BASLE, Switzerland (May. 16)
With solemn ceremonies stressing the late Dr. Theodor Herzl’s direct contributions to political Zionism, which led to the rebirth of Israel as a sovereign state, world Jewry’s official celebration of Dr. Herzl’s 100th birthday was observed here tonight in the very hall where the first Zionist Congress was convened by him in 1897. Dr. Herzl was born in Hungary in 1860.
The hall was filled to its 2, 000-seat capacity, while 1, 000 others watched the proceedings over closed-circuit television in another auditorium, and 1, 000 additional people milled outside, listening to loud speakers.
In the hall where the world Zionist movement was formally launched under Dr. Herzl’s leadership in 1897, a plaque commemorating that event was unveiled. The plaque, inscribed in Hebrew and German, was made in Israel and brought here by the Israel Government’s official representative to the ceremonies, Minister of Justice Pinhas Rosen.
Others participating in the cremonies, and addressing the meeting, included Karl Peter, President of the Basic cantonal government; Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization; and Zvi Lurie, head of the organization department of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem.