Chaim Weizmann

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Weizmann, Chaim

(khīm` vīts`män), 1874–1952, scientist and Zionist leader, first president (1948–52) of Israel, b. Russia, grad. Univ. of Freiburg, 1899. He lectured in chemistry at the Univ. of Geneva (1901–3) and later taught at the Univ. of Manchester. Active in ZionismZionism,
modern political movement for reconstituting a Jewish national state in Palestine. Early Years

The rise of the Zionist movement in the late 19th cent.
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 from his youth, Weizmann first visited Palestine in 1907. He became a British subject in 1910, and in World War I he was (1916–19) director of the British admiralty laboratories. He became famous when he developed a synthetic acetone to be used in the manufacture of explosives. In 1917 he helped procure the pro-Zionist declaration of Arthur James BalfourBalfour, Arthur James Balfour, 1st earl of
, 1848–1930, British statesman; nephew of the 3d marquess of Salisbury.
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. A founder of so-called synthetic Zionism, Weizmann supported grass-roots colonization efforts as well as higher-level diplomatic activity. After 1920 he assumed leadership in the world Zionist movement, serving twice (1920–31, 1935–46) as president of the World Zionist Organization. In World War II he was (1939–45) honorary adviser to the British ministry of supply and did research on synthetic rubber and high-octane gasoline. When the republic of Israel was founded (1948), Weizmann became the first president. At Rehoboth, where he lived, Weizmann founded a research institute (now the Weizmann Institute of Science). He wrote many papers for scientific journals. Ezer WiezmanWeizman, Ezer
, 1924–2005, Israeli military officer and politician, president of Israel (1993–2000), b. Tel Aviv. A nephew of Chaim Weizmann, he helped found the Israeli air force, serving in it from 1948 to 1966 and rising to the rank of major general and commanding
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 is his nephew.

Bibliography

See his autobiography (1949); his letters and papers (3 vol., 1968–72); biography ed. by M. W. Weisgal and J. Carmichael (1962); studies by I. Berlin (1958) and I. Kolatt (1970); P. Goodman, ed., Chaim Weizmann: A Tribute (1959).

Weizmann, Chaim

 

Born Nov. 27, 1874, near Pinsk; died Nov. 9, 1952, in Rehovot, Israel. Governmental figure of Israel. Born into the family of a lumber merchant.

Weizmann received his education in Russia, Germany, and Switzerland and was a professor of chemistry. He lived in Britain from 1903 until the end of World War II. Weizmann was a leader of the Zionist movement. He was president of the World Zionist Organization from 1920 to 1931 and from 1935 to 1946, and of the Jewish Agency for Palestine from 1929 to 1931 and from 1935 to 1946. He was the first president of the state of Israel (1948-52).