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Ludwik Zamenhof's ideogram

The selection of quotes from Zamenhof, showing the evolution of his ideological attitude throughout his life.

  • 1881 (23 years old) – Territorialist: See you soon my nation, in one’s own hut, on the free shores of Mississippi;
  • 1882 (23 years old) – Zionist: (…) After 3-4 years of vigorous work on Zionism, I came to the view that this idea is leading nowhere, and so I parted with it (...) and when in 1897 the great Zionist movement of Herzl was born, I did not want to join it anymore;
  • 1887 (42 years old) – Esperanto: An international language will come into being once and for all only if there will be a group of people who will accept it as its mother tongue, passed down from generation to generation;
  • 1901 (43 years old) – Hilelism. Criticism of Zionism: Zionism itself, once it is in the hands of intellectuals, will sooner or later be revoked to save Hebrew;
  • 1906 (47 years old) – Humanitarianism: (…) None of us wants to be a nationalistic obsessionist, we want to be simply humans and at the same time honest citizens of our countries;


Ludwik Zamenhof at his desk in Warsaw apartment, 1910, UEA Archives    


  • 1910 (51 years old) – Multiculturalism: I believe that no country belongs to one or another ethnic group but in equal degree to all its natives or naturalized inhabitants, regardless of their origin, language, religion or social role;
  • 1914 (55 years old) – United States of Europe: But it would be best if we could have proportionally and geographically organized "United States of Europe" instead of larger and smaller European countries;
  • 1914 (55 years old) – European Court: Any government, for any injustice it commits, should face the Permanent All-European Court, established by the consensus of the contracting parties.

Walter Żelazny