Harry Sacher's Recollections (10 June 1948)

It was in the autumn of 1905 that I came to Manchester, and either about the time or early in 1906, I got into touch with the Manchester Zionist Association. It was a small body then, and poorly housed, but there were goodly men among the members, and quite fair attendances at the Meetings. Among the most active members were Adler, Maisel [sic] (who started the Zionist Banner) Sunlight, Horowitz, and Harris. But, of course, the tower of strength was Dr. Weizmann, whom I met through the Association. I lectured not infrequently, and there sticks in my mind a report of one such address which appeared in the Jewish Chronicle. It ran something like this. "Mr. Harry Sacher delivered an address, and subsequently, a pleasant evening was spent."

People used to talk of a Manchester school of Zionism. There was no real basis to it. As between the "politicals" and the "practicals" in those days when neither politics nor practical work amounted to a great deal, we, largely under Weizmann’s influence, gravitated to the "practicals"; and at the Conferences, our delegates used to do battle with Greenberg and Coven and their followers. But much of the controversy was sterile, and I could take no abiding interest. I remember revolting against the waste of money and energy, for which the "practicals" were responsible when they sought, unavailingly, to get the memorandum of the "Bank" altered.

Leon Simon, Landman and myself took over (but this was in London) the Zionist Banner, and issued a series of Zionist pamphlets. This may be called a contribution from the Manchester School. But when I returned to Manchester in 1915, at Dr. Weizmann’s suggestion, we brought out "Zionism and the Jewish Future". Most of the contributors had no Manchester connections, but Manchester Zionism, in a sense, bred it. "Palestine", which also began during the first world war, was established in Manchester, and practically all the writing was done there. I have always thought it a sound and useful piece of work, and my brothers-in-law, Simon Marks and Israel Sieff, made it possible. They were the most creative recruits to Manchester Zionism during those years, and they owed much of their understanding and their devotion to Weizmann.


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IMAGE AND DOCUMENT CREDITS: Harry Sacher (Patricia Cummings) Full reference: Sources.