- -- ,
I THE JUBILEE OF THE FIRST ZIONIST CONGRESS
OF THE FIRST
The Executive of the Zionist Organisation
This booklet is, published by the Organisation Department of the
Executive of the Zionist Organisation through the Publishing
Department of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, on the occa-
sion of the 50th Anniversary of the First Zionist Congress and
of the establishment of the World Zionist Organisation.
It is published simultaneously in Hebrew, French, Spanish
The plan of the booklet and the condensation of the Congress
proceedings are by Dr. S. U. Nahon.
The biographical notes are by Dr. G. Herlitz.
The translations are by S. Leichter (Weismann), I. Schen (Ben-
Gurion, Ben-Zvi and the other Jubilee speeches), I. M. Lask
(Jaffe), N. Strauss (Herzl), B. Nethanyahu (Nordau), H. Orgel
Printed in Palestine by the Jerusalem Press Ltd. Jerusalem,
THE ZIONIST CONGRESS at Basle marked the start of the
organised Zionist movement, and it was there that the World
Zionist Organisation was established. It is a milestone in the history
of the Jewish people which deserves to be remembered and celebrated
on its fiftieth anniversary.
Among the celebrations of this event which have taken place and
are taking place the world over, two were of peculiar importance:
that held in Jerusalem on Rosh Hodesh Elul 5707 (17th August 1947)
in the Herzl room and that held in Basle in the very place in which
the Congress was convened, on August 31st 1947. In this booklet we
publish the speech delivered by Dr. Weizmann in Basle as well as
those held by Mr. Ben Gurion, Mr. Ben Zvi and the surviving dele-
gates of the First Congress at the Jerusalem celebration. The article
by Mr. Leib Jaffe, delegate to the First Congress, who till the present
day has devoted his life to the Zionist movement, completes the part
of the booklet containing an appreciation of the First Congress after
The dawn of the Zionist movement is evoked in the second part
of this booklet devoted to the Congress itself. The speeches by Herzl
and Nordau were of historical importance, and although they are
known through translations into all languages the Jubilee of the
Congress is a suitable occasion to publish them once more. The
prdcis of the Proceedings of the Congress, which includes extracts
from the more important speeches at the Basle meeting, aims at
bringing the proceedings of the Congress to the knowledge of the
many who have had no opportunity to read the original minutes.
BI way of introduction to the material on the Congress, we publish
an historical essay by Dr. A. Bein. As an echo of the impressions
made on contemporaries of the Congress we publish a poem by
Bialik, The Zionist Delegates, a tale by Israel Zangwill, Dreamers in
Congress, and some notes by Berthold Feiwel, Around the Congress.
The list of those who attended the Basle Congress, a table on Fifty
Years of Zionist Congresses, the names of members of the Zionist
Executive since the Congress of 1897, a Zionist chronology and bio-
graphical notes on the outstanding personalities mentioned, complete
this booklet issued on the occasion of the Jubilee of the Zionist
Tishri 5708- October 1947.
FI were to sum up the Basle Congress in a single phrase-which I
would not dare to make public-I would say: In Basle I created the
Jewish State. Were I to say this aloud I would be greeted by universal
laughter. But perhaps five years hence, certainly fifty years hence,
everybody will perceive it. The State is basically founded by the will-
to-a-State of the people, even by the will of a single person who is
powerful enough. Territory is only the concrete basis; the state, even
when it has territory, is always something abstract.
"In Basle therefore I created this abstraction which, as such, is in-
visible to the great majority. Actually with infinitely small means. I
gradually incite the feeling for a State and impart the feeling that the
National Assembly exists.
Vienna, 3rd September, 1897. THEODOR HERZL
FROM HERZL'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY
I WAS BORN in Budapest, near the Synagogue where recently
I was accused'-really and truly-in the strongest terms by the
Rabbi, of trying to obtain more, honour and freedom for the
Jews than they at present enjoy.
My earliest memories of this school consist of the punish-
ments meted out to me because I did not know the details of
the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. At the present time many
schoolmasters would like to thrash me because I remember
that exodus too well.
At the age of ten I went to the Modern High School. One
of our teachers explained the word "heathen" by saying:
"Among the heathens are the idol worshippers, Mohammedans
and Jews." After this strange explanation I had had enough
of the Modern High School and wanted to attend a classical
school. In 1878 we moved to Vienna.
In Vienna I studied Law. I took my degree (Dr. Juris) in
1884, and entered legal practice as an unpaid clerk in a lawyer's
office, finding employment with lawyers in Vienna and Salz-
burg. Of course I wrote more for the theatre than for the
Law. In Salzburg I spent some of the happiest days of my
life. I would gladly have stayed in that beautiful city, but as
a Jew I should never have advanced to the position of a judge.
I therefore took leave of Salzburg and of the legal profession.
Then, instead of looking round for a real profession or a job,
I began to travel and to write for the theatre and for news-
papers. In 1899 I married, and have three children.
During my travels through Spain in 1891 I was offered to be-
come the Paris correspondent of the Viennese paper "Neue
Free Presse." In 1895 I had had enough of Paris and returned
During my last two months in Paris I wrote "The Jewish
State." I do not remember having written anything in so
exalted a mood as this book. Heine said that he heard the
rustle of eagles' wings when he wrote down certain verses.
I also thought I heard some such. sound when I wrote'this
book. I worked on it every day until I was quite exhausted.
When I had finished it, I offered the manuscript to one of
my oldest friends to read. While he was reading it he suddenly
began to weep. This I found quite natural, because he was a
Jew; while writing it I had often wept myself. But to my
consternation he gave quite other grounds for his tears. He
thought I had gone out of my mind, and because he was my
friend, my misfortune made him most unhappy.
I then had to pass through a very serious crisis; I can only
compare it to throwing a red-hot body into cold water. Of
course, if this body happens to be iron, it becomes steel.
A small incident restored my self-respect.
Then began my distress and alarm about the Jewish State.
During the following years I experienced many, many unhappy
days, and I am afraid that more unhappy days are still to
come. But one thing I know for certain and above all doubt...
the movement will continue. I do not know when I shall die,
but Zionism will never die. Since those days in Basle the
Jewish people has its national representatives; the "Jewish
State" will follow, in its own country.
FIFTY YEARS AFTER
FIFTY YEARS OF ZIONISM
ADDRESS DELIVERED BY DR. CHAIM WEIZMANN AT THE
JUBILEE CELEBRATION AT BASLE ON AUGUST 31, 1947.
WISH to express my sincere gratitude to the Zionist Federation
of Switzerland, the Jewish Community Council of Basle, and all
those who took part in the organisation of this gathering, for the
great honour conferred upon me by your invitation to me to speak
to you tonight.
But before I start, I should like to express my heartfelt thanks
to the Municipality of Basle,1 the Swiss Government and the Swiss
people for the hospitality and the assistance given to us for all
these years. The most serious disease of the Jewish people is the
lack of a home, and because of this we so much appreciate the fact
that we have found in this city and this country something like
one, even if only for a few days at a time.
Although on this auspicious occasion there are many names which
I should like to mention, I shall only recall that of Dr. David Farb-
stein,2 my old friend and colleague, the first Zionist I encountered
outside Russia, who is among us to-day.
Just two more small points. When I realized what an amount
of material I would have to cover in a speech on "Fifty Years of
Zionism," I was alarmed. Those fifty years have been so rich in
events, so many things have happened-good, bad, deplorable, as
well as encouraging-that, even if I described them only briefly, I
should have to make a very long speech. This, however, is impossible
for many reasons, although I must add that I can hardly review
"Fifty Years of Zionism" in sixty or seventy minutes. Therefore
you must forgive me if you discover too many gaps in my report.
You may fill in those gaps for yourselves.
My second preliminary remark is that I am speaking to-night
for myself alone. What I have to say commits nobody else. I am now
in the happy position of a free man speaking to other free men.
Any one who has any idea of the history of the Zionist move-
ment knows that a form of Zionism existed even before Herzl.
Certain developments took place in Palestine in the seventies and
the early eighties of the last century, which have left their mark
to this very day. But in 1896 a small booklet entitled "The Jewish
State" was written by a man whose name was, at least in the region
where I lived, unknown. Dr. Herzl's name was quite likely familiar
in Western Europe, but in the ghettos and among the Jews of East-
1 Basle occupies a unique place in Zionist history. Out of twenty-two
Z:onist Congresses, ten, including the first, took place in that city.
2 See biographical notes at the end of this booklet for all names of
Jewish personalities mentioned in this speech.
ern Europe it was unknown. "Der Judenstaat" was only a utopia,
reminiscent of the works of other authors. And yet this booklet
radiated an atmosphere and a warmth which immediately won
the hearts of the Jewish masses. There was something messianic in
it, particularly so as it appeared at a moment when the horizon
looked black for Russian-Polish Jewry. At times like these there
is always a recrudescence of messianic hope.
Herzl's brochure did not remain just on paper. Only one year
after its appearance it was translated into fact. The message was
soon passed on to every town, great or small, in Poland and Russia
in which a Jewish ghetto existed. Herzl called on the Jews to con-
vene a Congress, and then endeavoured to implement the ideas
which he had formulated in his book. His appeal was to the rich
and influential Jews. I do not wish to burden you with names which
are sufficiently well-known-after all, there are not so many in-
fluential Jews. The appeal was refused. Only after that did Herzl
remember that poor Jews could perhaps do what the rich ones
had refused to do. Thus he came to those who were once honoured
by the Chancellor of the Reich, Billow,' with the title of "beggars
We were neither beggars nor conspirators, we were just poor
people. We responded to Herzl's call in a way which can seldom
in history have been given to a future leader. Delegates went from
town to town to explain to the Jews what a Congress was, who
Herzl was, what a Jewish State meant and how things could be
done. The slogan went from mouth to mouth: "If you will it-it is
no legend." Our late friend Buchmil went from town to town with
the message. I accompanied him on several occasions. He went
fourth class, because there was no fifth. He travelled by night and
made speeches by day. He discussed things with every Jew in-
dividually. I remember, for instance, how we once arrived in a little
town near Pinsk and spoke to a handful of Jews there, very early
in the morning. I asked one of them, who was still half asleep:
"Tell me, did you really understand what I was talking about?"
He replied: "No, but I understand one thing. If what you were
talking about was not true, you would not have come here." This
was the atmosphere all over the Jewish world, and everybody waited
impatiently for the day of the Congress.
As you know, the Congress was originally to have taken place
in Munich, but a certain group of people, among whom the "Pro-
test Rabbis" 2 are best known, prevented it. Today this kind of Jew
1 Prince Bernhard. von Buelow, Chancellor of the German Reich (1900-
1909); as Foreign Secretary he accompanied the German Kaiser, Wilhelm
II, on his trip to Palestine; he prevented the Kaiser from committing
himself to Herzl's political proposals. In a Reichstag debate he called the
Eastern Jews who lived in Germany "Shnorrers and revolutionists".
2 Protest Rabbis, Herzl's nickname for the members of the management
of the "Union of German Rabbis" who protested against the Zionist move-
ment as "contrary to the teachings of the Jewish religion."
is only a museum-piece, although perhaps some still live on
in Philadelphia.or Chicago. Generally speaking, however, the species
has died out. So we went to Basle. I was not present at the First
Congress myself, for the simple reason that I could not pay my
fare; even if I had had the money, it would have been too late.
It remained for me to follow the Congress in my imagination.
At that time we still had no newspapers-no ITA or Palcor.1
Even so the Congress was tensely followed, while the personality
of Herzl grew not only in the eyes of those who came into direct
contact with him but also in those of people who never saw him.
He became a monumental, mythical Jewish figure-something out
of legend. He came from a region unknown to us, he spoke a
language which we did not know properly. Every Jew thought he
knew German very well, of course, but Herzl's German was not
"Kongressdeutsch".2 Yet he spoke with such penetrating, inner
feeling that we, too, understood him. We sensed what he wanted
to say. To see him was an unforgettable experience. He glowed-
at the time radium was not yet known-with a kind of Zionist
radioactivity, electrifying his entire environment, urging it towards
action. He had everything to make us admire him: he was tall,
he was an expert in style, and although he was no orator, his words
went straight to the point. He knew the way to men's hearts.
To all of us he was first and foremost a great teacher of organisa-
tion and politics, although many of us believed we were experts
in diplomacy and politics. We hearkened to his maxims and his
teaching with joy.
But in spite of all this Herzl's influence was, in the last analysis,
due to the fact that he came to us from a different world. I cer-
tainly do not want to minimize Herzl's achievements, but very often,
studying his work, I have wondered if, had Herzl known the Jews
as we knew them, had he known Palestine as it really was at the
time, he would have had the courage to do what he did. It was
just because he came from a different environment that he attempted
what others would not have dared to attempt. He over-simplified
the issue. He thought that on one side there were rich Jews-and,
on the other, Turkish officials who took money. Thus the problem
was simple: one would offer certain advantages to the Turkish
Government and the Sultan, the rich Jews would do certain things
for them, and this would bring the poor Jews to Palestine. Herzl's
first aim, therefore was to get in touch with the Turkish Government
and to obtain from them a Jewish State, or, as he put it, a Charter.3
1 J.T.A., initials of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the first Jewish
news agency, founded in London in 1919; Palcor, short for Palestine Cor-
respondence, -the Zionist news agency founded in 1934 in Jerusalem.
2 Kongressdeutsch-Congress German, the German used at Zionist Con-
gresses by Yiddish-speaking people who only rarely succeeded in, speak-
ing German without Yiddish traces.
3 Charter, the usual British term for colonisation concessions, adopted
by Herzl to define the declaration which he desired from the Sultan.
He carried on lengthy negotiations, direct and indicrect, in person,
and through agents who were not always reliable.- Herzl trusted
people and was very often disappointed. And, as the Turks usually
did, they said neither yes nor no, but kept on dragging the whole
affair out. At the First Congress, the Second and the Third, it was
reported that a step forward had been made. Naturally there were
sceptics, and I admit that, although I was still a very young man,
I had little confidence in the Sultan or in the excessive generosity of
the rich Jews, who were to give the Sultan money to help poor Jews
to go to Palestine.
It was an equation with many unknown factors, but Herzl con-
tinued his diplomatic activity with unprecedented energy, much
skill, great loss of time, colossal devotion and enormous effort-and
not only in Turkey. He tried to influence Turkey through other Gov-
ernments at the same time, through Britain, to which he was very
much attracted, for instance. When in South Africa in 1931 I met
Lady Cromer, she told me that Herzl was a wonderful man, and that
her husband 1 had been very sorry that the El-Arish 2 project could
not be implemented for lack of water.
Herzl trod many thorny paths, experienced countless hopes and
disappointments before he-to use his own words-came up against
a stone wall. It was these disappointments that led to what is usually
called the Uganda project.3 Herzl, as he himself said, had no time
to wait for possible help from afar in the burning issue of Jewish
persecution in Eastern Europe. The Kishinev 4 pogrom had broken
out and the rush of Jewish emigration overseas had begun. A place
had to be found for hundreds of thousands of Jews. Here again
Herzl's naivete showed itself. He did not realize that, even if
the Congress had approved the Uganda project, lengthy prepara-
tions would still have been necessary to make Uganda capable of
absorbing the immigrants. The ideas of Herzl and his friends were
theoretical and rather naive. Here was a country, the'British Gov-
ernment had offered it to us. All that remained to be done was
to take it, and then the Jews would come and start a new life
1 Lord Cromer, British statesman, 1883-1907 High Commissioner for
Egypt; Herzl negotiated with him in 1902 on the colonisation of the El-
Arish territory by the Jewish people.
2 El-Arish is a territory in the Sinai Peninsula, between Palestine and
Egypt. Herzl's settlement project of El-Arish was declined by Lord Cromer,
British High Commissioner for Egypt, for the lack of water. The fefritory
was explored by a Zionist commission in 1902.
3 The British Government, through the Colonial Secretary, Mr. Joseph
Chamberlain, proposed to the Zionist 'Organisation to settle Jews in Uganda,
a British colony in Central Africa. A Zionist commission studied the
territory and found it unsuitable for settlement by Jews. -The Eeventh
Zidnist Congress declined the offer, expressing thanks to the- British
,4 Kishinev, town in Bessarabia in which an anti-Jewish pogrom took
place in 1903 and had a large echo the world over.-The number of victims
ran into hlindreds
there. The Uganda project collapsed. A nominal vote was taken
at the Sixth Congress on it, where everybody had to say yes or no.
Every yes or no fell like a hammer-stroke, as if the destiny of the
Jewish people were being beaten out.
Herzl saw that the Congress was divided into two camps, the
ayes and the noes. When the delegates from Kishenev said no, his
handsome face went white. I think that it was at this moment that
he realized for the first time the emotional connection between
Palestine and the Jewish people. Herzl came to those who had
said no, and said: "I cannot understand it. They have the rope
round their necks, and yet they refuse to escape to Uganda."
I do not think I need to repeat the reply. I am convinced that it was
when he heard the answer of those who had said no that he really
became a Zionist. At the seventh Congress the Uganda project was
liquidated. I shall not dwell any longer on the subject, although it is
an interlude which should perhaps interest us very much today.
With the liquidation of the Uganda project, Zionism began to move
towards Palestine. I have not yet spoken of Herzl's other achieve-
ments. The foundation of the Bank 1 was sponsored by him. Thanks
to Herzl, the Keren Kayemeth 2 was founded, and the Zionist
*Organization developed and broadened. But, in spite of all that has
been written about him, Herzl did take a keen interest in certain
cultural elements of the Zionist Movement. When people spoke of
Jewish culture at the First and Second Congress, Herzl still asked
what it actually meant. But once he had learned something about it,
he began to take a very keen interest in questions of Jewish culture.
I still possess, for instance, the extensive correspondence I conducted
with him about the establishment of a Hebrew University.3 Herzl him-
self attempted to obtain the Sultan's permission to found a Hebrew
University, but his efforts suffered the same fate as all his other
negotiations with the Sultan.
An old friend of ours who is with us to-day said in a speech after
the Uganda episode ended: "If the British are really what they are
said to be, then a time will come when they will give us Palestine."
After all, it was the Uganda affair that led to the first contacts be-
tween Zionism and certain British statesmen. I can quote myself as
an example, for it was in 1906, just one year after the Uganda project
1 The Jewish Colonial Trust, Zionist colonial bank, was founded in
London in 1899. The task of the trust was to finance Jewish. settlement in
-Palestine. The Anglo-Palestine Bank is a daughter company of the J.C.T.
2 Keren Kayemeth Leisrael, the Jewish National Fund for the redemp-
tion of the land of Eretz Israel as the inalienable property of the Jewish
people, founded! in 1901. The J.N.F. owned in September 1947 928,000 dunams
of land in (Palestine, about 50% of all Jewish-owned land. It collected till
September 1947 LP.19.700,COO.
3 The foundation of the University was decided upon by the Eleventh
Zionist Congress in 1913, the cornerstone was laid in July 1918, but it was
.not before 1st April, 1925 that it was opened. The number of students in
1945/46 was 841. The Ibudget of the same year was LP.425,000.
had been liquidated, that I had the pleasure of meeting Balfour 1 in
Manchester. The talk which I had with him 2 was perhaps one of the
basic reasons which led to the Balfour Declaration eleven years later.
At this point I should like to make a little digression. When I ar-
rived in England-my good old friend Goldbloom will certainly excuse
me for a somewhat unpleasant recollection-as a greenhorn, of
course, and first contacted the Zionist Party, I found out at once that
all English Zionists were more or less in favour of Uganda. It was
only with great difficulty that I was admitted to the Manchester Zion-
ist Association, just because I was not a Ugandist. This was due to
the patriotism of the English Zionists; they argued that they could
not reject a proposal made by Britain. Their attitude changed later
on. All that remained of the whole affair was Zangwill's JTO, (Jew-
ish Territorial Organisation),3 which had neither a long nor a glorious
At that time-in 1902-the "Democratic Faction" was also
founded. I should like to say a few words about the reasons which led
to the establishment of this party. All the diplomatic activities of the
Zionist Organisation, actually centred in Herzl and his closest col-
leagues, were not enough for the Zionist youth of the time, which
found itself faced with two great movements: the struggle for Pales-
tine, and the Russian revolutionary movement. We were a small group
consisting largely of Russian Jews, regarded as people chasing after
Utopia. On the other hand there was a great nation with a great coun-
try and great suffering. The real issue seemed to be the alleviation of
this suffering-and we stood aloof. It was essential to create something
for the youth in everyday life. The result was the organisation of a
group of people including Martin Buber, Leo Motzkin, Berthold Fei-
wel, Mosche Lilien, Leib Jaffe, Georg Halpern, Victor Jacobsohn and
Shmaryahu Levin, who subsequently worked as emissaries for the
Zionist movement. The result of the establishment of this Zionist-
Democratic Faction was-I do not know whether to say fortunately
or unfortunately-the foundation of "Mizrachi" 4 as a counter-mea-
1 Lord Balfour, outstanding British statesman and philosopher, Prime
Minister from 1902 to 1905, British Foreign Secretary during the first world
war. On 2nd November, 1917, Balfour addressed to Lord Rothschild, as
SChairman of the Zionist Federation 'in Great Britain, a declaration pledging
the support of the British Government for Zionist aspirations.
2 At that first interview between Balfour and Weizmann, when Balfour
insisted on the advantages of the Uganda scheme, Weizmann asked: "What
would you say if you were offered Paris instead of London?" "But we have
London", said Balfour. "And we had Jerusalem", answered Weizmann,
"when London was a marsh."
a J.T.O., the "Jewish Territorial Organisation," founded in 1905 by
Zionists who left the Zionist Organisation after the Uganda dispute. The
leader of the JTO was the English writer Israel Zangwill. The organisation
was dissolved in 1926.
4 Mizrachi, Zionist Orthodox party, founded in 1903 in Vilna. The
slogan of the party is: "The Land of Israel for the People of Israel ac-
cording to the Law of Israel". It demands the reconstruction of Eretz
Israel along religious lines.
sure. Then certain cultural elements made their appearance. Good
Zionist and Hebrew literature began to appear; the idea of a Hebrew
University emerged (the brochure on a Jewish High School had ap-
peared in 1901) and from then on such problems and tasks were al-
ways on the Zionist agenda.
This state of affairs continued till 1908. Discussion of practical
versus political Zionism went on from 1901 until 1908, although,
judged by our present-day discussions, it was not so much a battle
as an idyll. It was still an echo of the purely political approach-
the argument that nothing should be done in Palestine so long as
there was no Charter, so long as the political foundations had not
been laid. But if one has to wait for political foundations, one may
have to wait a long time, while, on the other hand, political founda-
tion can be created by facts. One has to create such facts even if
certain things do not always succeed, even if one is sometimes dis-
turbed in one's work. This was the argument of the practical wing of
the Zionist movement. Facts were therefore created in Palestine.
