Benjamin Akzin

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Benjamin Akzin

Hebrew: Benjamin בנימין אקצין
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Riga, Latvia
Death: Died in Jerusalem, Israel
Place of Burial: Jerusalem, Israel
Immediate Family:

Son of Meir Tzvi Akzin and Zelda Akzin
Husband of Ilse Akzin
Father of Private User and Michael Akzin

Occupation: Proffesor of Political Sciences and International Law. Israel prize for jurisprudence, 1967
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Benjamin Akzin

Benjamin Akzin (Hebrew: בנימין אקצין‎) (1904–1985) was an early Zionist activist and, later, an Israeli professor of law.

Akzin was born in 1904 in Riga, Latvia, then in Livonia in the Russian Empire. He completed doctorates in political science and law at the universities of Vienna and Paris. He was an admirer of Ze'ev Jabotinsky and became active in the Jabotinsky's Revisionist movement and served as secretary to Jabotinsky. Following Jabotinsky break with the Zionist Organization and his founding of the New Zionist Organization (NZO), Akzin served as head of the political division of NZO from 1936 to 1941.

In the late 1930s, Akzin travelled to the United States to complete a third doctorate at Harvard University.[2] In 1940, Akzin was sent by the NZO to Washington to lobby support for Jewish statehood. He spent a period with the legal department of the Library of Congress and was then appointed to a position on the staff of the War Refugee Board (WRB), which had been established by president Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, under pressure from the United States Congress, Jewish activists and the Treasury Department. In 1944, when the WRB began receiving reports of mass deportation of Jews to the gas chambers at Auschwitz and Birkenau, Akzin presented a memorandum to the WRB calling for the US to bomb the death camps themselves, which went beyond earlier proposals of bombing the railroad lines leading to the camps. Although Akzin persisted in his efforts for such action to be taken, his proposals were rejected by the US administration - at least in part because the same idea had previously been rejected by leading Jewish organizations, including the American Jewish Congress and the Jewish Agency, whose board of directors, with David Ben Gurion in the chair, voted unanimously against the proposal on June 11, 1944. From 1945 to 1947, Akzin served as political advisor later secreatary of the US Zionist Emergency Committee.

In 1949, Akzin emigrated to Israel and joined the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as professor of constitutional law and international relations. He served as dean of the faculty 1951-54, 1956–58 and 1961-63. In 1950, he founded the Department of Political Science of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Hebrew University, and served as its department chair until the early 1960s.

Later, Aktzin was a founder of the University of Haifa and served as its first rector.

In 1967, Akzin was awarded the Israel Prize for Jurisprudence.

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Benjamin Akzin's Timeline

1904
May 6, 1904
Riga, Latvia
1985
April 15, 1985
Age 80
Jerusalem, Israel
April 16, 1985
Age 80
Jerusalem, Israel
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