Jacobus Kann
forgotten founder of Tel Aviv

Plan to repay Turkish debt

source: Herzl diaries https://archive.org/stream/TheCompleteDiariesOfTheodorHerzlEngVolume3OCR/TheCompleteDiariesOfTheodorHerzlEngVolume3#page/n85/mode/2up

October 15 1900: Herlz receives letter from Crespi (Nuri), that their (Ottoman) government has a pressing need for 700 to 800.000 Turkish pounds. They could give customs revenues as guarantee and 6.5% interest.

If Herzl delivers, H.M. (Sultan Hamid II?) will receive him. Herzl answers that the matter can settled in a very short time, but only if he can communicate with n.c. 363 (?) directly.

October 26 Crespi writes: if you can deliver 200k Turkish Punds tomorrow, of the 700k loan against 6%, I will place proposal at foot of imperial throne before Ramadan and hope you will be officialy called to the palace.

November 12: cash box totally empty, just a few hundred guilders, not even enough to meet the demands of the first of December.

November 13: yesterday I met with the Paris engineer and miljonair Reitlinger. To buy the Turkisch debt would be 4 to 5 milion Francs. Plan is to get cession of Palestine in return. (cession: the formal giving up of rights, property, or territory by a state ). Wolfson wires from The Hague that Kann is ready to undertake the arrangements for the Turkish loan only on direct order. (Herzl doesnt want that, he wants the credit, in German speaks about difference of der Verdienst and das Verdienst).

November 14: Herzl asks Cowen (in England) to arrange a meeting with Lord Rothschild.

November 16, Crespi is on his way, Herzl promised him 1000 francs travel expenses. He doesnt have that. Wire that Kann has the funds available on sufficient security.

November 18: received a letter, dated November 16, from Kann’s bank, Lissa & Kann, that this bank undertakes to make a loan of 800k Turkish Pounds against 6%, 200k inmediatly on signing, rest in 6 months.

November 30: Crespi is delayed but writes that everything looks good, he had visited the Grand Vizier and the loan will be made under last year’s conditions from the Deutsche Bank.

December 3: telegram to Kann: loan will be made on all customs revenues, are you ready? First payment in december. Herzl expects to go to London soon to meet Lord Rothschild. Kann confirms and says he is going to Berlin. Crespi has no news to offer, Herzl doubts if he maybe made it up. But Crespi has contacts and says the Minister of Finance told him that there is only 10.000 pounds in the treasury and they need 150k for Ramadan and another 130k in a few weeks for the Beiram. He also says that the Sultan is a proud man (does not want to ask for money) and that is maybe the reason he doesnt want to see Herzl. The local ambassador is said to have hired Crespi to get his back pay of the last 12 months, or he will resign and start black mailing them.

December 6: Herzl tells Crespi to send a telegram to the Sultan not to sign because of better offer is coming. Looks like Herzl is playing, because he thinks this might get him directly to the Sultan and then “I do not need Kann or any other financier beforehand”

December 12: Herzl asks Wolfson to go to ambassador Twefik in Berlin, and made him promise not to tell Kann about this visit.

December 14: Crespi asks for an urgent letter that a large French or German Bank has the money for th loan. Herzl thinks what could happen if he send Kann’s bank name. He decides not to, he mentions Kann stabbed him in the back on a previous occasion.

December 15: Crespi says the Grand Vizier is on our side, he suggests to frustrate all other financial arrangements, so we will be seen as saviors.

December 22 Vambery wants 5000 commission of the 700k loand

December 25: Herzl writes to Daade (Wolfson, mdv) that the loan is bogged down (because of commission letters that were requested and not send?).

December 28: Vambry has written to the Grand Vizier (good thngs about Herzl). Herzl gives him the name of the bank, Lissa & Kann, that it exits for 80 years, the present head (JHK) is very rich and highly esteemed in government circles.

January 3 1901 Kaiser did propose zionist idea to Sultan but was rejected brusquely. Maybe because it was seen as occupying Palestine under disguise of Zionists. Herzl thinks because of Russian pressure. Herzl shifted focus to Englad for support and says if Russia get Palestine the Zionists will loose.

Janury 4 Anglo German land swap idea, cyprus for east africa, for the cape cairo railroad

January 10 Crespi now wants 5.5%