Thus the movement carried on until 1907, when the Hague Congress
endorsed the practical outlook. The father of modern Jewish settle-
ment in Palestine, our late friend Dr. Arthur Ruppin, was sent to
Palestine and started work there. This coincided with the beginning
of a new wave of immigration, the small but superbly selected stream
of immigrants known as the Second Aliyah.1 This stream brought in-
to Palestine men whose names and achievements will always be re-
membered in the annals of Zionism. The Zionist Organisation reacted
to the new influx of settlers by instituting research into a rational,
scientific system by which city-dwelling Jews could be converted into
peasants cultivating the soil of Palestine. A series of agricultural
settlements was then established. There was a very small beginning:
Franz Oppenheimer founded the collective settlement of Merhavia.2
But everything was growing and developing at the same time. When
Baron Edmond de Rothschild, who was no Zionist, paid his first
visit to Palestine after the start of the Zionist post-war colonisation,
I asked him on his return what impression Palestine had made upon
him. He replied: "Without me the Zionists could have done nothing
in Palestine, but, on the other hand, without the work of the Zionists
all I did in Palestine would have gone to pieces." In this way a link
was forged between the old Hovevei Zion,s under the Rothschild
1 Second Aliyah, the second wave of Jewish immigration into Palestine,
beginning after the 1905 Russian revolution, until 1914. These immigrants
were the founders of the Jewish labour movement in Palestine and are
still its leaders (David Ben-Gurion, J. Ben-Zvi, David Remez and the late
2 First cooperative settlement in the valley of Jezreel, founded in
1911 in accordance with the scheme of the well-known economist Dr. Franz
3 Hovevei Zion-the Lovers of Zion, pre-Zionist associations of Jews
longing for Palestine. They supported the first colonies founded in Pales-
tine. Their headquarters were at Odessa.
Administration,1 and the Zionist Organisation, while work in common
led to the establishment of a number of new settlements in Palestine.
In 1909 Tel-Aviv was founded. I happened to be in Palestine at the
time, and Dr. Ruppin said to me, not without joy: "You know, I have
250,000 francs and I can buy a tract of land, or rather sand dunes,
on which a town could be built." There were sceptics- they will
never disappear. One of them said to Ruppin: "You are building on
sand." Ruppin replied: "Yes, I know I am, but one day a big city will
be built on this spot."
This was the situation when the First World War broke out.
Several people had their feet on the right track. For example, there
were the beginnings of an experimental station at Ben-Shemen; as
you know, it was moved later, first to Tel-Aviv and then to Rehovoth.
These were men who investigated the practical methods of convert-
ing city dwellers into peasants, men who studied the problem of how
to raise agriculture to the standards of intellectuals, rather than
force the Jews down to those of ordinary peasants. These were diffi-
cult problems which had to be solved, though not without many
I shall now skip several years, without recalling in detail the dis-
asters wrought upon us by the First World War, which, as you
know, was fought in precisely those parts of Russian and Eastern
Europe which contained great masses of Jews. During the War there
appeared several factors which led towards the opening of a new
epoch in Zionism. Just a few examples: shortly before war broke out,
Mr. Sokolow happened to be active in Zionist work in America.
American Jewry was not yet as well known and as important in our
work as it is to-day. Mr. Sokolow was one of the first to tour America
for Zionism. His great talent for observation and his great devotion
to the Cause put him on the alert for new men-and he found them.
He was the Columbus, so to speak, who discovered Louis D. Brandeis.
But this happened shortly before the outbreak of the war and its
implications were not immediately noticed.
Another coincidence: Shmaryahu Levin was on his way from
America to England when war broke out. The ship was sent back
to America, and Dr. Levin, fortunately for the Zionist movement, re-
mained there for the duration. There he continued the work begun
by Sokolow, organising American Jewry and helping to create the
American Emergency Zionist Committee for the duration of the war.
It was at that time that American Jewry began its great activities
for the Jews; relief work for Palestine started; the building of the
great American Zionist Organisation began. On the Continent of
I Rothschild Administration, the settlements founded in Palestine by
Baron Edmond! de Rothschild between 1883 and 1914 and supported by
him were directly managed by an administration till 1900, when these
settlements were handed over to the Jewish Colonisation Association, and
in 1925 the PICA (Palestine Jewish Colonisation Association) was formed
and took them over.
Europe, Dr. Motzkin and Dr. Jacobsohn founded the Copenhagen
Bureau; 1 only we in England were left, as it were, suspended in the
air. A small group, we were completely isolated, without any con-
nection with the Actions Committee or the Management of the Zion-
ist Organisation, which had officially remained in Germany. For this
reason we joined together to found an unofficial Zionist Committee
in England-some of the members are present at this meeting-and
tried to find some means of raising the question of Palestine there.
We helped in the war effort-by founding the Zion Mule Corps,2 for
instance and later by establishing the Jewish Legion,3 a member
of which is also here in this hall.4
I do not want to go into details. This is already quite recent history
in the story of Zionism. On November 2, 1917, the Balfour Declara-
tion was issued. I think that the enthusiasm and hopes released by
that Declaration were only comparable to those at the First Con-
gress-with the difference, however, that this time the matter con-
cerned something concrete, something based on the reality in Pa-
I have still to cover thirty years, and I hope not to be too lengthy.
I shall skip several. The tremendous enthusiasm which greeted the
Balfour Declaration spread all over the world. The Jews read into
a political declaration something that they believed could become
reality within five years. We clung to this hope after the great dis-
asters of the war.
At this point I should like to mention something that even very
good Zionists are apt to forget. The circumstances that led to the
Balfour Declaration were also responsible for the great difficulties
which we are still fighting. Russian and Eastern European Jewry
were cut off from the rest of the world Jewry by an iron wall. At
one stroke, as it were, the powerful forces which were to nurture
the Movement were exhausted. At this critical moment a substitute
for the loss had to be found. The eyes of active Zionists turned to
the West, and there, as soon as the East darkened, a new light
appeared. A certain amount of pioneer work had already been done
there, but the real task had not yet begun. The Jews in America were
not yet ready to take over the burden from Russian Jewry, nor was
1 The Copenhagen Bureau of the World Zionist Organisation was
founded in 1915 'by Dr. Victor Jacobson and Leo Motzkin for the main-
tenance of contacts between the various parts of the movement during
the war. It was closed in 1920.
2 The Zion Mule Corps was founded by Joseph Trumpeldor in Egypt
in 1915. It consisted of Palestinian Jews and served with the British Army.
The Zion Mule Corps took part in the Battle of Gallipoli against the Turks.
S The Jewish Legion, sponsored by Wladimir Jabotinsky, consisted of
two battalions of Jewish soldiers from Britain, U.S.A. and Canada, and
served with the British forces-taking part in the conquest of Palestine
during the first world war.
4 The speaker refers to Mr. David Ben-Gurion, the present Chairman
of the Executive of the Jewish Agency and! of the Zionist Organisation,
who was a member of the Jewish Legion.
it an easy business to assume the enormous sacrifices and efforts
hitherto borne by the latter. We mobilised our best forces, therefore,
for a pilgrimage to America, but these were not enough for the
In this connection I should like to say a few words about the
Keren Hayesod,1 which was founded in 1920. My dear friend Mr.
Naiditsch, who was one of its founders, is among us at this gathering,
and he may well be glad of the result of this great deed, which has
developed from modest beginnings into something really powerful.
This institution, too, was not born without struggle and sorrow. I
have already mentioned Louis D. Brandeis. He came to us in Europe
for the first time in 1920, and appeared at the First Zionist Con-
ference, which took place in London after the Balfour Declaration
and the San Remo Conference.2 At the time, the political foundations
of Zionism seemed to be more or less firm, and all that was needed
was to begin practical work. The human material was there; the
methods were there. The only thing that was missing was money.
Naive as we were, we thought that we, the poor ones, had made
all the sacrifices and created the political basis for our work. Now it
was for our rich and more fortunate brethren, who had been spared
the devastation of the war, to provide a substantial budget. Ussish-
kin, who, together with Tschlenov and Sokolov, had already co-
operated with us in the period preceding the Balfour Declaration,
drew up a budget of two million pounds. It was a comparatively
modest one, considering the plight of Jewry at the time. We did not,
however, get the money. Mr. Brandeis was certainly a great states-
man and a good Zionist, but he imagined that once our cause had
aroused confidence, all political work could come to an end, and that
all there was to be done was to construct. According to his view,
the building of Palestine should not be carried out by the World
Zionist Organisation, but by the various national organizations in-
dividually, and the entire sum necessary for Palestine would be made
available through their work. So instead of the two million pounds
we had visualised, we got only 100,000 from America, and this,
together with the few pennies which the Keren Hayesod had collected
in Europe, was all we had to satisfy the various needs of Palestine.
When Brandeis told me that he was unable to raise more in America,
I replied: "If you can't raise any more, I shall go to America and
ask for it myself." This was most unfair on my part, a trespass
1 Keren Hayesod, the Palestine Foundation Fund, established in 1920
at the World Zionist Conference in London for the financing of the re-
construction of Eretz Israel. It is the central financial instrument through
which the budget of the Jewish Agency is covered. The income of the
Keren Hayesod in 1920-1947 amounted to LP.22,293,000. Contributions to
the Keren Hayesod are collected in every country where Jewish communi-
2 The Conference of SanRemo of theAllied Powers took place in April 1920.
The Conference decided to incorporate the Balfour Declaration in the peace
treaty with Turkey, and to confer the Palestine Mandate upon Great Britain.
against the Monroe doctrine.1 In addition, I had expressed doubt in
the judgment of a Chief Justice; judges, in general, are known to
consider their word law. With regard to American life this may be
true, but not with regard to Jewish life. This was the beginning of
the quarrel between Washington and Pinsk,2 a quarrel fought out at
the American Zionist Convention in Cleveland.3 In this way we lost
a tremendous amount of our strength; either the entire movement
had to give up, or we had to continue our work alone, without
Brandeis and his group. On the day the conflict broke out I paid
a visit to the British Ambassador in Washington. He said: "Dr.
Weizmann, you are behaving like Wilson in Italy;4 you want to appeal
to the people over the heads of the leaders of American Jewry."
I had to explain to him that my attitude towards the leaders of
American Jewry was different from that of Wilson towards Italy.
Then began the years of constant pilgrimage to America, with so
many interesting, as well as comic, experiences. For some of you who
may one day have to undertake such journeys it may be of interest
if I describe the kind of day I often experienced in America. Imagine:
You arrive in a town-say Detroit-I have, of course, nothing what-
soever against Detroit, which is a very fine city. As you know, auto-
mobiles are produced there. There is also a fine Jewish community.
But in Detroit I left a part of my life. Picture it-you arrive in
Detroit early in the morning, tired from the long train journey.
When you implore your friends to give you at least an hour to wash
and rest, you are told: No, Sir. First there is a parade, and you
have to stand in front of a hundred cars and everybody shouts. Then
you must lunch with the mayor. American luncheons are identical
from New York to California; I always knew beforehand what was
going to be served. When this is over, do you think you will be
allowed to go home and wash? You are mistaken: first you have to
see the press and answer questions. The first question is invariably:
How do you like America? The next is: What does Zionism really
mean? The third: What is really the position with regard to the
struggle with the Arabs? How many Jews have been killed already?
And so on and so forth. If you think that you are through, then you
1 Monroe Doctrine of non-intervention of non-American powers in
American affairs and of American powers in non-American affairs.
2 Brandeis was Supreme Court Justice in Washington, and Dr. Weiz-
mann was born in the neighbourhood of Pinsk; so the struggle: between
the two opponents is referred to as the struggle between Washington
At the Cleveland Convention of the Zionist Organization of America
in 1921, the conflict between the policies of Dr. Weizmann and that of
Louis D. Brandeis was decided in favour of the former. Brandeis then
resigned from the Zionist Organization of America.
4 Woodrow Wilson, United States President from 1912 to 1920, during
the Paris Peace Conference launched! an appeal to the Italian people
on the question of Fiume and Dalmatia. The Italian representatives left
the Peace Conference in protest and only returned to it after a vote of
confidence was taken in the Italian Parliament.
are wrong again. For now comes the dinner at which you meet all
the people who give the money-at that time there were still indivi-
duals who would contribute 4,000 to 5,000 dollars each. So it goes on
for the whole day. At night you are packed into the train, and next
morning the story starts all over again. This is how it went on, day
after day, month after month and year after year. This is how the
millions were collected for the Keren Hayesod.
By 1921 it was already possible to make the first great land pur-
chase in the Emek Jezreel,1 and to found Nahalal.2 If I had more time,
it would be a pleasure to tell you the story of Nahalal, for this
village is a symbol of Jewish life and colonisation in Palestine.
Soon, however, things began to go not quite according to plan, but
in spite of difficult times, immigration figures began to rise-first
3,000 immigrants per year, then 5,000 and, in 1925, 25,000. This was
a great year, the year in which Balfour visited Palestine and the
Hebrew University was established.
I may perhaps say a few words about the opening of the Univer-
sity, the beginning of an important, but difficult activity. Those with
imagination could see a full-fledged university in front of them,
despite the modest beginning. Others, however, among them Jabo-
tinsky, sharply cfiticised the whole plan. Balfour believed that our
movement would create a real university, a prediction which has
come true. To-day there stands on Mount Scopus an institution which
is by no means inferior to some of the great universities of Europe
The opening of the University in 1925 coincided with the end of
Herbert Samuel's regime. I could tell you a good deal about him, but
I shall spare him to-night. From 1925 on we were not to have much
joy. Whenever there was anything to be pleased about, our joy was
immediately dimmed by Arab attacks, unemployment and the like.
In 1925 we had, as I already mentioned, 25,000 new immigrants.
Our finances, however, were just as I described them. True, from
year to year they improved, but they were nevertheless still far from
keeping pace with our requirements and the increased immigration.
Extensive unemployment soon developed. We were, however, lucky
in having Lord Plumer 3 as High Commissioner. He was a plain
English General, but a man of great moral values, and he helped
us through those troubled times.
In this connection I should like to tell you something which might
be of use to us to-day. When Plumer was High Commissioner, in
1 Emek Jezreel, large valley between the Galilee and the hills of
Ephraim, was acquired by the Jewish National Fund in 1920 andl since
settled with the financial assistance of the Keren Hayesod. Today the
J.NiF. owns there 196,0(T0 dunams, and 32 settlements have been built there.
2 Nahalal, agricultural settlement in the valley of Jezreel, the first
"Moshav Ovdilm", i.e. smallholders' cooperative village. In 1947-the popula-
tion was over 1.000.
s Fieldmarshal Lord Plumer, second High Commissioner for Palestine
in the years 1925-928.
1926 or 1927, the colours of-the Jewish Legion were brought to the
Hurvah Synagogue in Jerusalem. They were to be handed over to the
Synagogue after a procession, but the Arabs got excited about it,
and 60 of them appeared before Lord Plumer to protest. Plumer
received them and said: "I have only twelve chairs here; if you will
select twelve people, I shall be ready to negotiate with them." The
twelve gentlemen who came in declared that if the procession of the
Jews took place, they would not take upon themselves the responsib-
ility for order in the city. Lord Plumer replied: "You need not take
the responsibility. I am responsible, and I shall take care that law
and order are maintained." Everything went off perfectly quietly,
although this was at a time when there were troubles in Syria and
Egypt. At that time there were a few policemen and a few soldiers
in Palestine, not 120,000 troops. But Lord Plumer was there, and he
was as good as an army.
And so the years went by. I should like to recall another episode
of that period. It was in 1929, when the enlarged Jewish Agency was
established. Many will still remember the great conference in Zurich,
when an agreement was signed between the Zionists and the non-
Zionists of the Marshall-Warburg group. Negotiations about the
establishment of the Enlarged Jewish Agency had been going on
for many years. A lot could be written and said about them.
They were actually started in 1919, but the Enlarged Jewish Agency
was born under an unlucky star. Marshall died a few days after the
conference, and then, in the summer of 1929, the great American de-
pression set in, and the Arab riots started. Under the pressure of
these three factors the Agency was shipwrecked. Attempts were still
made to carry on, with a certain measure of success, but it was not
what we had hoped for.
The 1929 riots were followed by one of the numerous Inquiry
Commissions from which we have suffered so much on our Via
Dolorosa-the Shaw Commission.' The Commission's report was sub-
mitted, and the question of the so-called "landless" Arabs was raised.
Later on it transpired that these Arabs existed only in the imagina-
tion of the Commission, but in the meantime the Passfield White
Paper 2 had been issued. In 1922 we had had a Churchill White Paper,8
but this had not robbed us of all possibilities of work. The Passfield
White Paper was an attempt to crystallise the Jewish National Home.
1 Shaw Commission, Parliamentary commission under the chairman-
ship of Sir Walter Shaw for the investigation of the reasons of the Arab
disturbances of 1929.
2 Passfield White Paper, White Paper of the British Government
issued: in 1930 after the 1929 Arab disturbances, containing proposals for
the solution of the Palestine problem, including strong restrictions on
immigration and land ,purchase. The White Paper was called after Lord
Passfield, the then Colonial Secretary.
3 Churchill White Paper, issued by the British Government in 1922,
following the Arab riots of 1921; named after Mr. Winston Churchill,
the Colonial Secretary of that time.
Once again the struggle began,,this time against a Labour Govern-
ment, and against a Prime Minister 1 who had spoken and written on
Palestine in the most beautiful terms-before he became Prime
Minister; we seem to be fated to suffer whenever there is a Labour
Government in England. The fight ended with the letter of Ramsay
McDonald, addressed to me, which cancelled the White Paper on
certain points. To implement the new policy as laid down in McDon-
ald's letter, a High Commissioner2 was appointed who-to use Ramsay
McDonald's own words-would do things with his head and not with
his feet. Under Sir Arthur Wauchope a period of splendid develop-
ment in Palestine set in. Immigration reached the mark of 60,000
persons per year-a figure which we have never achieved since. Some
of the great achievements of the modern Yishuv were created and
consolidated at that time. The Rutenberg enterprise3 for the electrifi-
cation of Palestine, and Novomeysky's Dead Sea Project4 had existed
before, but it was the great wave of immigration that caused their
This large immigration of course had its dangers. I sinned very
gravely when I said at the time "I am afraid that Dzika and Nalewki5
alone will not rebuild Palestine." As I said, there were great dangers
in this Aliyah and great advantages. It brought into Palestine not
only financial, but also spiritual and emotional capital, factors which
contributed to a great extent to the widening of our entire basis.
Then came the internal strife at the Basle Congress of 1931. Zionist
public opinion was, at that time, very much incensed at the British
Government. But as the British Government could not be dismissed,
and'I could, I had to disappear from the tribune until 1935.
The most difficult period of our development started in 1933 and is
still going on. Hitler came to power, the Aliyah Hadasha started and
a stream of German Jews reached Palestine. I was invited by the Ex-
ecutive to head, together with Dr. Ruppin, an organisation which
would take care of this Aliyah. I happened to be in Palestine when
they began to arrive. It was heartbreaking to see how people who
were used to a settled way of life were being uprooted-how they
were thrown into an environment which was, in practice if not in
theory, alien to them. And yet they adjusted themselves. The absorp-
tive capacity of the Yishuv was put to a test. Whatever anyone
1 The Prime Minister of the British Labour Government, Ramsay
lMcDonald (1929-1931). In many speeches and articles he praised Zionist
constructive work in Palestine. These essays were published under the
title: "A Socialist in Palestine" (1925).
2 Sir Arthur Wauchope, British general, fourth High Commissioner
for Palestine (1930-1938), one of the most outstanding supporters of the
Zionist work of reconstruction in Palestine.
3 Rutenberg enterprise, reference to the Palestine Electric Corporation
founded 'by Pinhas Rutenberg for the exploitation of the Jordan waters
and the electrification of Palestine.
4 Mr. M. Novomeysky founded in 1929 the Palestine Potash Company
for the exploitation of the mineral resources of the Dead Sea.
5 Densely populated Jewish streets in Warsaw.
i .1 II
may say, Palestine contributed more than any other country, more
than America and more than the South American states, to the re-
habilitation of the German Jews. In return the German Jews brought
to Palestine very many thing-among them a sense of order, and
absolute devotion to the Cause. When people occasionally speak of
the "Yekes" 1 in a derogatory tone, I must say I regret that we are
not all "Yekes." The children of these "Yekes" are already respect-
able citizens of the country; they have assimilated. One has to see
their settlements to understand how great a contribution the German
Jews have made to the upbuilding of Eretz Israel.
I have still fourteen years to report on, but I shall finish now. We
have always fought against the shortcomings of what has been
achieved, against the discrepancy between the necessary and the
possible. We forget that politics is the art of the possible, and that
possibilities and achievements are interdependent. We have always
had to work in a vicious circle, which we have to break with our poor
brains, and this has been the source of our greatest difficulties.
In the meantime, we had not exploited all our opportunities, the
British Government had been able to limit the scope of their
promises, the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate, more and more.
Had we exploited the first ten or fifteen years as fully as we in-
tended, our position might have been different from what it is to-
day. This, however, is nobody's fault. It is our fate.
Then came the White Paper of 1939, on which I need not dilate.
I have already said, both in my address at the last Congress and in
my evidence before the United Nations Special Committee on Pales-
tine, that no document has ever caused as great a disaster as this one.
The authors of this document and those who enforce it have taken
a very grave responsibility upon themselves, a responsibility before
God, before the world, before themselves and before their own
people. The results can be seen to-day: the refugee ships, the terror,
and all the misfortunes we are now experiencing in Palestine.
While I am speaking of Ma'apilim, I should like to convey my own
and your greetings, and a "Hazak Veematz" to our brothers and sisters
of the "Exodus from Europe 1947".2 I should like to remind you that
our Torah has several parts. The first is "Genesis," the second is
"Exodus" and the fourth "Numbers." I sincerely hope that after
"Exodus" will come "Numbers"-the great numbers of immigrants
who will come to a free Palestine.
I have not been initiated into the secrets of UNO and I saw the
members of UNSCOP only a few times. But I believe that on this
1 Yekes-nickname for the German Jews who entered Palestine
after 1933 and who are known for their sense of order. The source and the
exact meaning of the word are! unknown.
2 Exodus from Europe, 1947, name of a Jewish refugee ship which
was captured by the British fleet in Haifa in July 1947 with 4,500 im-
migrants on board. They were forcibly returned to Marseille and! then
sent to Hamburg. The refugees were interned in September 1947 in two
camps in Germany.
very day, symbolically, a document will be signed which, with
God's help, may become the "Athalta Digeula," the Beginning of
Though there are still many things left for me to speak of, I will
conclude now, and I hope you will forgive me. A final remark:
I know that my voice is weak and may perhaps not reach beyond
the walls of this beautiful hall. As a man who for fifty years has
not lived a single day without co-operating, in some small or large
degree, in the building of Palestine,-as one of those who has behind
him more than half a century of uninterrupted Zionist work-as one
who has grown up in the Jewish street and absorbed all the sufferings
and sorrows of the Jewish people-as one of those who has taken
a part in European culture, I think I am entitled to appeal to both
the Jewish and the non-Jewish worlds. I call upon them to halt!
