Last of Herzl's Descendants Receives His Due

On May 2, 2012, when the country commemorated Theodor Herzl's birthday and his contribution to the State, a garden was dedicated honoring the memory his last descendent, Stephen Theodor Norman. 

The garden sits between the Herzl Museum and the Stella and Alexander Margulies Education Center, both Jerusalem Foundation projects. The Education Center was dedicated one year ago, and stands today as a gathering place for students and various groups to learn more about Zionism and Theodor Herzl's contributions. 

Stephen Theodor Norman was born in 1918 to Trudy Herzl, Theodore Herzl's third daughter. During his childhood in Vienna, Stephen's mother was afflicted with various ailments for which she was hospitalized for long periods. 

Upon the rise of Nazism in Germany, Stephen was sent to England, secured British citizenship and studied there. When he completed his studies, he was drafted into the British army and served as an officer in India during the Second World War. 

In 1945, Stephen visited Israel. His personal papers reveal a sensitive man, one who was a passionate Zionist, participating in the Zionist Conference in London and lobbying for the next one to take place in Jerusalem. He described the suffering of Holocaust survivors and the hope he saw in the eyes of the children who lived in Palestine during the British Mandate period. 

Although he considered settling in Israel, the British mandate representatives made it clear that he was not welcome in Palestine and he ultimately took a post serving in the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.

When he was informed of the death of his parents in the Holocaust, he was despondent and on November 20, 1946, he committed suicide and was buried in a Jewish cemetery in Washington D.C. 

On December 5, 2007, he was reinterred in Jerusalem, on Mount Herzl, next to his family members. 

The Norman Garden is the only place in Israel that honors the memory of Theodor Herzl's only grandson, who believed in Zionism and the creation of the State of Israel, like his grandfather before him. 

The Jerusalem Foundation thanks Jerry Klinger, who initiated this project on behalf of the estate of Saul and Lucia Spector. Together, Klinger and the Foundation actively sought to honor Herzl's last living descendent, and with this generous support, the Jerusalem Foundation has now completed the Stephen Norman Garden, giving him his rightful place along side the Herzl family

To read more about the project, click here