Alma Mahler-Werfel & Jerusalem
n 1924 and 1929, Alma and her third husband, Jewish writer Franz Werfel travelled
to Palaistina-Eretz-Israel which turned out to be an explosive preoccupation for them
on both a personal and intellectual level. From the different types
of Jewish immigrants on the ship modern young Zionists as compared
with east-European Jews in kaftan and streimel through the various
different approaches to establishing a Jewish life in Palaistina-Eretz-Israel, to
the numerous testimonies of Jewish history, the impressions gained on
their travels presented a broad panorama of the condition judaica.
On these trips, Werfel was confronted with much that was to become
a central aspect of his creative output in subsequent years; the history
of the Jewish religion, the development of Christianity out of Judaism,
the role of religion in history and in the salvation of the individual
all found their expression in his dramas and novels. All of this confronted
Werfel with his own Jewishness and compelled him to plumb the depths
of his own relationship with it.