"Averah gorereth averah"-violence breeds violence, and injustice
breeds injustice. We are caught in a vicious circle which somebody
must have the courage, once and for all, to break. I see with sorrow
that even among us certain acts are committed which our fathers
and mothers would not have allowed. If some of us can quote Rabbi
Akiba2 as an example, it must not be forgotten that the importance of
Rabbi Akiba lies not only in the fact that he fought against the
Romans, but in his other achievements as well. Besides Rabbi Akiba
there was Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai:3 both are heroes of our history.
And I call upon the British as well. You are a strong people, but
what you are doing against us will contribute neither to your honour
nor to your strength. You are carrying a great responsibility and
there is a heavy burden on your conscience. The greater a nation is,
the less it should permit itself to go back on the word which it once
gave to a poor and oppressed people. That is all I have to say.
It seems dark around us to-day, but it is not all dark, and perhaps
it is the darkness just before the dawn. In the series of Commissions
which have dealt with our problem, I hope this is the last. It re-
presents the nations of the world and their conscience. We have all
spoken before this Commission. We have revealed our hearts before
it. We have told it what we believed in, what we hoped for, what
we desired and what was due to us.
Now I may conclude by adding that one day we shall all stand
before a Higher Judge than those who are now determining our
destiny. I can only pray to Heaven that, when the day comes, we
may be able to say that we committed no injustice.
1 The Report of the "United Nations Special Committee on Palestine"
was actually signed a few hours after Dr. Weizmann's speech (1st Sep-
2 Rabbi Akiba, a rabbi of the "Mishna," lived in the second century
A.D., one of the leaders of Bar Kochba's struggle against Rome, was
captured and executed by the Romans in 135 A.D.
8 Yohanan ben Zakkai, rabbi of the "Mishna," lived in the first century
A.D. He was carried out in a coffin from besieged Jerusalem (70 A.D.). The
Roman Emperor granted his request to open a college at Yabne.
ON THE THRESHOLD OF THE JEWISH STATE
ADDRESS BY MR. DAVID BEN-GURION AT THE JERUSALEM
JUBILEE CELEBRATION ON ROSH HODESH ELUL 5707
17th AUGUST 1947
ELEGATES to the First Congress, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Since we went into exile we have had many dates in our
calendar which will not be expunged from our memory for
decades, and maybe centuries, to come. But the anniversary of the
event to commemorate which we have assembled here today does not
resemble them. The other anniversaries mark things that happened to
us. They are a record of persecution, decrees, expulsions, massacres
and destruction. Today's date, however, is the greatest in our history
since the destruction of our political independence following the
defeat of Bar-Kochba. It has two distinctive features. The first is
that it is a date made by ourselves, not by anyone else. The second
is that it made us into a nation once more. The First Congress did
not make a nation of us out of nothing. There had always been a
Jewish nation, even when we were dispersed in exile and the world
as a whole did not know of our existence as a nation; but we were
only a potential nation. That day, fifty years ago, made us; and
on that day we turned ourselves into a nation in reality. The First
Zionist Congress, in 1897, saw the regeneration of a Jewish people
conscious of its nationhood and proclaiming its aspiration to become
once again a people like other peoples, and to lead an independent
existence in its own country.
The man mainly responsible for this date-Theodor Herzl-made
an entry in his diary which seemed overbold and exaggerated. He
wrote: "Today I founded the Jewish State," to which he added: "If
I stated it aloud, there would be universal laughter, but perhaps
in five, certainly in fifty years' time, everyone will see the truth of
This was no outburst of enthusiasm on the part of a dreamer,
or an illusion that immediate success would follow, but the ex-
pression of a profound historical intuition. On that day the Jewish
State was indeed founded; for a State is founded first in the hearts
of the people.
The alternative periods given by Herzl-five years or fifty-are
interesting. For here, too, is evidence of the deep intuition and
historical greatness of the Zionist leader. He fully believed that
within a few years the Jewish State might come into being; and it
is doubtful whether he could have done what he did without his
belief that the project was feasible and that it could be speedily
accomplished. It would indeed be a sign of a warped judgment to
say, in retrospect, that Herzl was wrong. For he was not so wrong:
it was not utterly impossible for the Jewish State to have come
about within a short time. It did not come about not because there
was no possibility for its establishment. There are many instances
in history of probabilities that do not achieve realisation. Never-
theless, they are probabilities; and the man of vision recognizes
them as probabilities and strives to bring about their realisation.
But not all projects that are planned succeed; and it was not because
Herzl was a poor prophet that the Jewish State did not arise. For
he indicated a second alternative,-fifty years, which means that
he' foresaw the possibility of hindrances and deferments. And now,
fifty years after the event, we see that the prophecy has not yet
been fulfilled. The professional wiseacres say, "Behold the result of
phantasy." But they would do well not to pass hasty judgment.
This semi-centennial-commemorating the greatest event in our
history in exile-is being celebrated at the most critical juncture
in generations. We have just witnessed a destruction the like of
which has not been experienced for centuries. The first, and only,
nation to proffer help to us has become our opponent. Heavy clouds
are gathering in the Palestinian sky,-I say this, not because I
am under the influence of the events of the past week, which may
prove transient: I would have said the same thing a fortnight ago
as well. Finally, we are faced with a terrible threat from within.
At no time previously have there been such destructive elements
in our midst as at present. Anyone beholding the crises and dangers,
both external and internal, might say: "The man was a dreamer.
His dream remains unfulfilled, not only after five, but after fifty
years; while the little that has been achieved stands in grave jeo-
Yet Herzl was no dreamer. The past fifty years were not merely
a period of fearful crisis in the history of our movement: they have
also paved the way to the future. We now stand on the threshold
of the establishment of the Jewish State. I do not necessarily refer
to the work of the Committee now in progress in Geneva or to the
United Nations Assembly. For it is a fact that our State is in the
making in Palestine. What we have here today are the beginnings
of a Jewish State, and by virtue of them we shall surmount the
grievous crises we are now undergoing.
We have been confronted with England's fight against Zionism,-
a fight which, by reason of its inner logic, is being transformed into
a war against the Jews. There is a direct connection between the
White Paper and the disturbances in Liverpool. The fight against
Zionism is of necessity an anti-Jewish fight. We are the only people
that for a period of 1,800 years has thwarted all the designs har-
boured to compass its destruction. In addition, we have before us
the threat of internal disruption. If, despite those various dangers,
we stand, not without anxiety-for complacency at this juncture
would be an unforgivable sin-, but without fear and assured of our
ability and our future, it is because we have in fact established the
beginnings of the Jewish State in Palestine. Whatever the verdict
of the United Nations Committee may be, no committee or section
of world opinion that directs its gaze to Palestine can fail to see
that here it beholds, not just another Jewish community, but a
Jewish nation,-a nation with the attributes of statehood like any
other independent nation.
There is something else which stands revealed in a most tragic
manner, and that is that all the few achievements we have made,
and in fact the entire range of Jewish creation from its beginnings
down to the present day, are the fruits of tragedies that have over-
taken our people. Our people has a unique quality in that it can
turn disaster-be it ever so great or overwhelming-into a source
of new strength, creativeness and self-assertion; it does not give
in. This is proved by the men and women called Displaced Persons
or "illegal" immigrants. Even those who can claim some acquaintance
with Jewish history and poetry and with the Jewish faith, and who
are aware of the Jewish people's connection with its country, had
no idea how deep that connection was until confronted with the
terrible grandeur of the spectacle of "illegal" immigration. No
people in the world has displayed such a powerful connection with
its country as that now being displayed by the "illegal" immigrants,
and no one in the world can fail to see it. The nations of the world
were unable to understand the mystery of a people which had left
and been made to leave its country-for it partly left of its own
volition as well as being forcibly ejected-and yet which retained
its connection with that country. Many refused to believe it: they
thought it was a faeon de parler, a meaningless dogma. Today, how-
ever, no one can doubt this connection in view of the mighty force
of what is called "illegal" immigration, and at the sight of the immi-
grant ship "Exodus 1947".
But this does not comprise the full measure of the force that
Herzl wished to harness and apply, the utilisation of which he rightly
saw, by means of his profound intuition, as the beginnings of the
Jewish State. This is only the motive force. Everyone, even a
blind man, is bound to see that there already exists in Palestine a
Jewish State in embryo form, and not just another Jewish com-
munity; and that there are Jews in other parts of the world-in
Germany and Poland-whose ties with Palestine are literally "strong
as death", as the Bible puts it. This, however, is only the visible
form of that force. What we have today was a latent urge only
two generations ago; but it would not have emerged if it had not
been latent. The latent Zionism is greater than the visible. But
I doubt whether the world today can, or whether it would if it
could, see more than the visible forces that are actually before
It is my belief that we stand on the threshold of the Jewish State.
It is not the State as conceived in the age-old dreams of the Jew-
ish people or even as seen in Herzl's vision. It is the first stage of
a State determined by the measure of visible power that has been
generated in Palestine and that is forcing a path by means of
"illegal" immigration. There is no cause for fear in the fact that
this may be only the first stage and determined by the measure
of visible power. For this power, before it came into operation, was
also latent. But this stage will not prove the last in the realisation
of the vision: it is the first stage; we are standing on the threshold.
Herzl's prophecy is being fulfilled. After fifty years-and this is
no arbitrary period-we are approaching the establishment of the
Jewish State in its first stage.
Let me end by saying a word to those few in our midst-many
are no longer with us, others are scattered throughout the world-
who were vouchsafed the unique privilege necessarily restricted to
only a few, of being present at the great occasion which saw the
regeneration of the Jewish people and the birth of the Jewish State
in its heart. Yours was a great privilege, and one which we and
those who come after us cannot, in the nature of things, experience;
for it was the privilege of the first-comers. You have added a great
date to the Jewish calendar, a date that has transformed Jewish
history. I hope that you will live to see the establishment of the
Jewish State, and I utter this hope in the belief that its fulfilment
may be imminent.
THE MEANING OF THE FIRST ZIONIST CONGRESS
ADDRESS BY MR. ISAAK BEN-ZVI, PRESIDENT OF THE VAAD
LEUMI, AT THE JERUSALEM JUBILEE CELEBRATION
ICONSIDER it a great honour to take the chair today, when we
mark the passing of fifty years since the first Zionist Congress
was held. This is the first commemoration of that event; but
I feel that, as time goes on, each successive commemoration will
enhance its importance, and that our descendants will come to value
the first Congress as one of the most noteworthy happenings in all
our long history.
It seems to me that the first Zionist Congress brought about six
things,-three of them theoretical and three of them practical. Its
first consequence was to establish the character of the Jews as a
nation among nations. The Jews are not a religious sect, as people
used to think in the Middle Ages, and as they used to think at the
time of the Emancipation, though for different reasons. The Jews are
not a tribe of gypsies or part of the peoples among whom they dwell.
The Jews are a nation. Possibly the Jews of Eastern Europe and the
Orient would have felt this even had there been no Zionist Congress;
but it is clear that large sections of Jewry in Central and Western
Europe had lost that healthy feeling. There had to arise a man like
Herzl, born and educated in the West, to proclaim the elementary
truth that the Jews are a nation like other nations. This carried more
weight with the Jews than the previous expression of the idea by
Pinsker. For Pinsker was an Ostjude; but now there came a Westjude
to proclaim the fact, and as a result the realisation grew, both among
the Jews and non-Jews, that the Jews are a nation.
In the second place, the 1897 Congress established the worldwide
character of the Jewish problem. Russian Jewry, for instance, was
well aware of it. But its international character had never been pub-
licly proclaimed. Then came Herzl and convened Jewish delegates
from over twenty countries for the sole purpose of holding a joint
discussion upon the problem common to all,-the Jewish problem.
What had previously been acknowledged only in the hearts of men
was now openly declared to the world. As long as the Jewish problem
did not emerge as a universal problem, it was possible to believe that
it would find its solution in the next stage of human progress that
when the East European Jews achieved the cherished status of
German Jewry and were granted political emancipation, the problem
would be solved. Pinsker was the first man to deny this hypothesis.
Instead of emancipation, he advocated auto-emancipation. Then
came Herzl and gave the idea its political formulation: the character
of the Jewish problem would not be altered by a change of regime.
The outer form of the problem might change under democratic rule,
but its content was not susceptible of change as long as there existed
a state of homelessness, as long as there was no territory and no
worldwide national organisation. And so the universal nature of the
Jewish problem was recognized. The movement with which I identi-
fied myself and in which I was active-the Zionist Labour move-
ment-also proclaimed the universal nature of the Jewish problem.
While the Socialist Bund was talking about the problem of the
Jews and of the Jewish proletariat in Poland, Lithuania and Russia,
the Zionist Socialist movement came along and said: The problem
of the Jews and of the Jewish proletariat is the same the world
over, and national frontiers do not alter the fact. That was the
Zionist idea, which was proclaimed by Herzl at the first Zionist
The third of the theoretical consequences of the first Congress was
the realisation that the universal problem must find a universal
solution, and that it could not be solved country by country. Its
circumstances called for an effort by the entire nation with the help
of the civilised and democratic world. Such aid should not, how-
ever, be rendered out of pity, but should arise out of a sense of
realities, a recognition of the existing forces and an awareness of
the dangers that threatened the world if the problem remained un-
solved. There must consequently be a single solution on a world-
wide scale. Herzl directed his call to governments and nations, and
they heard him. There was as yet no League of Nations or United
Nations Organisation, and so he issued his appeal to the peoples
of the world from a Jewish platform and sought the way to bring
about the fulfilment of his vision.
Now I come to the three practical results of the first Zionist Con-
gress; and they represent no less of an innovation than the theo-
retical results. In the first place the unity of the nation was restored
by means of a single representative body, a single, worldwide Jew-
ish Parliament. Never before in the history of the Dispersion had
Jews from so many different countries come together openly and
proclaimed themselves one nation and, indeed, come forward as one
nation. There was, to be sure, vast opposition, such as that of the
Protest Rabbiner of Munich. But Herzl was endowed with the neces-
sary boldness, and he turned the national, Zionist, organisation
into a fact. He revealed the secret that the Jewish nation, even
though it had as yet no homeland, could be organised by means of
a body representing Jews throughout the world. The establishment
of the world Zionist forum was an even greater innovation than the
Chibbath Zion movement which was, after all, restricted to certain
areas of Eastern Europe. The Congress at Basle saw the birth of
unity on a worldwide scale. It was attended by Jews from East
and West, from America, and even from Palestine and the Arab
Secondly, the Congress led to the establishment of a permanent
organisation. The Zionist Organisation was the first Jewish organisa-
tion on a world scale. It was later followed by many organizations
for philanthropic and other purposes; but the Zionist Organisation
founded at Basle was the first of its kind. That is how I understand
the words uttered by Herzl which were thought to be a mere phrase.
But he was using no phrase and uttering no prophecy when he
said, "I founded the Jewish State". This was a statement of poli-
tical realities. Under modern conditions of dispersal and separation
the national organisation of a people had come into being for the
first time, and it was to serve as the foundation of a future State.
Lastly, and by no means least in importance, the first Zionist
Congress forged the instrument for the execution of the project. It
is irrelevant that the Jewish National Fund was not established till
after the fifth Congress, and that the Jewish national bank was not
founded for some years after that. What is important is that at
Basle the prototype was created which for the first time brought
the realisation of the Jewish national idea within the range of prac-
Thus the importance of the first Zionist Congress is apparent to-
day, and will be apparent for generations to come. Only three
things had been left to us out of our ancient heritage: our people,
our country and our language. Our country may not have remained
in our possession; but our ties with it have never been severed.
We have never despaired of our hope of returning to Zion.
The first Congress did not lead to much of an innovation as re-
gards the Hebrew language: that was the result of the later develop-
ment of the movement. On reading the records of the Congresses,
I find that the first Hebrew secretary was Ussishkin. Important
as this fact may be, its importance at the time was almost entirely
symbolical, as the Hebrew language was scarcely heard there. The
records of the first few Congresses, which are in German, merely
refer to speeches in Hebrew with the brief observation, spricht
hebraeisch. Palestine-which is, of course, one of the fundamental
elements of Zionism-was at the time almost entirely relegated to
the sphere of ideology. Nevertheless, it was clear that the very
existence of the Yishuv, and especially of the settlement that had
taken place before the first Congress (by the Biluites and their pre-
decessors), and the ancient ties with the country, lent meaning to
the idea of Palestine. Thus these three factors, though intercon-
nected and reciprocal, were not all equally realistic. The only things
that were realistic at the time were the declaration of Jewish nation-
hood and the organisation that had been created. The principle
of the Hebrew language was only theoretical, and Palestine itself
was symbolical rather than a concrete fact.
On this occasion, which marks the fiftieth anniversary of the first
Zionist Congress, I think it is fitting to pronounce the benediction
Sehecheyanu. It is a privilege for us to meet here today and fore-
gather with veteran colleagues who were present at that memorable
meeting. We are gathered here today at a time when the Jewish
people is engaged in its great struggle for its fate and future. Let
me end, therefore, by expressing a hope. This anniversary is being
commemorated with a Jewish population in Palestine of 650,000
souls-more than the number of Israelites who left Egypt in Pha-
raoh's day. May the next anniversary take place in a free Jewish
Palestine. I am certain that succeeding generations will place a
higher value than we upon the beginning that was made half a
century ago, when Herzl and a group of enthusiastic young men
met, for the first time in our history since the Exile, as the repre-
sentatives of the Jewish people for the purpose of making our age-
old dream a reality,-the dream of a united nation seeking re-
demption and freedom in its homeland.
BY DELEGATES OF THE FIRST ZIONIST CONGRESS
Speeches held in the Herzl Room in Jerusalem on 17th August, 1947.
RABBI DR. MORDECHAI BRAUDE
"Keep the image of Herzl alive in your hearts"
A FTER the speeches we have just heard, which have covered
almost all the material concerning the first Zionist Congress
and its results, I find it hard to speak in detail about the Con-
gress. I can only add a few personal reminiscences. I speak to you
as the only survivor in Palestine of the small group of Galician
delegates to the first Congress. A Zionist organisation had been in
existence in Galicia for some time before the first Congress. In 1887
we had founded the first Zionist society in Lwow: it was called
"Zion." In Tarnov, too, a society had been founded, and it had
begun to make efforts to found a colony in Palestine. Nevertheless,
when the news that the first Congress was to be convened reached
us, and we learned of Herzl's appearance on the scene, we were
all filled with enthusiasm, and streamed towards the new centre
that had been created.
We did not know what the Congress would give us. As far as
Zionism was concerned, the Congress could do little for us, since
we were already Zionists in the full sense of the word. Nevertheless,
we felt that something new had been created which had not existed
previously. If I ask myself today what the first Congress really gave
me, I have to reply that it did not give me Zionism: I had been
a Zionist before. In the first place, then, the Congress gave us Herzl
himself. Herzl's emergence on the scene and his activities were not
merely an extraordinary personal experience for us. We felt that
a great force had been manifested,-a creative, centralising, organis-
ing and dominating force.
Whenever I recall the opening of the first Congress and see before
me Herzl mounting the dais to preside over the gathering, and
then tapping on the table with his gavel while presiding over the Con-
gress, I relive-and I say this without any exaggeration-what I still
feel to be the greatest experience in my life. The figure of Herzl
loomed above us. Suddenly a compelling force had arisen, and he
dominated us with his extraordinary personality, with his gestures,
manner of speech, his ardour and'vision.
To this very day I am convinced that only a man like Herzl could
have welded the scattered sections of the Jewish people into one
nation and have proclaimed a Jewish State without making himself
ridiculous. Only Herzl could have dominated the first Congress as
he did. An tht I think, is what stands out most in my personal
recollections of the first Congress.
I draw one conclusion from this fact: I think that each one of us
has the right to turn to those who bear the burden of the Zionist
Movement with this exhortation: Keep the personality of iHerzl alive
in your hearts. Let it live as the motive and centralising force of
all Zionist work, of the entire structure of the nation. We are very
prone to forget our leaders. If we recall the men who stood at Herzl's
side, and those who succeeded him at the head of the Zionist move-
ment, how many do we find we remember? They have been almost
entirely forgotten. That is a great loss for the development of the
inner meaning of Zionism. But, even if we forget the others, not
only must we keep Herzl's memory alive: we must keep his image
alive in our hearts.
HESHEL YEHOSHUA FARBSTEIN
"In thine own blood shalt thou live"
A S ONE who helped to lay the foundations of the Zionist Move-
ment in order to bring about the regeneration of the Jewish
people in its homeland, I stand here full of hope and faith in
the realisation of all our aspirations.
There are many difficulties; and the Zionist Movement has imposed
a formidable task upon the Jewish people in order to secure its return
to Zion. But that is the path which has to be trodden by any nation
seeking regeneration, and especially by one which has led a wander-
ing existence for two thousand years.
With reference to our relations with the British, too, we should
bear in mind that throughout the period of our exile, nations that
came forward to make a plea in defence of the Jewish people did
so only when it was a third people that was concerned. Let us there-
fore not draw erroneous conclusions from the attitude of the British
and their leaders in the Parliament and Government.
The terrible destruction wrought by Hitler, and the maintenance
of the survivors in camps, down to the incarceration of the im-
migrants of the "Exodus 1947" in British floating prisons on the
high seas, prove how right the Zionist Movement was in all its
assumptions. "In thine own blood shalt thou live."
Nevertheless, our belief in our destiny has not wavered, and with
the help of God the redemption of Zion will be accomplished.
DR. ISIDOR SCHALIT
"Be strong and of good courage, my people"
I STAND HERE again in the room I knew so well. I am familiar
with every object in it,-the chairs, table and bookshelves. Before
me I see once more my great teacher in all his glory. It was in
this very room that I reached the crowning pinnacle of my life.
For nine years, throughout the period that Herzl was building up
our organisation, I sat before him daily, my writing-pad on my knee,
taking down his instructions and noting the tasks he assigned to me.
For nine years I was witness to the rise of a great man and to the
development of his great aims. But then came the night on which
Herzl was taken from us forever. Yet was it really forever?
It was all a beginning: it had no end. Was Herzl really lost to
us? No! Every day I relive Herzl; and as I draw on into the evening
of my life, I feel him with greater strength and understanding. What
was it that took him outside the range of everyday experience and
raised him to the heights of history? It was the fact that he lived
everything himself. In his own heart he felt the great pain and
sorrow of the Jewish people and the faith in the future of the
nation that have been the motive force of Jewry for thousands of
years. In him there welled up a titanic strength that gave back
to the people its faith in itself and showed it the way to salvation
by its own efforts.
Today we behold the evil of mankind: human freedom has been
torn to shreds, and the last chapter of Jewish history in the Exile
has been written in blood. Yet, despite the terrible forces ranged
against us, we are beginning a new era in our history, now that the
nation and its country have been reunited once again.
