Esperanto was designed as a language for global harmony in response to Eastern European pogroms. A new book by Esther Schor examines the Jewish history of the language and its creator Ludwik Zamenhof.
What do fantasy writer J.R.R. Tolkien, Yugoslavian dictator Josip Broz Tito, Brazilian soccer star Pelé and financier George Soros have in common? They all share an interest in Esperanto, an invented language whose goal is to unite humankind.
Philosophy is what matters most to George Soros, I learned the other day after an elegant party at Soros’s duplex Manhattan apartment (I was invited by a mutual friend) celebrating the latest recording of Bartók by Angela & Jennifer Chun, a Korean-born sister team of violinists.
What are you doing on Zamenhof Day? To the uninitiated, that means December 15, the birthday of Ludwik Łazarz Zamenhof (born Eliezer Samenhof in 1859) a Polish Jewish ophthalmologist and inventor of Esperanto, the most popular constructed language ever. Although opinions differ widely on how many people actually speak it today Wikipedia quotes the Universal Esperanto Association approvingly when it says on its website that speakers number in the hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions.