Moses Hess

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Moses (Moshe) Hess (June 21, 1812 – April 6, 1875) was a Jewish philosopher and socialist, and one of the founders of Zionism.

Life

Hess was born in Bonn, which was under French rule at the time. In his French-language birth certificate, his name is given as "Moises"; he was named after his maternal grandfather.Shlomo Avineri, Moses Hess: Prophet of Communism and Zionism, p. 7 Hess received a Jewish religious education from his grandfather, and later studied philosophy at the University of Bonn, but never graduated.

He was an early proponent of socialism, and a precursor to what would later be called Zionism. His works includedHoly History of Mankind (1837), European Triarchy (1841) and Rome and Jerusalem The Last National Question, (1862). He married a Catholic working-class woman, Sibylle Pesch, in defiance of bourgeois values. In socialist literature the idea was propagated that she was a prostitute 'redeemed' by Hess, but that notion has been refuted by Hess' biographer Silberner.

As correspondent for the "Rheinische Zeitung", a radical newspaper founded by liberal Rhenish businessmen (and for which Karl Marx also worked), he lived in Paris, fleeing to Belgium and Switzerland temporarily following the suppression of the 1848 commune and again during the Franco-Prussian war.

Communism

Hess originally advocated Jewish integration into the universalist socialist movement, and was a friend...
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