Herzl was not a superhuman being, and it was not as such that
we regarded him. All men are of flesh and blood and subject to the
laws of life. Nevertheless, Herzl can only be appreciated by eternal
standards. His mission was, in the first place, rooted in the moral
nature of his task. His greatest act-the creation of the Zionist
Organisation-had its roots in his faith and conscience. His life was
replete with a human fullness. He gave us what we once had,-
Biblical morality coupled with a great union of people and country.
Herzl is alive. It is all a beginning: there is no end. As long as
Herzl lives in our midst, there is light in our hearts.
Herzl's remains still lie interred in alien soil. We still have not
fulfilled his last request. When shall we at last be able to preserve
his grave in the Land of Israel and make it a symbol of the indivisible
unity of people and country?
Fifty years have passed. Was it indeed only half a century, and
not an eternity? That period cannot, indeed, be measured in years,
for what took place in it was outside of time and space. A third of
our people-men and women, children and old people-have been
destroyed with unprecedented brutality. The world held its breath
for but a moment. Then it began to look upon that loathsome crime
in terms of cold self-interest. Can Jewish sorrow and Jewish blood
be weighed in the tradesman's scales? As often before in our history,
we have once again been made conscious of the dreadful truth that
we are alone in God's great world, that no one will save us, and
that we can look only to ourselves for help. The catastrophe that
has befallen us is immense. But common sorrows give rise to a
feeling of brotherhood; brotherhood leads to realisation; and realisa-
tion produces love. These three sources are flowing into the stream
of creativeness. Neither mourning nor speeches nor bombs will help
us,--only a desire that knows no fear. Everything is beginning:
there is no end. Herzl, too, was only a beginning, just as all our
work is but the beginning of our appointed future. Herzl lives. From
his grave echoes his voice: Be strong and of good courage, my people!
God grants his salvation to the strong. But what is the source
of strength? Only unity! Therefore, my brothers, stand united in
DR. MAYER EBNER
"Zion will be redeemed by justice"
T WAS my privilege to be present at the first Zionist Congress;
and it is therefore a source of great pleasure to me to be able
to be present at the celebration of its fiftieth anniversary.
It was an inspiration to hold this meeting in this room, which
is dedicated to the memory of our great leader, Theodor Herzl. I have
the feeling that his spirit still hovers in this room, in the atmosphere
created by the objects he used in daily life. It was at this very table
that he used to sit, noting down the ideas that were to prove of
everlasting value. It was here that he used to sit, near his books
and the other things he loved so well and that were his treasured
possessions and now are ours.
The first Zionist Congress was the most powerful and most long-
lived experience I have ever had. I have seen many lands and many
cities; I have seen grand palaces and been present at the most
splendid celebrations and occasions, both Jewish and non-Jewish;
but not one of them is so indelibly imprinted on my memory as
the first Zionist Congress, held in the modest hall of the Casino at
I cherish that memory, not only because it brings back to me my
lost youth, but also because the first Congress made its impress
upon my whole life. Throughout my life I have been treading the
Zionist path; but however difficult it may be-especially in these
troublesome times-I walk with the same spiritual elation that filled
me when I went to Basle fifty years ago. I follow that path with the
same inner conviction and certainty that for us Jews, as a nation,
there is no other means of salvation from the destruction that
threatens us, except along the path of Zionism.
To all of us, and also to me, Theodor Herzl was a lifelong guide.
All the Zionist parties, however much they may incline to Right
or Left, revere his name. The purity of his outlook was beyond all
dpubt. Moreover, during the course of the past half-century, we have
seen for ourselves the lucidity of his approach, the consistency of
his Zionist reasoning, and the prophetic force of his personality.
My faith in Herzl and in the values to which he aspired and which
he proclaimed is unshaken, even though the skies may lower above
our heads-especially in these harrowing times-and angry storms
may break. I firmly believe that Zion will be redeemed, not by force
or might-which we do not possess-but by justice and righteousness.
We have no other way. If Herzl were still among us, he would surely
repeat what he said the year following the London Congress. He
said then: "In our days we are no longer confronted with the problem
of raising up a generation of fighting Maccabees." And today he
might well have added the words, "nor of thugs, who only bring
destruction upon the Jewish people."
But this state of affairs is transitory. After this harrowing phase
is over, we, and our children after us, will reap with joy what we
have sown, for fifty years, with sweat, blood and tears.
The language of the Bible has already come to life. We already
have populous towns and villages where formerly there was sand,
desert and desolation. Gardens have sprung up where before there
were thorns and briars.
I say quite unashamedly: fifty years ago I would not have be-
lieved that I would live to see the amazing transformation that has
taken place here. I, and the others, thought that development would
be slower. Reality far exceeds our most daring hopes. The Yishuv
has shown that it is imbued with the will to live and with vital
force. Let it therefore also show its political maturity.
Fifty years ago the wiseacres and scoffers laughed at Zionist
dreams. Today, fifty years later, the mockery has died down and
can no longer be heard. We are now oppressed with a sense of
gravity and anxiously await the verdict of the United Nations.
As one of the founders of organised Zionism, and as one of the
fathers of the Zionist Movement, I utter a warning:
Put an end to the lawlessness that prevails in Palestine! It is
destroying what we have; it is drawing the youth away from the
straight path; and it is putting an end to all our hopes.
At this solemn hour, and from this sacred spot, we, who were
privileged to be present at the first Zionist Congress, convey this
heartfelt greeting to the representatives of the Yishuv: Be strong
and of good courage!
PROFESSOR YOSEF KLAUSNER
The regeneration of a people
I HAVE not the courage to speak about the first Zionist Congress
of Herzl and Nordau, of an occasion that calls to mind the
grandeur and solemnity of the granting of the Law at Mount
Sinai. It is difficult to try and evaluate an event of such immeasur-
able greatness. Of the three days at Basle the strongest impression
I have is of Prof. Mandelstamm stepping onto the dais and con-
gratulating the Congress on the termination of its work. He spoke
about that outstanding figure in Jewry, Nordau; and then about
our great leader, Herzl. I remember how the very hall seemed to feel
the solemnity of the occasion. Such an event cannot be forgotten:
it lives in one's consciousness for the rest of one's life.
What the previous speakers have said about the innovations
brought about by the first Congress is all perfectly true. Even those
who were not present at the Congress have realized its significance
through the force of Zionism during the past fifty years. But there
is something else, which is more difficult to realise, and also more
difficult to put into words: the regeneration of a people. It is not
that Herzl came along and turned us into a nation. For Smolenskin had
come before him and stated that we were not a religious grouping,
but a people. It is not that Herzl gave us a brand-new idea of a
Jewish State. Pinsker's "Auto-Emancipation," which had appeared
before he came on the scene, stated that idea in a most emphatic
manner. But Herzl created something that can hardly be expressed
in words. A different atmosphere prevailed, something totally new
had came into being. The very same words that had been uttered
by Smolenskin and Pinsker acquired a new quality, a new meaning,
at the first Zionist Congress. I do not know how to put it. One Hebrew
writer was so bold as to apply to Herzl the Biblical verse, "And he
was king in Jeshurun." Dr. Ehrenpreis, in an appreciation of Herzl
in the Hebrew journal, "Hashiloach," called him "an uncrowned king."
It, can be said that the whole of Zionism acquired something regal,
that a new quality became apparent in it.
SWhen I recall the Chibbath Zion Movement (and I was active in it),
or Achad Ha'am's Zionism (and I was writing in "Hashiloach" be-
fore the first Congress), and I compare them with the spirit of those
three days at Basle and the time that followed, I see that all com-
prison is futile. It is not that the ideas were any greater, but that
they were charged with a new spirit. I remember how taken were
the Chovevei Zion by the audaciousness of the new Zionism. The
greatest sum they could think of collecting was 100,000 roubles
(10,000) a year: their minds could not grasp a greater figure.
I sometimes ask myself what we lived in during those times. We
had learning, poetry, literature, everything; but there was no vision,
no soaring of the spirit. Even the Benei Moshe, who were splendid
people of the spirit, seemed to attain no heights. What, in fact, was
the conception of the Chovevei Zion, who without doubt already
thought of a Jewish State? Pinsker had already thought of a Jewish
State, and needless to say that Ussishkin thought of it as much as
Herzl. But how far did the minds of that illustrious group travel in
those days? They could not think beyond negotiating with Turkey:
if the Sultan agreed, we would found some more colonies.
I remember a young man coming to see me one day and telling me
that he had received glad tidings from Palestine: two houses had
been built at Gedera. A special circular was sent out -about those
two houses. That was the redemption of the Jewish people,-Jewry
was being redeemed because two houses had been built at Gedera.
Such was the mental grasp of our people in those days. But then
came Herzl and said: that is not how a nation is built, how a State
is founded. A great eagle had suddenly spread his wings and stirred
up the air around him. What happened is, perhaps, best expressed
by the words of Job: "The wind passeth and cleanseth them." A
new wind had indeed cleansed everything and made everything
We had youth in those days,-the Biluites and students. Some
of them will occupy places in the forefront of Zionist history. But
can the spirit that prevailed among them be compared to what
happened after the first Zionist Congress? Hundreds and thousands
of young people who would otherwise have been lost to Jewry, who
would have joined other parties and worked for other nations,
returned to Judaism, to Zion and to Palestine. What was the reason?
It was the great watchword, the great spirit, and also the little
things, the imponderabilia, that Herzl understood so well: our flag,
the shekel, the Actions Committee, the Zionist Organisation. All these
things effected a radical transformation. I recall the discussions
that took place before and after the first Congress. The whole of
Jewry had altered, and was no longer recognisable. I was a student
at the time, and I remember how we had to fight the whole of anti-
Zionist Jewry. Then along came youngsters with new views and in-
fused new life into Jewry. From their ranks came, later on, the men
and women who put the Zionist idea into practice and came out to
Palestine with the Second 'Aliya' and subsequent waves of'immigra-
tion. Because of the great spirit that had been breathed everything
soared to a new plane.
How did all this come about? you may ask. My colleagues have
spoken about Herzl and his greatness. Unquestionably, no other man
could have raised up the Chibbath Zion movement and brought it
to such a stage. However much we talk about him, we shall never
plumb the depths of his greatness. All the same, I say that he pro-
duced a great idea, an idea that had not previously existed. There
may have been a political approach on the part of the Chibbath Zion
movement, but there was no political vision. They thought that by
negotiating with the Turkish Government we would get what we
wanted. If, on the other hand, the Turks did not agree, all would
be lost. But Herzl did not speak about negotiating with the Turks:
he talked of an international Zionist Movement. He turned what had
been a Zionist Movement confined to a specific country into a world-
wide affair. This did not detract from the national value of Zionism,
but enhanced it; for he said: the Jewish question is a general human
question, a world need; and if there is a world need, it must be
fulfilled. Nordau gave vent to a profound thought when he said
that the Jewish Question was the Gentile Question.
At that time we used to laugh and say that the Gentiles were not
interested in the solution of the question. Now, however, we see
that they are interested. We are fully conscious of the Biblical pro-
phecy, "And among these nations shalt thou find no ease"; but the
nations concerned will not find ease either. As long as Jews continue
to be dispersed throughout the world, there will continue to be a
breeding-ground for fascism, for all kinds of totalitarian movements
and anti-democratic tendencies. Those movements will batter on
the Jews, who are there to be victimised. Herzl understood that. But
there was something else he understood, too. He said: If you do not
solve the Jewish question, you will turn the Jews into anarchists.
He realized something that we have not yet succeeded in grasping,
namely, the situation to which the dispersion of the Jews has led.
He foresaw that, too, and warned the nations of the world, but the
nations refused to take heed. The result was that a great disaster
overtook the Jews; and I am not sure that a great disaster will not
overtake the non-Jews for the iniquity of the "Exodus 1947" and
other wrongs. They do not realise it: but Herzl realized it half a
What was the derivation of Herzl's prophecy? It emanated from
two sources: faith and ardour. His faith was boundless, and so were
his ardour and selfless devotion. He gave himself entirely to Zionism,
-his property, domestic happiness, his strength, his very soul. And
I must say-though this may sound a little daring on my part-
that in the heart of every one of the 204 delegates to the first Zionist
Congress there burned a spark of Herzl's fire. Before then, Zionism
was an object of ridicule, and those who called themselves Zionists
were branded as madmen. I remember that two days before the first
Congress I met an American rabbi, Dr. Sheffer, and asked him
whether there were any Zionists in America. He replied that there
were two, a mad man and a mad woman. They were Stephen Wise and
Henrietta Szold. Those who went to the first Congress in the belief
that they were doing something great therefore necessarily partook
of Herzl's faith and ardour.
No one is more aware than I of the great things that have been
done in Palestine. Nevertheless, I maintain that there are two
things which will bring about the Jewish State: faith and ardour.
Deeds are great things, but they must come from the heart and
mind. If there is an inner fire, it will lead to deeds. The hand has no
volition of its own: it performs its tasks because it does the bidding
of the brain. Thus Herzl uttered a profound remark when he said,
"In the beginning was the idea." We must therefore study and
foster the idea. We must foster faith and ardour in the hearts of
this generation. For these are the source of the salvation of Israel,
and they will lead to the establishment of the Jewish State.
REFLECTIONS ON THE JUBILEE
By LEIB JAFFE
Delegate to the First Zionist Congress
NE WHOLE JUBILEE period of fifty years has been com-
pleted since the first Zionist Congress was held. During these
fifty years the whole face of the world has changed. Two
world wars have been fought in the course of a single generation.
Worlds have collapsed and gone down to the deeps. The sense of
justice and equity has been disastrously impaired. The technical
and scientific development of humanity, which should have brought
about a better world, has become a sinister weapon which is endan-
gering all human culture.
All the sufferings that are in the universe have come together
and fallen upon the heads of our nation. We have reached the pit
of our sufferings; and in this pit we find new abysses which have
no bottom. Fate has selected our nation to bear all the suffering
of the world, all the pain of humanity. We stand broken and
crushed. A whole third of our nation has been cut off, that vital
tree where flourished and blossomed the faith of our people.
Yet during these days of destruction and horror the light of
revival first began to break through the clouds and mount about
the horizon; and the footsteps of the Redemption were heard in
our lives. During these fifty years the face of our land has also
been changed. Every clod and lump of soil of which the Jewish
nation took possession with toil, with love, and with sacrifice has
returned to life. A miracle has come about which none expected
to see. The vision of dreamers and phantasts has assumed a con-
crete form. The vision has become a reality, and the reality in
our own land has in its turn become a vision for the Jewish nation
and for the entire world. In the Land of Israel a working and
creating Jewish community has come into being, which possesses
all the main attributes of a living nation, of a nation fashioning
its own likeness, its culture, its literature, and its art. The Jew-
ish city, bubbling over with life, has come into being together
with the Jewish village rooted in the soil, and with the revival of
the Hebrew language as a popular vernacular in which old and
young, learned and ignorant give full expression to their thoughts
and feelings. A Jewish community has come into being in the
Land of Israel, and it is already the centre of the nation, the
heart of the nation.
What has been created in the Land of Israel has become a fruit-
ful force, a stay and prop in the life of the Exile. The Land of
Israel has changed the face of the Jewish people. The Land of
Israel has become the one and only lighthouse of our people in
these days of despair and catastrophe. The light of the Land of
Israel has brought hope and faith to the suffering and oppressed. By
that light tens of thousands went to their death, and by that light
they fought and fell for the honour of Jewry.
The First Congress was the herald and shaper of our life's work;
and throughout all these years the Jewish people have borne in
their hearts the vision of the First Congress which, in the words
of Herzl, was "the first sign of life on the part of the Jewish na-
tion which had been believed to be dead."
"Even if it is given me to see the realisation of all our aspira-
tions," said Herzl, "there will be nothing that will gladden me
more or fill me with greater enthusiasm than the First Congress
at Basle in the year 1897. That was the first sign of life of the
Jewish nation, which had been regarded as dead. True, the breath
was shallow and short, while the pulse to which we tremulously
listened with so much concern and hope was very weak; but we
learned to know that our nation was already alive. The happy
moment was on the border of life when we saw our people, which
had been believed to be dead, at last opening its eyes."
For us the First Congress was a crisis which changed our fate
and transformed, indeed revolutionised, the whole world. It divided
the history of our Exile into two parts as far as we were con-
cerned; into the part before the Congress and the part that came
Herzl's summons was strange and astonishing. He knocked un-
ceasingly at closed doors, now hopefully and now in despair and
disappointment. Only a few years have passed but his idea and
his words dominate the Jewish nation. They are the only productive
and creative force in our world. "The dry branches fall away. It
is necessary to give place to the fresh young plants, which strive
towards the light of the sun."
The calamity of our nation, the reason for its failure and weak-
ness lay not only in its external dispersion but also, and to an
even greater degree, in its internal dispersion. It was Pinsker
who said: "Indeed, it is our greatest calamity that we are not a
nation but only Jews, a flock that is dispersed all over the world."
As though by a single wave of his hand Herzl gathered together
and united this dust of a nation. At the First Congress the Zionist
Organisation was established, to comprehend all parts of the Jew-
ish people. The way was marked out for our nation, the way of
unity and ingathering, the way that we have been following ever
since. Our nation is becoming one single body united and steeled
in its pains, its hopes and struggles; and there is no longer a
single part of our people that feels itself solitary or forsaken.
"First of all," said Herzl, "we created the electric current of
our unity. We wish to strengthen it. Let no man come to try and
divert part of this current."
The financial institutions of the Jewish nation were created,
whose like it had never had throughout the days of the Exile.
Our people had been dumb and speechless. If its voice was
ever heard, it was heard weeping, and imploring for mercy. Our
nation stood at every door, holding out its hands in entreaty.
The nations were told nothing about its fate, its grief and its
hope, its aspirations and its demands. The only ones to speak in
its name were those who had abandoned and betrayed the Jewish
But at the Congress the parliament of the wandering people
was established, "our best and most important institution, which
will bring us to our land-" From the platform of the nation could
be heard the voice that would never again and could never again
be silenced or transformed, the voice that expresses the national
will for national life and the Homeland. And even greater than
the external achievements are those results which are imponder-
able. The life of the Jewish nation is gradually changing from
the foundations up. The sense of national pride has been restored
to it. It has learned to respect itself and has taught others to
recognize it as a people worthy of respect. The whole world seemed
to see, for the first time, what was expressed by a Christian visitor
at the First Congress: "We never pictured the Jewish nation like
this to ourselves."
Everything vital and fruitful began to flow through the life
of our nation, through the lives of those who had been wandering
lost in a pathless waste, and whose souls had been rent and empty.
In his opening speech at the First Congress Herzl said: "Zionism
is the return to Judaism before the return to the Land of the Jews."
This prophecy began to be fulfilled. "Even going astray on this road
will transform us into different people. Once again we shall acquire
a little character, and a character of our own not borrowed from
others; not that of Marranos, but self-reliant and complete."
And everything that has been achieved in our national life in the
course of fifty years, all the changes that have developed in its life,
have their fount and origin in the First Congress. It contained the
seed and the nucleus of all the revival works which have expanded
so greatly during the past years, and which are now flourishing
in our life and our land, consciously and unconsciously.
Everything that was created in our land by the work of farmer
and labourer, by ploughman and by planter, by men removing stones
and by those who drain swamps, by those who build houses and by
those who revive our language in the schools, in the street and in
the home-all these results shine with the light that was kindled
at the First Zionist Congress; the Congress which has served us
as a pillar of fire in the darkness of our distress and setbacks.
We know that there is still a very long way to go, that the hardest
part of all still lies before us, that the obstacles and difficulties
will continue to increase. We know how deep the gulf is between
our aspirations and the realities, between our capacities and our
needs, between the possibilities and the power to realise them.
We know that the Redemption and the Destruction have combined
to illumine the life of the generation of revival with the light of
a dreadful tragedy. We now stand at a decisive hour, an hour that
will determine our fate. But after all the suffering and anguish
by which we have been tried and tested, our spirits will not fail.
We shall not stumble on the road.
If the Jewish nation does what was laid upon it by the First
Congress, the now approaching epoch will complete what was com-
menced and achieved during the past half-century. Then the new
generation that comes to take our place, the generation which
possibly does not know those who by their sufferings paved the
way for their achievements, which possibly does not know those
who sowed in tears what the newcomers will reap with song, -
that new generation which replaces us will see the fulfilment, with
their own eyes, of the great and magnificent vision of Herzl, the
vision which we saw before us as the peak of our hopes and our
yearnings, as the summit of our aspirations.
THE FIRST ZIONIST CONGRESS
J-L A e-. 4Y'/ '
HOW THE BASLE CONGRESS WAS CONVENED
By DR. ALEXANDER BEIN
SIKE every important event in history, the First Zionist Con-
gress was both a beginning and an end. Its importance as an
Opening of a new era is well known: it gave rise to the demo-
cratic and political organisation of the Zionist movement pioneering
the entire Jewish people's striving towards a national renascence in
its homeland. But what is less known is the development of the idea
of the Congress and the efforts of Herzl and his predecessors which
led to the realisation of the idea, namely the First Congress in Basle
When the Zionist idea first came into being in its modern form,
the need was already felt to convene the people's representatives in
order to determine the ways of the movement. We find this desire
already in the writings of Yehuda Hay Alkalai and his successors.
But when the "Alliance Israelite Universelle" was founded in 1870,
an organisation which attempted, without success, to unite Jewry on
national lines after the loss of its religious unity, the hopes of the
"Lovers of Zion" were centred around this new society. Alkalai gave
it his most solemn blessings, Rabbi Kalisher and Moses Hess expected
it to undertake the work of Redemption and even Juda Leib Pinsker
considered the "Alliance" and the parallel bodies that sprang up in
various countries, the most appropriate instruments for the im-
plementation of his ideals on Jewish "Auto-Emancipation." Pinsker,
however, also demands the convening of a "National Congress." He
held the opinion that the Jewish national movement must have a
broad base to embrace the entire nation and encourage it to national
self help for improving its position. Thanks to Pinsker's initiative,
35 delegates of the "Lovers of Zion" societies mainly in Russia, but
also in Roumania, Germany, France and England, met in November
1884 in Kattowitz, Silesia, and laid the foundations for the organisa-
tion of the movement. Though the word "Congress" was mentioned
in the first appeal, this was a modest assembly. Neither this nor the
subsequent meetings of the "Lovers of Zion" in Russia which
strengthened the bonds between the various societies, aspired to
that name. However, though the first organisational nuclei were
created, the lofty ideals of a national renascence and of a world-
Jewish Zionist Congress were forgotten in the petty "practical" work
of supporting the young Yishuv.
The idea of a Zionist Congress cropped up again in the early nine-
ties, when a considerable expansion took place in the Zionist move-
ment. Many "Lovers of Zion" societies were founded in England
and the Jewish national movement in Austria and Galicia was gain-
ing strength. Zionist youth movements were founded in Berlin and
Vienna in addition to the "Kadima" students' society which had been
created before. These youth circles, whose spiritual leader was Nathan
Birnbaum-the author of the term "Zionism," felt that the various
groups aiming at a return to Zion should be united and organised under
a common ideology- The convening of a Zionist Congress appeared to
be the best means to achieve that aim. So in July 1893 the Berlin
"Young Israel" society approached the Zionist societies and per-
sonalities in different countries and suggested the convention of a
"great inter-territorial congress of all Zionists." This Congress, it is
stated further, should clearly determine the final aims of political
Zionism, and these aims should become the binding principles upon
which all activities should be based. The aim is quite clear: to merge
all Zionist societies into a single political and interterritorial party
for the fostering of Zionist work in all spheres of Jewish life.
