Basle (Sep. 2)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
The early scenes of the beginning of the Zionist movement thirty years ago were reenacted in the Casino Hall where modern political Zionism was born at the First Zionist Congress held here August 30, 1897, when a memorial meeting to commemorate the occasion was held yesterday.
Through the efforts of the municipality, the hall was arranged just as it was thirty years ago. The participants of the First Zionist Congress wore the delegate badges given them on August 30, 1897. The platform was occupied by the delegates to the Fifteen Zionist Congress who were present at the First Congress. They included Zionist workers from all parts of the world.
Among the old guard was Deputy H. Farbstein of Warsaw, Vladimir Tiomkin of Charkow, Dr. J. Wilensky formerly of Vilna now Haifa, Alkalay of Jerusalem, Deputy Meyer Ebner of Czernowitz, M. M. Ussishkin, formerly of Odessa now of Jerusalem, Berthold Feiwel of Berlin, Joseph Cowen of London, Dr. Kaminka, Abraham Goldberg, Dr. J. Mohilewer of Jerusalem. Lipman. Rosenthal, Nahum Sokolow, Dr. Lourie and Belkowski.
The pioneers in the Zionist movement shed tears when the early scenes were reenacted and the events of the last thirty years passed in review in the memorial addresses delivered by Dr. Weizmann. Nahum Sokolow and Dr. Leo Motzkin and M. M. Ussishkin.
In his address Dr. Weizmann paid tribute to Dr. Herzl and the first battles which were enacted in the Casino Hall. He praised the veterans of the Zionist movement. He related that he was one of the delegates elected to the First Congress but was unable to proceed to Basle because of lack of funds.
Nahum Sokolow in a Hebrew address stated Herzl was the expression of the Jewish people’s genius. Mr. Ussishkin recalled the Chovevei Zion movement which preceded Herzl and paved the way to political Zionism. “The idea existed before Herzl but not the form. The First Congress proclaimed harmony between the state idea and Judaism.” The Congress Bureau distributed a list of the delegates at the first Congress and a copy of Dr. Herzl’s opening address.