Koestler on Visiting with the Messiah

Left Wien April 1, 1926, arrived in Haifa a month later. Arrived in Jerusalem in Sept 1927–after 18 months. Age 22. Rented a room at 29 Street of the Prophets, east of Jaffa Gate. Interviewed Abdullah of Transjordan. Visited our only 20th century Jewish Messiah, Moshe Guibbory, at the Sanhedria Tombs north of the city. Koestler also became “secretary” to the extraordinary Jabotinsky. 

Sanhedria Tombs c. 1830s

Left Palestine in June 1929. “I had gone to Palestine as a young enthusiast” but instead of Utopia, I had found reality, an extremely complex reality, which attracted and repelled me. In the end revulsion trumped attraction.”

Arthur Koestler’s original story filed with the German press is here: “Besuch beim ‘Messias‘” Neue Freie Presse, January 29, 1928. He also has an extended and fascinating account of this remarkable visit with Guibbory in his autobiography, Arrow in the Blue (New York: Macmillan, 1952), pp. 195-198.