To prepare action, a preliminary conference was called in Vienna
on September 3-5, 1893. Its deliberations lasted for three days. Its
main resolution was to convene a Zionist Congress in Berlin in the
spring of the following year. Subcommittees were formed and plans
were worked out, but the decision to convene a Congress was the
sponsors' last activity. The lack of funds and experience, as well as
the fact that there was no central personality to co-ordinate action
prevented this attempt from becoming a reality.
Another attempt two years later by the "Russian-Jewish Scientific
Society" in Berlin had the same fate. The intention of the young
sponsors, headed by Leo Motzkin, Joseph Lurie and Shmaryahu
Levin, was to convene in August 1896 a sort of an all Zionist Con-
gress which would establish a Zionist organisation with a common
programme. The sponsors invested a great deal of labour in working
out such a programme. However, the negotiations on the Congress
itself made no progress, partly because of the hesitancy of the
Hovevei Zion leaders, and partly because in the meantime a man had
appeared who succeeded, as leader and spokesman, to create the
Congress for which so many had been longing.
With the appearance of Herzl a new note was sounded in the
Zionist world. His clarity of thought, the sincerity with which he
formulated the ultimate aim-a Jewish State-his economic and
social policies, this whole approach were new in the Jewish and
Zionist world. To these characteristics, which in themselves were
bound to exert an enormous influence, was added a commanding and
charming personality whose like Jewry had not possessed for many
generations. In this new atmosphere the Congress idea assumed
fresh significance and a clear and realistic form.
At the beginning of his Zionist activities Herzl did not think of a
popular Congress. He held that politics should be conducted from
above. He intended to get the influential circles interested in the
new idea of creating a Jewish State and to prepare with their assist-
ance the political conditions, and only later on, he thought, the masses
should be organised for emigration. When he mentioned, in his notes
for the interview with Baron Hirsch in spring 1895, the necessity of a
Congress, he had in mind a convention of notables, of representatives
of the community councils, and of influential personages, who would
decide on the steps to be taken and accordingly organise the people
for an orderly exodus to Palestine. However, a decisive change in
Herzl's outlook took place after his talk with Baron Edmund Roth-
schild, the famous supporter of the Yishuv, on July 18, 1896. Herzl
intended to persuade the Baron to assume political leadership of the
movement, and on this condition Herzl was prepared to retire. Roth-
schild rejected the proposal for he did not believe in the prospects
of political action. Even if these were granted, he thought, Herzl's
plan would not be feasible because the Jewish masses could not be
organised. A mass migration would ensue which could not be brought
under control. Herzl at once drew his conclusion from Rothschild's
contentions: "There is only one answer," he wrote to various friends,
"we must organise our masses right now." By this Herzl wanted, in
the initial stage, to prove that it was possible to organise the Jewish
masses and to train them for discipline and subsequent emigration.
But in fact, these appeals and urges created an ever increasing popular
movement which in turn influenced Herzl's own determination.
With the clarification of the idea of organising the Jewish masses
for the Zionist enterprise, the idea of a great public Congress
matures in Herzl's heart. Such a Congress would unite the Zionists
of the entire world and would bring up the Jewish problem for dis-
cussion by world public opinion. On March 6 and 7, 1897, a conference
of Austrian, Galician and German Zionists took place in Vienna, at
which a mutual understanding was arrived at between the adherents
of the new political Zionist movement and the followers of the prac-
tical-philanthropic movement, and a general Zionist Congress was
finally decided upon. As a matter of fact it was only decided to con-
vene the representatives of the various societies and to discuss pub-
licly a programme of practical work and to examine, at a closed ses-
sion, the Zionist idea and its wider national implication. Willi Bambus,
head of the Berlin philanthropic-practical Zionists, considered this
decision as only a continuation of the usual meetings of the various
groups fostering the colonisation of Palestine. No wonder that a
dispute soon arose between his group and Herzl which ended in the
dissociation of the former from the Congress. Herzl's notion of the
Congress rapidly developed in the opposite direction: the scope of
the Congress should be even wider than a conference of all Zionists
the world over. It should be, according to his letter to friends in
various countries, the first National Assembly of the Jewish people.
Thus, the idea of the Congress reached its supreme definition. "It is
essential," to quote from the prudently worded preliminary announce-
ment, "that a forum be created, to which anybody could be summoned
to report of his activity or otherwise on behalf of the Jewish cause."
In even more explicit terms he writes to Prof. Zvi Belkovsky: "The
Congress means more than the preliminary announcement conveys.
It is the first Jewish National Assembly." To Bernard Lazar in Paris
he writes: "The intention is to put the Jewish nation on its feet and
to give it the first means of expression."
There were many opposed to the Congress idea, not only among
the assimilationists but also among the active friends of the colonisa-
tion of Palestine and of a Jewish revival. But despite opposition Herzl
managed to see his idea through. The man of letters had suddenly
revealed himself as a man of action. "We consulted, decided and de-
termined" writes one of the participants of the steering committee,
"and then everybody returned to his business." But the Congress
itself was arranged by Herzl alone, by his own work and money.
He was all action: he despatched letters to all parts of the
world, he inspired, pleaded, implored, threatened and fought. With
his own funds he published a special weekly "Die Welt" to publicise
his ideals and the organisation of the movement. He sent emissaries
to the important countries; he worked out all details of the Congress,
drafted the invitation cards and the agenda, selected the hall and
supervised its decoration. He also insisted on formal evening dress
for the opening of the Congress. And when the Congress took place
on August 29, 1897 and the delegates from all parts of the world
arrived without knowing exactly what they were in for, Herzl was
the living spirit of the Assembly giving it that festive and at the
same time practical atmosphere which aroused the enthusiasm of
the delegates and planted in their hearts the desire to lay the founda-
tions of the revival of the Jewish people and its return to the
THEODOR HERZL'S OPENING ADDRESS
FIRST ZIONIST CONGRESS
FELLOW DELEGATES: As one of those who called this Congress
into being I have been granted the privilege of welcoming you.
This I shall do briefly, for if we wish to serve the cause we
should economize the valuable moments of the Congress. There is
much to be accomplished within the space of three days. We want to
lay the cornerstone of the edifice which is one day to house the Jewish
nation. The task is so great that we may treat of it in none but the
simplest terms. So far as we can now foresee, a summary of the
present status of the Jewish question will be submitted within the
coming three days. The tremendous bulk of material on hand is being
classified by the chairmen of our committees.
We shall hear reports of the Jewish situation in the various coun-
tries. You all know, even if only in a vague way, that with few excep-
tions the situation is not cheering. Were it otherwise we should
probably not have convened. The homogeneity of our destiny has
suffered a long interruption, although the scattered fragments of the
Jewish people have everywhere undergone similar ills. It is only in
our days that the marvels of communication have served to bring
about mutual understanding and union between isolated groups. And
in these times, so progressive in most respects, we know ourselves
to be surrounded by the old, old hatred. Anti-Semitism-you know
it, alas, too well!-is the up-to-date designation of the movement.
The first impression which it -made upon the Jews of today was one
of astonishment, which gave way to pain and resentment. Perhaps
our enemies are quite unaware how deeply they wounded the sensi-
bilities of just those of us who were possibly not the primary objects
of their attack. That very part of Jewry which is modern and cul-
tured, which has outgrown the Ghetto and lost the habit of petty
trading, was pierced to the heart. We can assert it calmly, without
laying ourselves open to the suspicion of wanting to appeal to the
sentimental pity of our opponents. We have faced the situation
From times immemorial the world has been misinformed about us.
The sentiment of solidarity with which we have been reproached so
frequently and so acrimoniously was in process of disintegration at
the period when we were attacked by anti-Semitism. And anti-
Semitism served to strengthen it anew. We returned home, as it were.
For Zionism is a home-coming to the Jewish fold even before it
becomes a home-coming to the Jewish land. We, the children who
have returned, find much redress under the ancestral roof, for
some of our brothers have sunk deep into misery. We are made wel-
come in the ancient house, for it is universally known that we are not
actuated by an arrogant desire to undermine that which should be
revered. This will be clearly demonstrated by the Zionist platform.
Zionism has already brought about something remarkable, hereto-
fore regarded as impossible: a close union between the ultra-modern
and the ultra-conservative elements of Jewry. The fact that this has
come to pass without undignified concessions on the part of either
side, without intellectual sacrifices, is further proof, if such proof
be necessary, of the national entity of the Jews. A union of this kind
is possible only on a national basis.
Doubtless there will be discussions on the subject of an organiza-
tion the need for which is recognized by all. Organization is an
evidence of the reasonableness of a movement. But there is one point
which should be clearly and energetically emphasized in order to
further the solution of the Jewish question. We Zionists desire not an
international league but international discussion. Needless to say
this distinction is of the first importance in our eyes. It is this dis-
tinction which justifies the convening of our Congress. There will be
no question of intrigues, secret interventions, and devious methods
in our ranks, but only of unhampered utterances under the constant
and complete supervision of public opinion. One of the first results
of our movement, even now to be perceived in its larger outlines, will
be the transformation of the Jewish question into a question of Zion.
A popular movement of such vast dimensions will necessarily be
attacked from many sides. Therefore the Congress will concern itself
with the spiritual means to be employed for reviving and fostering
the national consciousness of the Jews. Here, too, we must struggle
against misconceptions. We have not the least intention of yielding
a jot of the culture we have acquired. On the contrary, we are aiming
toward a broader culture, such as an increase of knowledge brings
with it. As a matter of fact, the Jews have always been more active
mentally than physically.
It was because the practical forerunners of Zionism realized this
that they inaugurated agricultural work for the Jews. We shall never
be able, nor shall we desire, to speak of these attempts of colonization
in Palestine and in Argentine otherwise than with genuine gratitude.
But they spoke the first, not the last, word of the Zionist movement.
For the Zionist movement must be greater in scope if it is to be at all.
A people can be helped only by its own efforts, and if it cannot help
itself it is beyond succour. But we Zionists want to rouse the people
to self-help. No premature, unwholesome hopes should be awakened
in this direction, This is another reason why publicity of procedure,
as it is planned by our Congress, is so valuable.
Those who give the matter careful consideration must surely admit
that Zionism cannot gain its ends otherwise than through an un-
reserved understanding with the political units involved. It is gener-
ally known that the difficulties of obtaining colonization rights were
not created by Zionism in its present form. One wonders what motives
actuate the narrators of these fables. The confidence of the govern-
ment with which we want to negotiate regarding the settlement of
Jewish masses on a large scale can be gained by frank language and
upright dealing. The advantages which an entire people is able to
offer in return for benefits received are so considerable that the
negotiations are vested with sufficient importance a priori. It would
be an idle beginning to engage in lengthy discussions today regarding
the legal form which the agreement will finally assume. But one
thing is to be adhered to inviolably: the agreement must be based on
rights, and not on toleration. Truly we have had enough experience
of toleration and of "protection" which could be revoked at any time.
Consequently the only reasonable course of action which our
movement can pursue is to work for publicly legalized guarantees.
The results of colonization as it has been carried on hitherto were
as satisfactory as its scope permitted. It confirmed the much-disputed
fitness of the Jews for agricultural work. It established this proof
for all time, as the legal phrase has it. But colonization in its present
form is not, and cannot be the solution of the Jewish question. And
we must admit unreservedly that it has failed to evoke much sym-
pathy. Why? Because the Jews know how to calculate; in fact, it
has been asserted that they calculate too well. Thus if we assume that
there are nine million Jews in the world, and that it would be possible
to colonize ten thousand Jews in Palestine every year, the Jewish
question would require nine hundred years for its solution. This
would seem to be impracticable.
On the other hand, you know that to count on ten thousand settlers
a year under existing circumstances is nothing short of fantastic.
The Turkish government would doubtless unearth the old immigra-
tion restrictions immediately, and to that we would have little objec-
tion. For if anyone thinks that the Jews can steal into the land of
their fathers, he is deceiving either himself or others. Nowhere is
the coming of the Jews so promptly noted as in the historic home
of the race, for the very reason that it is the historic home. And it
would not have been by any means to our interest to go there pre-
maturely. The immigration of Jews signifies an unhoped-for accession
of strength for the land which is now so poor; in fact, for the whole
Ottoman Empire. Besides, His Majesty the Sultan has had excellent
experiences with his Jewish subjects, and he has been an indulgent
monarch to them in turn. Thus existing conditions point to a success-
ful issue, provided the whole matter is cleverly and felicitously
treated. The financial help which the Jews can give to Turkey is by
no means inconsiderable, and would serve to obviate many an internal
ill from which the country is now suffering. If the Near East question
is partially solved together with the Jewish question, it will surely
be of advantage to all civilized peoples. The advent of Jews would
bring about an improvement in the situation of the Christians in the
But it is not solely from this point of view that Zionism may
reckon upon the sympathy of the nations. You know that in some
lands the Jewish problem has come to mean calamity for the govern-
ment. If it sides with the Jews, it is confronted by the ire of the
masses; if it sides against the Jews, it may call disagreeable eco-
nomic consequences down upon its head because of the peculiar
influence of the Jews upon the business affairs of the world. Ex-
amples of the latter may be met with in Russia. But if the govern-
ment maintains a neutral attitude, the Jews find themselves unpro-
tected by the established regime and rush into the arms of the
revolutionaries. Zionism, or self-help for the Jews, points to a way out
of these numerous and extraordinary difficulties. Zionism is simply a
peacemaker. And it suffers the usual fate of peacemakers, in being
forced to fight more than anyone else. But should the accusation that
we are not patriotic figure among the more or less sincere arguments
directed against our movement, this equivocal objection carries its
own condemnation with it. Nowhere can there be a question of
exodus of all the Jews. Those who are able or who wish to be assimi-
lated will remain behind and be absorbed. When once a satisfactory
agreement is concluded with the various political units involved and
a systematic Jewish migration begins, it will last only so long in
*each country as that country desires to be rid of its Jews. How will
the current be stopped? Simply by the gradual decrease and the
final cessation of anti-Semitism. Thus it is that we understand and
anticipate the solution of the Jewish problem.
All this has been said time and time again by my friends and by
myself. We shall spare no pains to repeat it again and again until
we are understood. On this solemn occasion, when Jews have come
together from so many lands at the age-long summons of nationality,
let our profession of faith be solemnly repeated. Should we not be
stirred by a premonition of great events when we remember that at
this moment the hopes of thousands upon thousands of our people
depend upon our assemblage? In the coming hour the news of our
deliberations and decisions will fly to distant lands, over the seven
seas. Therefore enlightenment and comfort should go forth from this
Congress. Let everyone find out what Zionism really is, Zionism,
which was rumoured to be a sort of thousand years' wonder-that it
is a moral, lawful, humanitarian movement, directed toward the long
yearned for goal of our people. It was possible and permissible to
ignore the spoken or written utterances of individuals within our
ranks. Not so with the actions of the Congress. Thus the Congress,
which is henceforth to be ruler of its discussions, must govern as a
Finally, the Congress will provide for its own continuance, so that
we may not disperse once more ineffectual and ephemeral. Through
this Congress we are creating an agency for the Jewish people, such
as it has not possessed heretofore, an agency of which it has stood in
urgent need. Our cause is too great to be left to the ambition or
to the discretion of individuals. It must be elevated to the realm of
the impersonal if it is to succeed. And our Congress shall live forever,
not only until the redemption from age-long suffering is effected, but
afterwards as well. Today we are here in the hospitable limits of this
free city-where shall we be next year?
But wherever we shall be, and however distant the accomplishment
of our task, let our Congress be earnest and high-minded, a source of
welfare to the unhappy, of defiance to none, of honour to all Jewry.
Let it be worthy of our past, the renown of which, though remote,
MAX NORDAU'S ADDRESS
ON THE SITUATION OF THE JEWS
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
HE SPECIAL reporters for individual countries will depict
for you the condition of their brethren in the different states.
Some of their reports have been submitted to me; others not.
But even of the countries about which I learn nothing from my col-
laborators, I have, partly from personal observation, partly from
other sources, obtained some knowledge, so that I may, without pre-
sumption, undertake the task of reporting on the general situation
of the Jews at the end of the 19th century.
This picture can, on the whole, be painted only in one colour.
Everywhere, where the Jews have settled in comparatively large
numbers among the nations, Jewish misery prevails. It is not the
ordinary misery which is probably the unalterable fate of mankind.
It is a peculiar misery, and from which they would be free, were they
Jewish misery has two forms, the material and the moral. In
Eastern Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia-those regions
which shelter the vast majority, probably nine-tenths of our race-
the misery of the Jews is understood literally. It is the daily distress
of the body, anxiety for every following day, the painful fight for
the maintenance of a bare existence. In Western Europe, the struggle
for existence has been made somewhat lighter for the Jews, although
of late the tendency has become visible even there to render it difficult
for them again. The question of food and shelter, the question of the
security of life, tortures them less; there the misery is moral.
The Western Jew has bread, but man does not live on bread alone.
The life of the Western Jew is no longer endangered through the
enmity of the mob; but bodily wounds are not the only wounds that
cause pain, and from which one may bleed to death. The Western
Jew meant emancipation to be real liberation, and hastened to draw
the final conclusions therefrom. But the nations made him fear that
he erred in being so heedlessly logical. The magnanimous laws,
magnanimously lay down the theory of equality of rights. But govern-
ments and society exercise the practice of equality of rights in a
manner which renders it the same mockery as did the appointment
of Sancho Panza to the splendid position of Viceroy of the Island
of Barataria. The Jew says naively: "I am a human being, and I
regard nothing human as alien," the answer he meets is: "Softly,
your rights as a man must be enjoyed cautiously; you lack the right
notion of honour, feeling for duty, morality, patriotism, idealism.
You must, therefore, hold aloof from all vocations which make pos-
session of these qualifications a condition."
No-one has ever tried to justify these terrible accusations by facts.
At most, now and then, an individual Jew, the scum of his race and
cf mankind, is triumphantly cited as an example, and contrary to all
laws of logic, the example is made general. This tendency is psycho-
logically correct. It is the practice of human intellect to invent for
the prejudices, which sentiment has called forth, a cause seemingly
reasonable. Probably wisdom has long been acquainted with the
psychological law, and puts it in fairly expressive words: "If you
have to drown a dog," says the proverb, "you must first declare him
to be mad." All kinds of vices are falsely attributed to the Jews,
because one wishes to convince oneself that one has a right to detest
them. But the pre-existing sentiment is the detestation of the Jews.
I must utter the painful word. The nations which emancipated the
Jews have mistaken their own feelings. In order to produce its full
effect, emancipation should first have been completed in sentiment
before it was declared by law. But this was not the case. The history
of the Jewish emancipation is one of the most remarkable pages in
the history of European thought. The emancipation of the Jews was
not the consequence of the conviction that grave injury had been
done to a race, that it had been treated most terribly, and that it was
time to atone for the injustice of a thousand years; it was solely the
result of the geometrical mode of thought of French rationalism of
the 18th century. This rationalism was constructed by the aid of pure
logic, without taking into account living sentiments and the principles
of the certainty of mathematical action; and it insisted upon trying
to introduce these creations of pure intellect into the world of
reality. The emancipation of the Jews was an automatic application
of the rationalistic method. The philosophy of Rousseau and the
Encyclopedists has led to the declaration of human rights. Out of this
declaration, the strict logic of the men of the Great Revolution de-
duced Jewish emancipation. They formulated a regular equation:
Every man is born with certain rights; the Jews are human beings,
consequently the Jews are born to own the rights of man. In this
manner, the emancipation of the Jews was pronounced, not through
a fraternal feeling for the Jews, but because logic demanded it.
Popular sentiment rebelled, but the philosophy of the Revolution
decreed that principles must be placed higher than sentiment. Allow
me then an expression which implies no ingratitude. The men of 1792
emancipated us only for the sake of principle.
As the French Revolution gave to the world the metric and the
decimal systems, so it also created a kind of normal spiritual system
which other countries, either willingly or unwillingly, accepted as the
normal measure for their state of culture. A country which claimed
to be at the height of culture had to possess several institutions
created or developed by the Great Revolution; as for instance, repre-
sentation of the people, freedom of the press, jury, division of powers,
etc. Jewish emancipation was also one of these indispensable articles
of a highly cultured state; just as a piano must not be absent from
a drawing-room even if not a single member of the family can play it.
In this manner Jews were emancipated in Europe not from an inner
necessity, but in imitation of a political fashion; not because the
people had decided from their hearts to stretch out a brotherly hand
to the Jews, but because leading spirits had accepted a certain
cultured idea which required that Jewish emancipation should figure
also in the Statute book.
Only to one country does this not apply-England. The English
people does not allow its progress to be forced upon it from without;
it develops progress from its inner self. In England emancipation is
a truth. It is not alone written, it is living. It had already been com-
pleted in the heart before legislation expressly confirmed it. Out of
respect to tradition, one hesitated in England to abolish the legal
restrictions of the Nonconformists, at a time when the English had
already for more than an age made no difference in society between
Christians and Jews. Because a great nation with a most intense
spiritual life does not allow itself to be guided by any spiritual
current or blunder of the time, in England anti-Semitism is only
noticeable in a few instances, and then only it has the importance of
an imitation of Continental fashion.
Emancipation has totally changed the nature of the Jew, and made
him another being. The Jew without any rights did not love the
prescribed yellow Jewish badge on his coat, because it was an official
invitation to the mob to commit brutalities, and justified them in
anticipation. But voluntarily he did much more to make his separate
nature more distinct even than the yellow badge could do. Where
the authorities did not shut him up in a ghetto, he built one for
himself. He would dwell with his own, and would have no other rela-
tions but those of business with Christians. The word "Ghetto" is
today associated with feelings of shame and humiliation. But the
ghetto, whatever may have been the intentions of the people who
have created it, was for the Jew of the past not a prison, but a refuge.
