Dr. Francis Ofner, 1957-59
Diplomat, scholar, journalist: He was Axel Springer’s man in Israel. Ofner was born in 1913 in the erstwhile Hungarian town of Ujvidék, which - as Novi Sad - is now the capital of the Serbian province Vojvodina. The lawyer, who had studied in Zagreb, Besançon and Lausanne, was - after his emigration to Palestine and thereafter in the newly founded State of Israel - diplomat, press correspondent, and even a university teacher. Always, however, Ofner’s special affection belonged to journalism. In 1957, he founded the Foreign Press Association in Israel in 1957. As a kind of "roving reporter", but with intellectual depth, he reported from many countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America, until he settled down in Israel. Before becoming mainly the correspondent for the papers of the German Axel Springer publishing house, he worked for the Christian Science Monitor and the London Observer. Francis Ofner passed away in 2011 in Tel Aviv.