Moses (Moshe) Hess
(June 21, 1812 – April 6, 1875) was a Jewish
philosopher and socialist, and one of the founders of Zionism.
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
temporarily following the suppression of the 1848 commune and again during the Franco-Prussian war.
Hess originally advocated Jewish integration into the universalist socialist movement, and was a friend... Read More