It is only historical truth if we say that only the ghetto gave Jews
the possibility to survive the terrible persecutions of the Middle
Ages. In the ghetto, the Jew had his own world; it was to him the
sure refuge which had for him the spiritual and moral value of
parental hbme. Here were associates by whom one wished to be
valued, and also could be valued; here was the public opinion to be
acknowledged by which was the aim of the Jew's ambition. To be held
in low esteem by that public opinion was the punishment for un-
worthiness. Here all specific Jewish qualities were esteemed, and
through their special development that admiration was to be obtained
which is the sharpest spur to the human mind. What mattered
it that outside the ghetto was despised that which within it
was praised? The opinion of the outside world had no influence,
because it was the opinion of ignorant enemies. One tried to please
one's coreligionists, and their applause was the worthy contentment
of his life. So did the ghetto Jews live, in a moral respect, a real
full life. Their external situation was insecure, often seriously endan-
gered. But internally they achieved a complete development of their
specific qualities. They were human beings in harmony, who were not
in want of the elements of normal social life. They also felt instinct-
ively the whole importance of the ghetto for their inner life, and
therefore, they had the one sole care: to make its existence secure
through invisible walls which were much thicker and higher than
the stone walls that visibly shut them in. All Jewish buildings and
habits unconsciously pursued only one purpose: to keep up Judaism
by separation from the other people and to make the individual Jew
constantly aware of the fact that he was lost and would perish if he
gave up his specific character. This impulse for separation gave him
also most of the ritual laws, which for the everyday Jew are identical
with his faith itself; and also other purely external, often accidental,
marks of difference in attire and habits received a religious sanction
only in order that they might be maintained the more surely. Kaftan,
peoth, fur cap and jargon have apparently nothing to do with
religion. But they feel that these ties alone offer them connection
with the community without which an individual, morally, intellec-
tually, and at last physically, cannot exist for any length of time.
That was the psychology of the ghetto Jew. Now came Emancipa-
tion. The law assured the Jews that they were full citizens of their
country. In its honeymoon it evoked also from Christians feelings
which warmed and purified the heart. The Jews hastened in a kind
of intoxication, as it were, to burn their boats. They had now other
connections and were no longer forced to exist only with their co-
religionists. Their instinct of self-preservation fitted itself immedi-
ately and completely to the new conditions of existence. Formerly
this instinct was only directed toward a sharp separation. Now they
sought after the closest association and assimilation in place of the
distinction, which was their salvation. There followed a true mimicry,
and for one or two ages the Jew was allowed to believe that he was
only German, French, Italian, and so forth.
All at once, twenty years ago, after a slumber of thirty to sixty
years, anti-Semitism once more broke out from the innermost depths
of the nations, and revealed to the highest of the mortified Jews his
real situation, which he had no longer seen. He was still allowed to
vote for members of Parliament, but he was himself excluded from
the clubs and meetings of his Christian fellow-countrymen. He was
allowed to go wherever he pleased, but everywhere he met with the
inscription: "No Jews admitted." He had still the right of discharging
all the duties of a citizen, but the nobler rights which are granted
to talent and for achievements in those rights were absolutely denied
Such is the existing liberation of the emancipated Jew in Western
Europe. He has given up his specifically Jewish character; but the
peoples let him feel that he has not acquired their special character-
istics. He has lost the home of the ghetto; but the land of his birth
is denied to him as his home. His countrymen repel him when he
wishes to associate with them. He has no ground under his feet and
he has no community to which he belongs as a full member. With his
Christian countrymen neither his character nor his intentions can
reckon on justice, still less on kindly feeling. With his Jewish country-
men he has lost touch: necessarily he feels that the world hates him
and he sees no place where he can find warmth when he seeks for it.
This is the moral Jewish misery which is more bitter than the
physical, because it befalls men who are differently situated, prouder
and possess the finer feelings.
Before the emancipation the Jew was a stranger among the peoples,
but he did not for a moment think of making a stand against his fate.
He felt himself as belonging to a race of his own which had nothing
in common with the other people of the country. The emancipated
Jew is insecure in his relations with his fellow-beings, timid with
strangers, suspicious even toward the secret feelings of his friends.
His best powers are exhausted in the suppression, or at least in the
difficult concealment of his own real character. For he fears that this
character might be recognized as Jewish, and he has never the satis-
faction of showing himself as he is in all his thoughts and sentiments.
He becomes an inner cripple, and externally unreal, and thereby
always ridiculous and hateful to all higher feeling men, as is every-
thing that is unreal. All the better Jews in Western Europe groan
under this, or seek for alleviation. They no longer possess the belief
which gives the patience necessary to bear sufferings, because it sees
in them the will of a punishing but not a loving God.
They no longer hope in the advent of the Messiah, who will one day
raise them to glory. Many try to save themselves by flight from
Judaism. But racial anti-Semitism denies the power of change by
baptism, and this mode of salvation does not seem to have much
prospect. It is but a slight recommendation for those concerned, who
are mostly without belief (naturally I am not speaking of the minor-
ity of true believers) that they enter with a blasphemous lie into the
Christian community. In this way there arises a new Marrano, who
is worse than the old. The latter had an idealistic direction-a secret
desire for truth or a heartbreaking distress of conscience, and they
often sought for pardon and purification through martyrdom.
The new Marranos leave Judaism with rage and bitterness, but in
their innermost heart, although not acknowledged by themselves,
they carry with them their own humiliation, their own dishonesty,
and hatred also toward Christianity which has forced them to lie.
I think with horror of the future development of this race of new
Marranos, who are normally sustained by no tradition and whose
soul is poisoned by hostility toward their own and strange blood,
and whose self-respect is destroyed through the ever present con-
sciousness of a fundamental lie. Others hope for the salvation from
Zionism, which is for them, not the fulfillment of a mystic promise
of the Scripture, but the way to an existence wherein the Jew finds at
last the simplest but most elementary conditions of life, that are a
matter of course for every Jew of both hemispheres: viz. an assured
social existence in a well meaning community, the possibility of em-
ploying all his powers for the suppression and falsification of self.
Yet others, who rebel against the lie of the Marranos, and who feel
themselves too intimately connected with an indefinite arrire pens6e
that with the destruction of everything in existence and the construc-
tion of a new world Jew-hatred may not be one of the precious articles
transferred from the debris of the old conditions into the new.
This is the history of Israel at the end of the 19th century. To sum
it up in a word: The majority of the Jews are a race of accursed
beggars. More industrious and more able than the average European,
not to speak at all of the inert Asiatic and African, the Jew is con-
demned to the most extreme pauperism, because he is not allowed
to use his powers freely. This poverty grinds down his character,
and destroys his body. Fevered by the thirst for higher education,
he sees himself repelled from the places where knowledge is attain-
able-a real intellectual tantalus of our nonmythical times. He dashes
his head against the thick ice crusts of hatred and contempt which
are formed over his head. Like scarcely any other social being-whom
even his belief teaches that it is a meritorious and God-pleasing
action for three to take meals together and for ten to pray together-
he is excluded from the society of his countrymen and is condemned
to a tragic isolation. One complains of Jews intruding everywhere,
but they only strive after superiority, because they are denied equality.
They are accused of a feeling of solidarity with the Jews of the
whole world; whereas, on the contrary, it is their misfortune that
as soon as the first loving word of emancipation had been uttered,
they tried to pluck from their hearts all Jewish solidarity up to the
last trace. Stunned by the hailstorm of anti-Semitic accusations, they
forget who they are and often imagine themselves in reality the
bodily and spiritual miscreants whom their deadly enemies represent
them to be. Not rarely the Jew is heard to murmur that he must
learn from the enemy and try to remedy his feelings. He forgets,
however, that the anti-Semitic accusations are valueless, because they
are not based on criticism of real facts, but the effects of psycho-
logical law according to which children, wild men and malevolent
fools make persons and things against which they have an aversion
responsible for their sufferings.
To Jewish distress no one can remain indifferent, neither Christian
nor Jew. It is a great sin to let a race to whom even their worst
enemies do not deny ability, degenerate in intellectual and physical
distress. It is a sin against them and against the work of civilisa-
tion, in the interest of which Jews have not been useless co-workers.
That Jewish distress cries for help. To find that help will be the
great work of this Congress.
(the photograph was taken during the First Congress by D. WOLFFSOHN)
The hall in which the First Congress took place (photographed at the opening meeting of the Sixth Congress)
The STADTKASINO in Basle
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The original of the standing orders at the First Congress (with corrections in Herzl's handwriting)
FIRST ZIONIST CONGRESS
HE FIRST Zionist Congress was held in the Stadtkasino at
Basle on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Elul, 5657-29th, 30th and 31st
On the Agenda there were seven items, in addition to the opening
session: (1) The General Situation of the Jews; (2) The Basis of the
Zionist Programme; (3) The Zionist Organisation; (4) The Colonisa-
tion of Palestine; (5) Hebrew Language and Literature; (6) The
Site of the next Congress and the Election of Committees and
(7) Closing of the Proceedings and Resolutions.
BEFORE THE CONGRESS
"Die Welt"* describes the atmosphere in Basle before the opening of
the Congress in this way:
The words "Zionist Congress" on a white signboard beckon from
afar off to the new arrivals and shine out into the world... My
heart beats somewhat more violently... land we walk into the room.
We embrace and kiss each other. We do not know each other yet.
But yes, we do know each other, we are brothers. After embracing
and kissing, we tell each other our names. And when we hear these
names we kiss again, for they are familiar to us. Friends and com-
rades who have not met before get to know each other and make
friends. It is as if an electric spark sprang from heart to heart and
set them alight... It is remarkable how strong the community of
ideas is and how strong it makes us. Suddenly we understand all
languages. From the numerous tones in the confusion of modern
languages only one cry emerges: Ivri anochi.
THE IMPRESSIVE APPEARANCE OF THE HALL
This is the description given in "Die Welt" of the aspect of the
Congress hall at the first meeting:
The World Zionist Congress in Basle takes the floor. 197 delegates
and members from all countries have gathered together, from Amer-
ica, England, France, Germany, Austro-Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia,
Roumania, Palestine and Scandinavia. The most prominent news-
papers (The Tianes, Daily News, Daily Mail, New York Herald,
Frankfurter Zeitung, Koelnische Zeitung, L'Echo de Paris, L'Eclair,
Pester Lloyd, Jewish World, Jewish Chronicle, Hazefirah, Hamelitz,
Hamagid, all the Swiss papers and others), have sent special cor-
"Die Welt," main organ of the World Zionist Movement, founded by
Theodor Herzl. The first number of this weekly in German appeared on
the 4th June 1897, the last on the 13th July. 1914.
respondents. The great hall of the town casino is full to suffocation.
The gallery is too small to hold the ever-increasing number of Jews
arriving from various Swiss towns and Basle Christians, most of
whom feel a deep sincere sympathy for the 'Zionists.'
All the seats are occupied long before the opening. Everbody is
seized with impatience. We are awaiting the great moment, the
wonderful event, which only we have been granted the privilege of
experiencing: the opening of a general Jewish congress.
Here and there groups are forming, one can hear every possible
European language. Everywhere there is a festive spirit, every-
where you hear joyful cries of "Good luck!"
Several personalities are surrounded and are being warmly greeted.
We see the famous oculist Professor Dr. Mandelstamm from Kiev,
who has come with Dr. Schnirer straight from the Moscow medical
congress, an attractive figure with expressive features and a long
grey walrus moustache, Rabbi Temkin from Elisabethgrad, a giant
figure with serious sombre features and a long black beard, the lean
Rev. Dr. Schaffer from Baltimore, Dr. Schauer from Bingen, the
dapper lawyer with the subaltern's figure and the numerous duelling
scars, the venerable Professor Schapira from Heidelberg, the Tarnov
delegate Aaron Markus, who has hastened hither in his long over-
coat, and others. Mr. Israel Zangwill, the celebrated novelist, put in
an appearance at the beginning of the meeting. His compatriots, Mr.
de Haas, Mr. Rubinstein, Mr. Guenzburg and the Hebrew poet Massel
of Manchester, have been here for several days. The sculptor Beer
came with others from Paris.
The president of the Canton of Basle also attended part of the
In the journalists' box sits a dark-haired lady; she is Mrs. Sonnen-
schein, the editress of the "American Jewess" of Chicago. In the
gallery an impressive lady strikes us-Frau Kober, the daughter of
Dr. Gobat, the former Bishop of Jerusalem.
THE, FIRST DAY
The opening meeting took place on the morning of 1st Elul-29th
August. The start of the proceedings was indicated by three taps of
a gavel by Dr. I. Schalit.
The Doyen of the Delegates opens the proceedings
The Doyen of the Delegates, Dr. Karpel Lippe of Jassy, opened the
meeting. After recalling previous attempts to arouse the interest of
Jews and non-Jews in the Jewish return to Palestine and after men-
tioning the Kattowitz Conference of 1884* he pointed out the great
progress that the Basle Congress represented, compared with those
previous attempts. He then said:
Kattowitz Conference: First conference of European Hovevei Zion,
held in Katowice (Upper Silesia)l from the 6th to 11th November, 1884.
"This meeting of representatives of Jewish associations and of
individual Jews is the first of its kind in the 18 hundred years of
the Third Exile. It is the outward expression of an international
movement embracing all classes in Israel which is to awaken that
national consciousness which, during the long years of this exile, the
Galuth Edom, has lain wrapped up in the womb of Judaism, and which
has struggled in vain for its realization. This is indeed a great and
glorious day in the history of Israel!
"What we are considering today is nothing less than the return of
the Jews to the land of their Fathers, to the Holy Land which our
God, the One and Only promised to our forefather Abraham as an
inheritance for his sons!"
Dr. Lippe continued by describing the return of the Jews to their
historic land during the ages, and addressed words of warning both
to orthodox and assimilationist Jews. He concluded his address as
"But this Congress! Apart from what we are to discuss, this Con-
gress is no less than an open Peoples Assembly protesting against an
1800-year-old persecution, oppression and violation, just like any
other minority the rights of which have been restricted and violated.
When our human rights are restricted, should we give up the only
right which remains to us-the right to complain? We Jews have
never doubted mankind, in spite of the unspeakable and endless
wrongs we have had to suffer. In the hope that the public conscience
of Europe has been extinguished neither by anti-Semitism nor by a
mistaken and perverted Christian love, we now intend to appeal to
that conscience. We have to lay charges and accusations against
governments, peoples and priests.
"For a time we thought to find our salvation in the Aryan civilisation
which has become dear to us. But we were betrayed. As Jeremiah
said: "I called upon my true friends, but they betrayed me!"
"When our forefathers came out of Egypt they were joined by
many assimilated people. But they were not steadfast enough to
struggle against a capricious fate, and at the first sign of adversity
they cried: 'Let us appoint a chieftain and return to Egypt!' But we
cry: 'Let us appoint a chieftain and return to Jerusalem!'
"For from Zion alone goes forth the Law, and the word of God
Herzl's Opening Address
At the end of Dr. Lippe's address, the Minutes of Congress state:
"Dr. Lippe's motion to send an Address of devotion and thanks to
the Sultan was passed by acclamation, without a debate."
Dr. Lippe then introduced Dr. Theodor Herzl, whose opening
address is published in full in this booklet (page 51ss). It was heard by
the audience with deep emotion and attention. Everybody realized
that Herzl's address made the assembly a historic event.
The Election of the Presidium
When the applause which greeted Dr. Herzl's address had ended,
Mr. S. Pineles in the name of the preparatory conference* proposed
the appointment of the Congress Praesidium as follows:
President: Dr. Theodor Herzl.
First Vice-President: Dr. Max Nordau.
Second Vice-President: Dr. Abraham Salz.
Third Vice-President: Samuel Pineles.
Secretaries: for Hebrew, M. Ussischkin; for German, Dr.
Schauer; for Russian, W. Temkin; for Enflish, J. de Haas.
Assistant Secretaries: Rabbi Dr. Ehrenpreis, Dr. Alexander
Mintz, Dr. M. T. Schnirer, D. Wolffsohn.
The proposal was unanimously accepted.
The Situation of the Jews throughout the world
Max Nordau's address
Dr. Herzl took the Chair and said:
"So many messages have arrived from all over the world that the
Office has not yet been able to put them in order. We should therefore
wish to postpone this item of the agenda for the moment, until they
have been arranged. We therefore now pass to the item: "The general
position of the Jews." I call on Dr. Max Nordau to speak."
Dr. Max Nordau then delivered the report which is published in
full on page 56 ss. in this booklet.
HerzFs and Nordau's speeches arouse great enthusiasm
The speeches of Herzl and Nordau were greeted with great demon-
strations. After Dr. Herzl, writes "Die Welt," Dr. Max Nordau spoke
on the first subject on the agenda. As our famous comrade mounted
the platform, the assembly gave him an enthusiastic ovation.
People clap, wave their hats and handkerchiefs; there is no end
to the enthusiasm of the assembly. After a few minutes a complete
silence ensues. Dr. Nordau speaks. The assembly is carried away by
its excitement. His address is interrupted by stormy applause at
In an atmosphere of great enthusiasm the Chairman, Dr. Herzl,
called on Oscar Marmorek, who said:
"Dear Brothers! Today is a miraculous day. It is miraculous for a
people which for 1800 years has been silent but which has now sent
delegates from all over the world to deliberate on its own problems.
If this Congress were to consist of nothing apart from the two
speeches we have just heard, which were received with such applause,
it would still have been worth summoning.
Preparatory Conference, meeting of numerous delegates to the first
Zionist Congress, particularly of all the speakers, in Basle with Herzl in
the chair. This conference laid down the Congress agenda and the course
of its proceedings.
"The words we have heard here will never pass from the cultural
history of mankind, nor from the history of the Jews. What we have
just heard we shall never, in our whole lives, be able to forget-and
we should not forget them. But it is not only we who should hear
them. They should be widely read. Everyone should know what we
are and what we want and what we want to do. We shall hear other
reports besides that of Dr. Nordau, describing the sad position of
the Jews. But I believe I speak for all here when I propose that the
two speeches we have till now heard should be specially published.
But before we proceed with our deliberations we shall be fulfilling
an important task in expressing to Dr. Herzl and Dr. Nordau our
deepest thanks for what they have so far offered us."
Dr. Herzl: "It has been decided to publish the complete steno-
graphic minutes. I regard any special publication of the two speeches
to be completely unnecessary; we should thereby neglect the other
speakers whose reports we have not yet heard. But I shall put Mar-
morek's proposal to the vote. I do not think any further discussion
should be allowed on this point. Those gentlemen who are in favour
of the special publication of the two speeches please raise their
The proposal was carried unanimously.
Other reports on the position of world Jewry
After a short interval Dr. Herzl resumed the Chair and asked all
delegates who wanted to submit proposals to do so in writing through
him or other members of the Praesidium.
Then followed reports on the position of the Jews in various coun-
tries: Dr. Salz spoke on the Jews of Galicia, Jacob de Haas on
Great Britain, Jacques Bahar on Algiers and Samuel Pineles on
The length of the reports led Mr. Rubinstein to suggest that only
short reports should be allowed.
Dr. Herzl closed the proceedings of the first meeting as follows:
"Mr. Rubinstein is of the opinion that the reports should not be
presented at such length, so that more time can be devoted to the
discussion of individual points. I believe however that that would
restrict other speakers if we were to decide this. We can find a solu-
tion by asking them to speak as briefly as possible on the most
important points. I hope we shall be able to cover a lot of work today.
Those presenting reports should utilize the midday period to shorten
their speeches. The proceedings are adjourned until 3 o'clock."
"May the next Congress take place in Jerusalem!"
At the afternoon session other reports were given by Dr. Alexander
Mintz on the Jews in Austria, Dr. Mayer Ebner on Bukovina, Dr.
Schauer on Germany, Prof. Zvi Belkowsky on Bulgaria, Dr. Janos
Ronay on Hungary and Adam Rosenberg on the United States, where
at that time only one million Jews lived.
The American delegate closed his speech as follows:
"In conclusion I would express the wish that the work of our
Congress may be successful. May the next Congress take place in
A discussion on procedure
Dr. Nordau then asked to speak: "An example of brevity and object-
ivity is necessary. I would therefore ask the meeting to take note
of the reports heard, and perhaps also the following motion by Mr.
S. R. Landau and Dr. S. Werner which reads:
'As the realization of the Zionist idea calls for an exact know-
ledge of the social structure and economic position, the Con-
gress decides to compile occupational statistics of the Jews.
'For this purpose a Working Commission is to be set up in
each country consisting of at least three members with powers
'The Working Commission should complete their work within
one year and report to the next Congress.'
I can merely recommend that this motion be adopted."
A discussion then followed in which Dr. Kaminka, Mr. Marmorek,
Dr. Bodenheimer and Dr. Nordau took part. Dr. Kaminka's sugges-
tion to reject Dr. Nordau's proposal was accepted, on the grounds
that it was related to the organisational problems to be discussed
at a later stage of the Congress.
Foundations of the Zionist Programme
Dr. Nathan Birnbaum on Jewish national life
After a pause Dr. Nathan Birnbaum presented his report on Jewish
national life, of which some extracts are given below:
"The question whether any nation exists or does not exist is
answered in the affirmative the moment that even one man, who may
or may not belong to that people, recognizes the nation concerned.
The Jewish Nation will not be recognized by one man alone, but by
hundreds of thousands, including nearly all the non-Jews, and I
believe that the impartial observer, not influenced by defensive tactics
will at least take full account of the latter.
"We now know also why Europeanised Jews are an anomaly in the
cultural life of the nations. By leaving their ghetto culture they
renounced the stamp of their national culture. But they did not at
the same time take on the nationality and culture of the other nation.
And so they led a special, sharply defined existence without any
character of its own. Their spiritual and physical habitat is other
than that of the nation among whom they live, but it is not, as it is
with the other people, defined in any system of life. They are some-
what similar to men who have some special ability for an occupation,
and are therefore different from their fellows, but never bring their
ability to a firm, professional task, to a concentration of their quali-
"The position is therefore that the European Jews, the emanci-
pated ones, have nothing with which they can forge for themselves
a suitable individual life. They learn much of cultural value, but
they create no new cultural values themselves, with their own spirit.
On the contrary. Because they see things differently from the others,
because they see them as abstractions, they are led to bitter decep-
tions and errors.
"And so we see even among emancipated Jewry which to many
naive souls seems to be an escape from the rigid bonds of the ghetto,
their cultural forces become constrained, or even transformed into
completely destructive elements.
We see the old-I almost said time-honoured-hatred of the Jews
becoming anti-Semitism, becoming a completely anti-civilised and
anti-cultural current. For that is what it is. It misleads the people in
the most important questions concerning mankind; it falsifies the
national, political, social and religious movements, and does not once
bring any nearer its special purpose-the solution of the Jewish
problem. It knows no means of eliminating the Jews from the life of
the European nations, and even if it knew that, not much would have
been achieved fundamentally. For them, the Jewish question is, in the
final analysis, only a detail, albeit a troublesome one. The Jewish
question is an essential question-a question of existence-only for
those who are actually and directly affected, for us ourselves, affected
physically and mentally, in the east as well as the west. It is therefore
we who have to ponder its solution. It must be our concern to lead
the eastern Jews in the way of progress, to animate their lifeless
emancipation. But that is only possible through Zionism, by again
raising the Jewish nation to the status of a sovereign people.
"But it is not merely as a political organisation that a land of
their own guarantees progress to the eastern Jews; it does that
itself, directly. For there is another basis for the continued existence
of the specific culture of eastern European Jewry. A structure as
firm as this is, must rest on a solid foundation. This foundation is
the law, that is, something spiritual. Only something spiritual can
prevail on the spirit. If progress is possible, a law cannot merely
provide the basis for a culture; it must do more, much more; it must
advance with and within the general spiritual development of the
"The basis for this can only be the soil of the homeland. It does not
have the power to captivate and hold the heart of the people; it
accomplishes this actually through its peasant class, who are closest
to it, by its odour.
