Leo Motzkin

AZL flag holder TransparentLeo Motzkin (1867 – 7 November 1933) was a Jewish Zionist leader and a leader of the World Zionist Congress and numerous Jewish Zionist organizations. Leo Motzkin was born in the town of Brovary, near the city of Kiev in Ukraine, then a part of the Russian Empire. He was raised and educated in a Jewish family. Motzkin participated in the First Zionist Congress in 1897 and became close to the Zionist leader Theodore Herzl. In 1909, the Zionist Organization commissioned Motzkin to write propaganda alleging pogroms against Jews in Russia. During WWI, Motzkin presided over the Copenhagen office of the Zionist organization and worked as liaison between Zionist organizations across Europe. Leo Motzkin also travelled to the United States to collect funds for Jewish refugees and lobby for Jews in Russia. In August 1914, Motzkin joined Franz Oppenheimer and Adolf Friedemann to create a ‘Committee for Freeing of Russian Jews’. In 1919 he established a Jewish delegation for the Paris Peace Conference to represent Jewish interests across Europe and lobbied for the creation of a World Jewish Congress to represent Jews worldwide (the organization was later made a permanent institution as the League of Nations). Motzkin was also one of the first Jewish leaders to organize opposition to the NSDAP in Germany.

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