev Ukrainishen Republik (1933); N.M. Gelber, Toledot ha-Tenu'ah ha-Ẓiyyonit be-Galiẓyah, 2 vols. (1958), index.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.