"Far above this indirect gain there is however the direct advantage
which mankind will gain from the internationally recognized re-
habilitation of the Jewish people. Through this historic event the
map of European civilisation will be enriched by a new cultural
colour; a new people will be added to the actual, living spirit of
Europeanism-a new and yet old, tried nation. It is the one nation
which has contributed so much to the essential national ingredients
of western civilisation in general, and which, by virtue of its own
abilities and its own special development appears still to be capable
of playing a considerable part in the major work of civilisation.
Emancipation is to be valued less than it actually is today by reason
of the possibilities which lie within it, by reason of the fruit which
must develop from its seeds. If once its great economic structure will
be animated by social and ethical elements no less than by political
and aesthetic elements or more correctly if one day all these elements
are to fuse together, then the greatly-enriched European spirit will
have become mankind's greatest blessing... But who desires to climb
the stairway of civilisation which lies before all nations more than
that people which has been bred to it by its very destiny, more than
Israel which has acquired an unparalleled feeling for social justice
during its 4,000 year history, and a sense of statehood and beauty
of life from the modern European civilisation, that quick and basic-
ally-informed teacher. With such a fortunate mixture of noble attri-
butes it is really not necessary to lead a homeless, gypsy existence,
to one's own disadvantage and to nobody's advantage."
Dr. David Farbstein on the economic life of the Jews
Dr. David Farbstein then delivered his report on Jewish economic
life. In the course of his speech Dr. Farbstein pointed out the socio-
political aspects of Zionism. He described the general lines of the
economic life of the Jews in previous centuries and at that time.
He analyzed the reasons for the mass emigration of Jews from Russia
to America in the last decades of the XIX century and formulated
the following postulates:
(1) There were historical factors which led the Jews, especially in
the west, to become merchants. The Jews became an urban, middle-
class people, without being enabled freely to develop their spiritual
capabilities. The majority of the Jewish middle class of western
Europe was forced by circumstances to go over to Zionism. Zionism
for them is a necessity towards self-help, a striving for the national,
economic and spiritual rebirth of the Jewish people.
(2) The Jews of Eastern Europe, as a result of historic factors,
became petty traders, peddlars and small-scale artisans. Neither
economically nor spiritually could the Jews develop freely in the
places where they had settled. All attempts to create healthier work-
ing conditions among them were fruitless and unsuccessful, either
because that amounted to the destruction of the Jewish religion, or
because the economic conditions for it were lacking where they lived.
Eastern European Jewry, therefore, find their only salvation in
Zionism, that is in the struggle for planned emigration to Palestine
not only to create a Jewish society but also to alter and improve their
economic way of life.
Greetings to the Congress from every corner of the world
Dr. Herzl again mentioned the large number of greetings received:
"According to the agenda, a report is to be presented to you on the
messages received. We have received so many that it is impossible
to quote them all. More than 550 telegrams, greetings, proposals and
so on have arrived. The petitions we have received together bear more
than 50,000 signatures. Every moment new messages arrive from all
parts of both the New and the Old World, including both North and
South America. A few of these messages bear individual signatures,
but the majority come from meetings, associations, etc. If possible,
they will all be put into order by tomorrow, and a full report will then
This ended the proceedings of the first day of the Zionist Congress.
Those who submit declarations, writes "Die Welt," infuse into a
few words their whole yearning: a country, a country! The assembly
listens to the many thousand times repeated cry for help with sad
sympathy, and the thousandfold expression of brotherly sympathy
fills them with proud satisfaction. A country, a country! It resounds
through the hall. Again enthusiasm for the great plan of liberating
a people flares up brightly.
THE SECOND DAY
The proceedings of the second day of the Congress (2nd Elul 5657-
30th August, 1897) opened under the chairmanship of Dr. Herzl.
He read a petition by the Galician Society for Colonisation and asked
Dr. Kaminka to read and translate the letter addressed to the Con-
gress by Rabbi Samuel Z. Mohilewer, one of the leaders of the
Hovevei Zion movement.
A message of greetings from Rabbi Mohilewer
The letter from Rabbi Mohilewer began by invoking God's blessing
on the delegates assembled in Basle, and continued inter alia:
"Concerning the objects of this Congress I shall content myself
with quoting the following from the Committee's invitation: 'The
Congress strives to achieve only what is possible and attainable.
Whatever else may be ascribed to it is simply not true. What the
Congress is to do is to be done in public. All negotiations are to be
in accordance with both the laws of individual countries and our own
civil responsibilities. We guarantee especially that the Congress will
take into account the Russian Zionists and their special political
"I trust that this promise will be fulfilled, and even though there
may be many who are opposed to it, I hope they will still be in the
minority. I hope furthermore that the main efforts of the Congress
will be devoted to an attempt to obtain from the Turkish regime
permission to carry out colonisation work. We must strive for that
with all our might, for on that depends the whole of our colonisation
"In conclusion I would send the following encouragement to our
"For 2,000 years we have hoped for the Redeemer who would
liberate us from our bitter exile and lead us from our dispersion in
the ends of the world into our own land where we might find a peace-
ful home. This belief lies mightily within us and has been our only
consolation in times of adversity. Although during the last hundred
years there have arisen people among us who have renounced this
belief and have banished these hopes from their hearts and even
from their prayers, the rest of our people still hold fast to this hope;
it forms part of their daily prayers and comforts them in their
afflictions. Recently, even, several of the so-called Western Orthodox
Rabbis have raised themselves against it. One of them claims that all
the words of consolation and the promises of the prophets are only
"The redeemer, they claim, will not appear to lead Israel back
to its own country from its exile, but will appear as the redeemer
of the whole world to bring about the rule of God. Israel, on the
other hand, will continue to wander about among the nations, as till
now. These people explain, in short, that the national ideal repudiates
the Messianic idea of our religion. I must now state quite plainly that
all that is not true. From time immemorial our beliefs and hopes have
been that the Messiah would appear and gather up the remnants of
Israel and bring them back to the land of our fathers. Instead of
wandering in strange countries, we should then again be a nation in
the fullest sense of the term. Instead of being the laughing-stock and
butt of nations as previously, we should then be honoured and re-
spected by all. That is the belief and hope which springs from all the
words of our prophets and teachers, and which has kept our people
"May God the Saviour of Israel and its Redeemer cause His word
to be fulfilled: 'Thus saith the Lord of Hosts; Behold I will save My
people from the east country and from the west country. And I will
bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and they
shall be My people, and I will be their God, in truth and righteous-
ness." (Zechariah 8).
It was decided to send letters of thanks to Rabbi Mohilewer and to
Rabbi Dr. Ruelf.
Dr. Mandelkern expressed thanks for the work of Baron Edmond
de Rothschild in Palestine and Dr. Herzl read a message from the
Chief Rabbi of France Zadoc Kahn.
Nordau proposes the Basle Programme
Dr. Max Nordau was then called upon to speak and he proposed the
historic Basle programme:
"Gentlemen! At the session on Sunday you appointed a five-man
Committee which was to prepare a draft Zionist programme and
present it to the Congress. The Committee understood that in addi-
tion to the five elected members, Prof. Shapira and Dr. Bodenheimer,
as the authors of previously drawn up draft programmes should
belong to the Committee as well. This seven-man Committee had
three very long and very full meetings. The result of their many
hours of efforts is the draft now to be presented to you. At a super-
ficial reading you would scarcely recognize the amount of work put
into these few lines of purposely concise prose. On the Committee,
in addition to Dr. Shapira who brought to the task his clear, mathe-
matically-trained brain and his heart filled with true Jewish idealism,
and myself, who have no qualifications to offer other than my good
intentions, there were only clever and learned legal experts who
subjected every word to the most ingenious and searching analytical
criticism; nothing was allowed to pass which did not emerge victori-
ous from this annihilating criticism. But we are pleased to say that
the work which resulted from these titanic hammer-blows was never-
theless adopted unanimously by the Committee. Anyone who knows
the thought processes of lawyers will truly evaluate this amazing
fact, bordering on the miraculous, of unanimity. It is usually main-
tained that every true advocate has two quite separate opinions on
every conceivable question; the man who knows of any two lawyers
agreeing on any one point is yet to be found in the world; and the
fact is moreover to be taken into consideration that to the profes-
sional training of these lawyers must also be added their original
Jewish characteristics-you know that we are accused of being the
most dogmatic, stiff-necked, unyielding people, clinging most tena-
ciously to our own opinions and most impatient of the opinions of
others. I appeal most sincerely to you all; emulate the example of
your Committee. The draft allows for every justifiable shade of
thought. It caters for the ardent person as well as for the deliberate,
for the impetuous as well as for the faint-hearted. Accept it by ac-
clamation, without a vote or discussion! Let its acceptance be an
enthusiastic demonstration. Your unanimity will give it the import-
ance of a new banner slogan for Israel, showing the appointed path
of the wishes and actions of our people for the generations to come!
"The draft reads:
"Zionism seeks to establish for the Jewish people a legally secured
homeland in Palestine.
"To achieve this goal, Congress envisages the following methods:
(1) By fostering the settlement of Palestine with farmers, la-
bourers and artisans.
(2) By organising the whole of Jewry in suitable local and
general bodies, in accordance with the laws of their re-
(3) By strengthening the national Jewish feeling and national
(4) By taking preparatory steps to attain any Governmentalcon-
sent which may be necessary to reach the aim of Zionism."
A heated debate on the text of the Programme
A heated debate then followed on the expressions secured by interna-
tional law, legally secured and publicly recognized.
The following are some excerpts from the debate.
Samuel Pineles: "I am also in favour of the draft being accepted
Fabius Schach: "We want to express here the basic thoughts of
Zionism. It is therefore essential that in the programme we say quite
plainly for what we are striving. A National Jewish Home-that is
the object of our desires, not a charitable refuge. We want to make
the land of our fathers into the land of our future. It is self-evident
that we do not want to conquer it with the sword, but by friendly
negotiations with the Sultan, through the mediation of European
Powers. But without guarantees based on international law our
National Home can never attain security. No concessions should be
made which shake the basic principles of our efforts. The words
which are missing in the programme are the pillar of Zionism; we
Cannot renounce them. It is the innocent phrase: "secured by inter-
ational law." I am one of the impetuous ones, and not a timid."
Dr. Herzl: I think that Mr. Schach has fallen into a certain error.
For this draft the most conciliatory form which is sufficiently clear
has been sought. I do not interpreted here for the Commission. I my-
self, in my speech yesterday, used the expression: publicly re-
Oscar Marmorek proposed that the discussion should be adjourned
until after the report of Dr. Bodenheimer on the Zionist Organisation.
Dr. Landau: "The draft programme was prepared by a number of
legal experts. I myself had the honour of belonging to this commis-
sion. So as no to lose too much time I propose that general spokesmen
be appointed and request a five minutes' interval so that speakers for
and against can come to an agreement with their spokesman."
Mr. Marmorek's proposal that the debate should be postponed until
after Dr. Bodenheimer's report was rejected.
Dr. Landau's suggestion that spokesmen should be chosen was
Dr. Herzl: "Spokesmen are then to be chosen. To allow the gentle-
men to come to an agreement I will interrupt the meeting for five
minutes. Of course the only persons who are to take part in the vote
for spokesmen are those who have already announced their intention
After the interval Mr. Motzkin said in the course of his speech:
"We represent the view that the words "legally secured" must stand
in the programme, and indeed just in the sense used by Dr. Herzl in
his book. When "Auto-Emancipation" appeared 15 years ago the
idea was for the first time openly expressed that the Jews desired a
"legally secured" homeland and could only hope for it by public
activity in this sense."
Dr. Mintz acted as spokesman for those in favour of the form in
which the Commission had drafted the programme.
Dr. Nordau: "We want to stress everything which unites us and
to put into the background whatever separates us. We shall not lack
political parties later on, and there will be no shortage of differences
of opinion. Let us, at the outset of our movement at least, show an
example of most impressive unity by the unanimous acceptance of
the programme, by acclamation."
Dr. Blumenfeld asked for a nominal vote on "secured by inter-
national law" or "legally secured."
Dr. Herzl: "There are actually three propositions: that of the
Commission, then that of Mr. Motzkin and thirdly the proposition of
"publicly recognized." Many present here today are perhaps under
a misapprehension. The members of the Commission, actuated by
the desire of formulating something which can demonstrate the un-
animity of the First Congress have united in the widest logical sense
which includes also the smallest circles. They have thereby not given
any indication of their own position on this smaller circle, if I can
so define it, of the idea of "secured by international law." They have
reserved it to themselves, but have not surrendered it. I believe that
he who acts brings about a quicker solution. The general feeling is
already clear. But we would still all wish that the proposal regarding
our programme should be accepted unanimously, and in this connec-
tion I would point out that perhaps the choice of the words 'public-
ly recognized" will be agreed to by the lawyers. I take the liberty
of suggesting to the Commission this addition which does not mis-
represent our programme; if they are in agreement, I shall put it
to the vote."
Dr. Bodenheimer: "I propose that if a debate is still to be held,
12 or 14 gentlemen should be appointed to discuss the programme
again." (General dissent).
"I take note of the general feeling and therefore withdraw my
Fabius Sohach: "Gentlemen! I have an urgent request. We are
talking here not merely in this hall, but in public, before the world.
Every word has a public import. What will the world say when later
on it is learnt that such a proposal was closed to discussion? On a
point of order I propose that the debate be re-opened." (Amidst a
general uproar the speaker left the hall).
Dr. Herzl: "The debate has been closed by the appointment of
spokesmen. I have proposed that the Commission should retire to
undertake a revision of the draft and present it to the Congress."
Final text approved
Dr. Nordau: The Programme Commission has again retired to
discuss the matter; it is of the opinion that it cannot in fact recognize
any grounds for changing its point of view, and that the addition of
"publicly" to "legally" does not express anything which was not
already to be found in the original text. But to show an example of
self-control in the interest of the unity we desire, the Commission
has. decided to add the words to the proposal. The first paragraph
"Zionism seeks to secure for the Jewish people a publicly re-
cognized, legally secured homeland in Palestine."
"This wording makes possible the unanimous acceptance of the
proposal." (Thunderous applause).
Dr. Blumenfeld, in view of the general enthusiasm, withdrew his
Motzkin: "The delegates who demanded the words "internationally
recognized" now state that they are satisfied with the alteration to
"publicly recognized" and make known that their convictions and
beliefs are thereby expressed openly and honourably before the
entire world." (Great applause).
Dr. Bodenheimer on the Zionist Organisation
After the vote on the programme of the Zionist movement the time
had come to discuss the forging of an instrument for its realization.
Dr. Max Bodenheimer gave a comprehensive report on the Zionist
Organisation, concluding as follows:
"At the outset of my speech I compared an organised people with
a living body. Unfortunately at the present time the Jewish people
is a body the organs of which are asleep and paralysed as a result
of their inactivity for hundreds of years.
'"It is our task to revive those organs again, to infuse fresh in-
spiration and confidence into the body of the people, so that the
sickly nation may again become sound and healthy and can again
offer mankind the rich gifts of its free spirit.
"That we bleed from a thousand wounds there is no need of proof.
Every day we receive new ones. But that we are almost mortally
sick we recognize by the fact we have largely lost the natural
ability to feel the blows which rain upon us or to avoid or parry
them, so little is our people animated by the feeling of self-pre-
"Only thus can the fact be explained that there are individual
members of our people, the romanized and crypto-Jews of our days,
who themselves deny that Jewish suffering which despairingly comes
from the East and knocks upon our doors. But let us not engage in a
struggle with these Jewish scoffers, a struggle to which the present
excitement could easily lead us. The coming generations will rightly
disregard the disdainful words of those gentlemen just as later
generations did those of the national traitors of olden times branding
them as the hellenist High Priest Menelaus and the romanized
Flavius Josephus were branded.
"The ship of the Jewish people drifts aimlessly on the troubled
seas; there is no captain or helmsman to bring it into a safe port.
Give the people its leader and the well-captained ship will soon,
amidst the gay jubilation of its crew, reach the verdant shore of that
land which promises us the palm of peace and the sun of freedom.
"We stand at this moment on the soil of the Confederates* who won
their freedom under circumstances far more difficult than those
which stand in our way. Let us fill ourselves with the spirit of those
people; let us grasp our courage and show ourselves the stout-hearted
champions of our convictions and the victory of our cause cannot fail.
"But the spirit which animated those men was other than one of
disruption and discord which has so often wrought ill to the Jewish
"May the spirit of unity, the spirit of the Ruetli** spread also over
our gathering of new confederates!"
Appointment of the Committee on Organisation
The afternoon session was devoted to a full-dress debate on the
Zionist Organisation. Those who took part in it were: Dr. Blumen-
thal, Dr. Schaffer, Dr. Neumark, Mr. Marmorek, Dr. Kaminka, Mr.
Wolffsohn, Mr. Birkenau, Mr. F. Schach, Dr. Schnirer, Dr. Landau,
Dr. Farbstein, Mr. W. Temkin, Dr. Rosenhek, Mr. Steiner, Dr. Sha-
poshnikow, Mr. L. Motzkin, Dr. Kornblueh, Mr. A. Goitein.
It was decided to appoint a Committee on Organisation in which all
countries or groups of countries should be represented. The following
were appointed as members of the Committee: Dr. Birnbaum and
Dr. Bodenheimer for Germany; Dr. Salz and Mr. Steiner for Austria;
Dr. Bernstein-Cohan and Prof Mandelstamm for Russia; Mr. Pineles
for Roumania; Prof. Belkowsky for Bulgaria; Mr. A. Rosenberg for
America; and Mr. J. de Haas for Great Britain.
After the appointment of the Committee, Dr. Jacob Bernstein-
Cohan gave a report on behalf of the Zionist Society of Kishinev.
Dr. Moses submitted proposals on financial matters.
At the end of the meeting Mr. D. Wolffsohn read out the full list
of the delegates attending the First Zionist Congress.
"The second day of Congress is over," writes Die Welt. "While the
first day was .devoted more to spiritual inspiration and true frater-
nisation, we now have a day of fruitful and productive work behind
us. It is the day on which the representatives of the Jewish people
laid down their programme of work."
Confederates: Term used to describe the representatives of the three
Swiss cantons who joined in permanent alliance against foreign rule in
1245 and who were joined in the course of time by the representatives of
** Ruetli: A mountain meadow in Switzerland above the Lake of the Four
Cantons; according to legend, this is where the representatives of the' three
Swiss cantons took an oath to free their country from Habsburg domina-
THE THIRD DAY.
The proposals of the Organisation Committee
The proposals in the name of the Organisation Committee were sub-
mitted by Slr. Steiner. This opened the proceedings of the third and
last day of the First Zionist Congress (3rd Elul 5657-31st August,
The text of the proposals was as follows:
(1) The chief organ of the Zionist movement is the Congress.
(2) Every Zionist who wishes to participate in the election of dele-
gates to the Congress is to pay voluntarily each year, for the pur-
poses of the Zionist movement, at least one shekel valued at 1 franc-
2 shillings-i dollar-i gulden-40 kopecks-1 mark. This amount
has been fixed only for the very poorest of our brothers, and every
Zionist is obliged to pay as much as his circumstances allow.
(2a) Every 100 contributors are to elect one delegate. Each dele-
gate may represent more than one group, but may not cast more
than ten votes. We have fixed the maximum number of votes at ten
so that individuals shall not represent entire countries and approp-
riate a large number of votes, thereby tyrannizing the Congress.
(3) Congress, by a show of voting tickets, elects an Actions Com-
mittee to carry out its resolutions, to manage its business and to
determine the place of the next Congress.
(4) The Actions Committee is to have its seat in Vienna and to
consist of 15 members, five of whom must be permanently resident
in Vienna, while the others are to be divided as follows:
Austria, Galicia and Bucovina 2; Germany 1; Russia 2; Roumania 1;
England, France and North America 1 each; Serbia and Bulgaria 1.
The members of the Actions Committee not resident in Vienna will
be elected by Congress, but after nomination by representatives of
the Jews of each country. The five members permanently resident in
Vienna will be nominated and elected by the entire body of Congress.
(5) Each of the members not resident in Vienna has the right, with
the prior consent of the Actions Committee in Vienna, to delegate
a substitute to the Actions Committee. "This, Gentlemen, is neces-
sary to avoid any interruption in the management of our affairs.
Every member must have his substitute in Vienna to represent him
on the Actions Committee."
(6) The members of the Actions Committee represent their na-
tional committee vis-A-vis the Executive of the Actions Committee.
"We thereby intervene in the national organizations only so far as
we say that it represents the link between the national organizations,
and the individual member is the connecting link between the Execu-
tive Committee and the national committee."
(7) The Actions Committee appoints a General Secretary, resident
(8) The Actions Committee sets up Commissions as and when they
may be necessary.
,(9) The organisation and propaganda activities of Zionists in vari-
ous countries are to be carried out in accordance with the laws and
requirements of the countries concerned. The methods by which they
are carried out are to be notified to the Actions Committee.
A debate followed which lasted the whole of the morning session.
The following delegates took part: Dr. Bodenheimer, S. Bromberg,
Dr. Blumenfeld, Mr. L. Motzkin, Prof. Shapira, Dr. Kornblueh, Dr.
Ehrenpreis, Dr. Schnirer, Mr. Steiner, Dr. Landau, Mr. Herbst, Mr.
Bahar, Dr. Farbstein, Mr. Schach, Dr. Neumark, S. Lublinski, Dr.
Ebner, Dr. I. Schalit, Mr. Marmorek.
The Members of the General Council
Para. 4 of the proposed resolution was changed and it was decided
to appoint a General Council of 23 members as follows: Vienna 5;
Austria, without Galicia and Bucovina, 1; Galicia 2; Bucovina 1;
Russia 4; France 1; Great Britain 1; America 1; Erez Israel 1;
Roumania 2; Bulgaria and Serbia 1; Germany 2; Oriental countries 1.
The election of the First Zionist Executive
The afternoon session opened as follows:
Di. Herzl: "The delegates have now had sufficient time for reflec-
tion. I now pass to the voting, and call on the Chairman of the Com-
mission, Mr. Steiner, to speak."
Steiner: "As regards the method of voting, it has been decided
that the five members of the Actions Committee who must be resident
in Vienna are to be elected by the Congress. The other representatives
of the territorial organizations must, after being nominated by their
organizations, be ratified by Congress.
"For the five members resident in Vienna the Commission puts
before you the following gentlemen: Dr. Theodor Herzl, Dr. M.
Schnirer, Dr. O. Kokesch, Dr. N. Birnbaum, Johann Meyer Kreme-
netzky." (Applause after the reading of each name).
Those proposed were unanimously elected, but Dr. Birnbaum stated
that he could not accept the appointment. A discussion followed, in
the course of which Herzl passed the Chair to Nordau. Dr. Alexander
Mintz was elected in the place of Dr. Birnbaum.
The members of the General Council were elected as follows:
"On the proposal of the various territorial organizations the fol-
lowing are elected: for Austria, apart from Galicia and Bucovina-
Dr. Kornfeld of Brno; Galicia-Dr. A. Salz of Tarnow and Dr. A.
Korkis of Lemberg; Bucovina-Dr. Mayer Ebner of Czernovitz; for
Russia-Rabbi Mohilewer of Bialystok, Prof. Mandelstamm of Kiev,
Dr. Bernstein-Cohan of Kishinev and Dr. Jassinowski of Warsaw;
Roumania-Dr. K. Lippe of Jassy and Samuel Pineles of Galatz;
Bulgaria and Serbia-Prof. Belkowski; for all other Oriental Jews
in Africa and Asia-J. B. Bahar of Paris; for France-Bernard
Lazare of Paris; for Germany-Dr. Ruelf of Memel and Dr. Boden-
heimer of Cologne.
"For Palestine, the U.S.A. and Great Britain the places were left
open to be filled by nominees of public assemblies convened for that
Prof. Shapira's proposal for the foundation of the Jewish National Fund
The Congress now discussed the question of the creation of a Jewish
National Fund. Dr. Bodenheimer, Dr. Davidsohn, Prof. Shapira, Mr.
L. Motzkin and Mr. Zeff took part in the discussion. The following
is the text of Prof. Shapira's famous proposal:
"Let us imagine that our forefathers when they went into exile
had assured even a small sum for the future; we should today have
been able to acquire large territories with it. What our predecessors
were partly unable to do, and partly neglected to do, we are now
obliged to do, for ourselves and for our descendants.
"But in a legacy for later times there is always the danger that it
will not be used for its purpose as originally intended. To cater as
far as possible for this is the purpose of the following proposal.
(1) From all Jews throughout the world, both rich and poor, with-
out distinction as far as is permitted by the laws of the various
States to which the Jews belong, individual and periodical contribu-
tions should be collected for the foundation of a general Jewish fund.
(2) Two thirds of the fund so set up should be used to form a Ter-
ritorial Fund and should be used solely to acquire Jewish lands, while
one-third should be used for the maintenance and cultivation of the
land so acquired, as well as for other general Jewish purposes.
(3) The land so acquired may never be alienated and may not even
be sold to individual Jews, but may only be leased, and then only for
a maximum period of 49 years, in accordance with principles yet
to be formulated.
(4) This Fund may not be touched, neither in its capital nor in its
interest until it will have reached the sum of at least ten million
(5) Before any sum is withdrawn from the Fund, a guarantee must
be sought that the amount will be completely replaced within a
period of 50 years.
(6) For the expenditure of a sum exceeding the annual interest on
the basic capital of the Fund a majority vote in a plebiscite of the
Jewish people is required, as far as this is possible.
(7) If the sum to be spent amounts to half the entire basic capital,
such expenditure will require a majority of at least two-thirds of all
(8) The expenditure of a sum not exceeding the amount of the
annual interest may be spent at the discretion of the Fund's ad-
(9) As far as possible any proposed expenditure should be announced
to the Jewish people or its representatives one year in advance. Only
in the event of urgent exceptions can the Administration obtain
supplementary authorization in the course of the following year.
(10) The Administration is to be appointed provisionally by the
present Congress. The next Congress will elect a permanent Adminis-
tration for the next ten years. During the next decade a permanent
Statute is to be formulated for the future administration of the Fund.
(11) Amendments to these Statutes can only be made on the basis
of a majority of at least two-thirds of all attainable votes.
(12) Such a plebiscite must be preceded by three announcements,
with a space of ten years between each announcement, which must
each time be broadcast as far as possible among all Jews."
At the conclusion of the debate Herzl said: "A motion for the wind-
ing up of the debate has been proposed. I believe we can decide nothing
definitively since there are before us projects which cannot well be
discussed further until they have been examined by experts. It is
therefore perhaps mete to leave the examination of all these sugges-
tions to the Committee. They will be kept up to date by the work of
the Committee, and it is sufficient that the proposal should have been
made known here. I move that the debate be closed."
Jewish colonisation 50 years ago
Jewish colonisation in Palestine was now the subject for the Congress
A report was given by Dr. Schnirer who concluded as follows:
"(1) Further immigration into Palestine should not be undertaken
before the status of "legzl security and public recognition" has been
(2) The colonies to be created from the human material already
available in Palestine should be on the basis of free cooperation.
"I am aware," concluded Dr. Schnirer, "that we are today not in
a position to procure anything of general value from these observa-
tions of ours. But what Congress should and must do today is to use
its influence to ensure that in all Zionist undertakings the basic
principle is observed that Zionism is not only a social and economic
movement, but primarily a national and ethical movement."
Dr. Kaminka then spoke about the Yishuv and life in Palestine.
This is the list of colonies and their populations as given by Dr.
Kaminka, fifty years ago. The figures in brackets are those of 1947.
Rishon le Zion 400 (9,500); Petah Tikvah 670 (19,000), Vadi el
Hanin (now Ness Ziona) 670 (1,750); Katra (now Gederah) 100
(1,050); Ekron 160 (425). Rehovoth 170 (10,800); Beer Tuvia 120
(719); Moza 15 (162); Hartov 20 (105); Zichron Yaacov 650 (1,850);
Haderah 170 (8,100); Rosh Pinah 350 (400); Yesod Hamaalah 100
(185); Mishmar Hayarden 87 (368); Ein Zeitim 25 (87); Metullah
The total population of these colonies according to Dr. Kaminka
was 3,887 in 1897. In 1947 their population numbered 54,671.
About life in the colonies Dr. Kaminka remarked:
"As far as life in the colonies is concerned complaints have been
levelled that in the larger and better organised colonies there is too
much "French spirit" and inclination towards luxury. The parents
try to give their children an education in Paris and still entertain a
certain contempt for the simple and healthy peasant life. But still,
the colonist families dig in their roots ever deeper. The young people
speak Hebrew; they feel themselves real children of the country and
work with industry and sacrifice. The Hebrew Secondary School in
Jaffa* is an important training ground for the national spirit and,
from the practical point of view as well, deserves the attention of
friends of colonisation. It is furthermore important that in addition
to farming, the new immigrants should also foster industry and trade.
In this connection various proposals have been made, for the exam-
ination of which a special Committee is to be set up by Congress."
Dr. Kaminka then gave the following figures for the imports and
exports of Palestine in 1895: Imports LP.294,800, Exports LP.178,900.
During 1946 imports and exports in Palestine were LP.70,400,000 and
The last report on the subject was presented by Mr. A. Rosenberg
who spoke about the position in Palestine.
Hebrew language and literature
Dr. Marcus Ehrenpreis gave a report on the Hebrew language and
literature and submitted the following proposals:
(1) Congress should set up a general Hebrew school system to
establish free lessons in Hebrew. The Hebrew Commission which was
to be elected should be entrusted with the preparatory steps.
(2) Congress should elect a Hebrew Literature Commission as a
section of the Executive with the following tasks:
(a) To found and maintain Hebrew periodicals and to subsidize
(b) To assist young Hebrew authors and send them on educational
(c) Above all to foster by all suitable means the Hebrew language
Mr. Rosenhek, Prof. Shapira and Mr. Bahar discussed Dr. Ehren-
A Literature Commission was set up with the following members:
Eliezer Ben Yehuda, Dr. Marcus Ehrenpreis, Asher Ginzburg (Ahad
Haam), Dr. Aron Kaminka, Nahum Sokolow.
A Committee for Colonisation was also elected as follows: Mr. W.
Bambus, Dr. Kaminka, Dr. Mintz, Mr. Ribenstein, Dr. Schnirer.
The session closed at 7.30 p.m.
The closing session.
At the night session the Rabbi of Basle, Dr. Cohn, who was
enthusiastically cheered at his appearance, expressed his attitude
towards Zionism and pleaded for the safeguard of religion.
Jaffa Secondary School: The first modern school in Jewish Palestine
to teach in Hebrew-taken over tby the Odessa Committee in 1900.
The proceedings were concluded as follows:
Dr. Herzl: "First of all I must thank the Reverend Dr. Cohn for
his loyal appearance as our former opponent and for the frankness
of his enquiry, to which I shall not reply in detail. I can assure
you that Zionism envisages nothing which might wound the religious
susceptibilities of any group in Jewry. (Stormy applause.)
"To supplement one point on the agenda I must make a short
remark. During the past year many complaints have come to me
from Palestine concerning grievances in the colonies. I believe I
am in accord with the feeling of the majority of Congress if I do
not enter more closely into these complaints, but leave them to the
Commission to examine more thoroughly. The whole course of our
Congress has been so dignified that we would not wish to introduce
any discord. In all human affairs difficulties are encountered, and
here also. In referring here to these complaints, due notice is taken
"We have now reached the end of our present task. We must
first of all express our thanks to this hospitable city which has
received us with such good-will; to the Government which has shown
us many signs of its sympathy by facilitating the preparations for
the Congress, and by the presence during our deliberations of the
President, Prof. Dr. Paul Speiser. We must, moreover, thank the
Christian Zionists. In this connection I must name Mr. Dunant,
the founder of the Red Cross, the Rev. John Mitchell, the Rev.
Hechler of Vienna, Baron Manteuffel, Col. Count Bentinck who also
took part in our discussions, and many others. We shall, of course,
also remember the Jewish Zionists who have preceded us in this
work. Their names are all present in our minds, and I include all
of them together in our thanks.
"Gentlemen! I have now come to a close. Allow me to say a few
personal words. In my handling of the deliberations I have perhaps
presided sometimes too weakly, sometimes too strictly. But my
intentions were good, and we have achieved something. In many
quarters, I believe, people have waited with malicious joy for much
foolishness and fanatical enthusiasm to be expressed here. I think
that Zionism need not be ashamed of its First Congress. It has been
moderate, but nevertheless decisive. How the future will shape
cannot be said today. Not only we but those outside this hall will
admit that when we meet thus to discuss its fate we are doing
something for our people which suffers both directly and indirectly.
If we wish to press the plough into the hands of the humble folk,
is there still a question whether they will prefer the work to misery
and defencelessness? Ask them! But on the day the plough
is once again held in the now-strong hand of the Jewish peasant,
then the Jewish question will have been solved." (Applause of
Prof. Max Mandelstamm: "Ladies and Gentlemen! I believe I speak
in the name of my innumerable countrymen and the members of
this Congress when I express our heartfelt thanks to those men
who have carried out the preparatory work and the transactions
of this Congress, with great self-sacrifice and with their utmost
moral and physical strength. First of all to the various members
of the provisional committees. Then to that great man in Israel who
so well expressed our 2,000-year sorrow. I refer to Dr. Max Nordau.
But before all to that courageous man who is primarily responsible
for this gathering of Jews from all countries, taking counsel on the
future of our people. I refer to our respected Congress-President.
Dr. Theodor Herzl. (The assembly rose and broke into thunderous
"At the same time I believe I speak in the name of the members
of this Congress when I plead with our honoured President not to
be discouraged by the hard work which he has performed and which
still lies before him and by the discomforts which he has met and
which are still to be met. May he bring to a successful conclusion
the difficult work he has done, with the same spirit and the same
self-sacrifice. Long live the President of the First Zionist Con-
gress, Dr. Theodor Herzl! (Thunderous applause.)
Dr. Herzl: "The First Zionist Congress is now closed." (Thunderous
applause from the entire hall and galleries.)
"Now scenes take place, writes Die Welt, which are hard to
describe. Men stamp their feet, women wave handkerchiefs, the gal-
leries resound with the deafening storm of applause of the Basle
Jews and Christians. They embrace and kiss. Many eyes are moist.
In another year we shall meet again!"
CH. N. BIALIK
THE ZIONIST DELEGATES
(to the First Zionist Congress at Basle)
Woes of your people summon you from far
Corners of exile, and their bitter cry
Has roused you; great the wonder brought to pass;
The tear breaks from its faithful fount-the eye,
Big with sweet pearls and warm, 'tis seen
Unburdened, after vigil keen.
Sure now the thronging waters stifle breath,
Evil has gained the eye's own lodgement place,
Our cry has rent the very heart of Heaven,
The grave is calling by our side for grace...
Whose heart leaps not in dread to greet
You, bless from far the hour you meet?
From ends of earth no anthems have you brought
But ancient dirges, new upon each morn,
To shew your people in the sight of sun
Tossed in their blood as waves on water borne;
They rise, they fall from trough to crest,
Whose heart with dread shall not be stressed?
'Tis good our tears in unison should fall,
Flow from the ends of exile to one urn;
Redemption fails, but our Redeemer liveth,
To come with that great hour for which we yearn:
Last left for dust shall then discern
You pioneers of our return.
And in our annals, full with tales of grief,
Shall be a treasured pearl-your sacred tear;
Who hinge the doors and set the gables, they
Will know whose hand has laid the head-stone here.
Your mem'ry in dark hours shall rest
A ne'er fading sun to the oppressed.
Translated by L.V. Snowman
DREAMERS IN CONGRESS
By ISRAEL ZANGWILL
"i Y the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down; yea, we wept,
when we remembered Zion." By the river of Basle we sit down,
resolved to weep no more. Not the German Rhine, but the
Rhine ere it leaves the land of liberty; where, sunning itself in a
glory of blue sky and white cloud, and overbrooded by the eternal
mountains, it swirls its fresh green waves and hurried its laden rafts
betwixt the quaint old houses and dreaming spires, and under the
busy bridges of the Golden Gate of Switzerland.
In the shady courtyard of the Town Hall are sundry frescoes testi-
fying to the predominant impress on the minds of its citizens of the
life and thoughts of a little people that flourished between two and
three thousand years ago in the highlands of Asia Minor. But, amid
these suggestive illustrations of ancient Jewish history, the strangest
surely is that of Moses with a Table of the Law, on which are written
the words "Who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the
house of bondage."
For here, after all this travail of the centuries, a very modern
Moses-in the abstract-concrete form of a Congress-is again medit-
ating the deliverance of Israel from the house of bondage.
Not in the Town Hall, however, but in the Casino the Congress
meets, and, where Swiss sweethearts use to dance, are debated the
tragic issues of an outcast nation. An oblong hall, of drab yellow,
with cane chairs neatly parted in the middle, and green-baized tables
for reporters, and a green-baized rostrum, and a green-baized plat-
form, over which rise the heads and festal shirtfronts of the leaders.
A strangely assorted set of leaders, but all with that ink-mark on
the brow which is as much on the Continent the badge of action, as
it is in England the symbol of sterility; all believing more or less
naively that the pen is mightier than the millionaire's gold.
Only one of them hitherto has really stirred the world with his
pen-point-a prophet of the modern, preaching "Woe, woe" by psycho-
physiology; in himself a breezy, burly undegenerate, with a great
grey head marvellously crammed with facts and languages; now to
prove himself golden-hearted and golden-mouthed, an orator touching
equally to tears or laughter. In striking contrast with this quasi-
Teutonic figure shows the leonine head,-with its tossing black mane
and shoulders, of the Russian leader, Apollo turned berserker, beauti-
ful, overpowering, from whose resplendent mouth roll in mountain
thunder the barbarous Russian syllables.
And even as no two of the leaders are alike so do the rank and file
fail to resemble one another. Writers and journalists, poets and
novelists and merchants, professors and men of professions-types
that once sought to slough their Jewish skins, and mimic, on Darwin-
ian principles, the colours of the environment, but that now, with some
tardy sense of futility or stir of pride, proclaim their brotherhood
in Zion-they are come from many places; from far lands and from
near, from uncouth, unknown villages of Bukowina and the Caucasus,
and from the great European capitals; thickliest from the pales of
persecution, in rare units from the free realms of England and
America-a strange phantasmagoria of faces. A small, sallow Pole,
with high cheek-bones; a blonde Hungarian, with a flaxen moustache;
a brown, hatchet-faced Roumanian; a fresh-coloured Frenchman,
with eye-glasses; a dark, Marrano-descended Dutchman; a chubby
German; a fiery-eyed Russian, tugging at his own hair with excite-
ment, perhaps in prescience of the prison awaiting his return; a
dusky Egyptian, with the close-cropped, curly black hair and all but
the nose of a negro; a yellow-bearded Swede; a courtly Viennese
lawyer, a German student, with proud duel-slashes across his cheek,
a Viennese student, first fighter in the University, with a coloured
band across his shirt-front; a dandy, smelling of the best St. Peters-
burg circles; and one solitary caftan-Jew, with earlocks and skull-
cap, wafting into the nineteenth century the cabalistic mysticism of
the Carpathian Messiah.
Who speaks of the Jewish type? One can only say negatively that
these faces are not Christian. Is it the stamp of a longer, more com-
plex heredity? Is it the brand of suffering? Certainly a stern Con-
gress, the speeches little lightened by humour, the atmosphere of
historic tragedy too overbrooding for intellectual dalliance. Even the
presence of the gayer sex-for there are a few ladies among the
delegates, and more peep down from the crowded spectators' gallery
that runs sideways along the hall--only makes a few shots of visual
brightness in the sober scene. Seriousness is stamped everywhere; on
the broad-bulging temples of the Russian oculist, on the egg-shaped
skull and lank white hair of the Heidelberg professor, on the open
countenance of the Hungarian architect, on the weak, narrow linea-
ments of the neurotic Hebrew poet; it gives dignity to red hair and
freckles, tones down the grossness of too-fleshy cheeks, and lends an
added beauty to finely-cut features.
Superficially, then, they have little in common, and if almost all
speak German-the language of the Congress-it is only because
they are all masters of three or four tongues. Yet some subtle instinct
links them each to each; presage, perhaps, of some brotherhood of
mankind, of which ingathered Israel-or even ubiquitous Israel--may
present the type.
Through the closed red-curtained windows comes ever and anon
the sharp ting of the bell of an electric car, and the President,
anxiously steering the course of debate through difficult international
cross-roads, rings his bell almost as frequently.
A majestic Oriental figure, the President's-not so tall as it ap-
pears when he draws himself up and stands dominating the assembly
with eyes that brood and glow,-you would say one of the Assyrian
kings whose sculptured heads adorn our museums, the very profile of
Tiglath-Pileser. In sooth, the beautiful sombre face of a kingly
dreamer, but of a Jewish dreamer who faces the fact that flowers
are grown in dung. A Shelley 'beats in the air his lumino.-s wings
in vain'; our Jewish dreamer dreams along the lines of life; his
dream but discounts the future, his prophecy is merely fore-speaking,
his vision pre-vision. He talks agriculture, viticulture, subvention of
the Ottoman Empire, both by direct tribute and indirect enrichment;
stocks and shares, railroads, internal and to India; natural develop-
ment under expansion-all the jargon of our iron age. Let not his
movement be confounded with those petty projects for helping Jewish
agriculturists into Palestine. What! Improve the Sultan's land with-
out any political equivalent guaranteed in advance! Difficulty about
the holy places of Christianity and Islam? Pooh! extra-territorial.
A practised publicist, a trained lawyer, a not unsuccessful comedy
writer, converted to racial self-consciousness by the "Hep, Hep" of
Vienna, and hurried into unforeseen action by his own paper-scheme
of a Jewish State, he has, perhaps, at last-and not unreluctantly-
found himself as a leader of men.
In a Congress of impassioned rhetoricians he remains serene, moder-
ate; his voice is for the most part subdued; in its most emotional
abandonments there is a dry undertone, almost harsh. He quells dis-
order with a look, with a sharp touch of the bell. The cloven hoof
of the Socialist peeps out from a little group. At once "The Congress
shall be captured by no party!" And the Congress is in roars of
'Tis the happy faculty of all idealists to overlook the visible-the
price they pay for seeing the unseen. Even our open-eyed Jewish
idealist has been blessed with ignorance of the actual. But, in his very
ignorance of the people he would lead and the country he would lead
them to lies his strength, just as in his admission that his Zionist
fervour is only that second-rate species produced by local anti-
Semitism, lies a powerful answer to the dangerous libel of local
unpatriotism. Of the real political and agricultural conditions of
Palestine he knows only by hearsay. Of Jews he knows still less. Not
for him the paralysing sense of the humours of his race, the petty
feud of Dutchman and Pole, the mutual superiorities of Sephardi and
Ashkenazi, the grotesque incompatibility of Western and Eastern
Jew, the cynicism and snobbery of the prosperous, the materialism
of the uneducated adventurers in unexploited regions. He stands so
high and aloof that all specific colourings and markings are blurred
for him into the common brotherhood, and, if he is cynic enough to
suspect them, he is philosopher enough to recognize that all nations
are compact of incongruities, vitalised by warring elements. Nor has
he any sympathetic perception of the mystic religious hopes of
generations of zealots, of the great swirling spiritual currents of
Ghetto life. But in a national movement-which appears at first
sight hopeless, because it lacks the great magnetiser, religion-lies
a chance denied to one who should boldly proclaim himself the
evangel of a modern Judaism, the last of the Prophets. Political
Zionism alone can transcend and unite: any religious formula would
disturb and dissever. Along this line may all travel to Jerusalem.
And, as the locomotive from Jaffa draws all alike to the sacred city,
and leaves them there to their several matters, so may the pious
concern themselves not at all with the religion of the engineer.
Not this the visionary figure created by the tear-dimmed yearning
of the Ghetto; no second Sabbatai Zevi, master of celestial secrets,
divine re-incarnation, come with signs and wonders to lead back
Israel to the Promised Land. Still less the prophet prefigured by
Christian visionaries, some of whom, fevered nevertheless, press upon
the Congress itself complex collations of texts, or little cards with
the sign of the cross. Palestine, indeed, but an afterthought: an
aspiration of unsuspected strength, to be utilised-like all human
forces-by the maker of history. States are the expression of souls;
in any land the Jewish soul could express itself in characteristic in-
stitutions, could shake off the long oppression of the ages, and renew
its youth in touch with the soil. Yet since there is this longing for
Palestine, let us make capital of it-capital that will return its safe
percentage. A rush to Palestine will mean all that seething medley
of human wants and activities out of which profits are snatched by
the shrewd-gold-rush and God-rush, they are both one in their
economic working. May not the Jews themselves take shares in so
promising a project? May not even their great bankers put their
names to such a prospectus? The shareholders incur no liability
beyond the extent of their shares; there shall be no call upon them
to come to Palestine-let them remain in their snug nests; the
Jewish Company, Limited, seeks a home only for the desolate dove
that finds no rest for the sole of her feet.
And yet beneath all this statesmanlike prose, touched with the
special dryness of the jurist, lurk the romance of the poet and the
purposeful vagueness of the modern evolutionist; the fantasy of the
Hungarian, the dramatic self-consciousness of the literary artist, the
heart of the Jew.
Is one less a poet because he regards the laws of reality, less reli-
gious because he accepts them, less a Jew because he will live in
his own century? Our dreamer will have none of the mediaeval, is
enamoured of the modern; has lurking admiration of the "over-man"
of Nietsche, even to be overpassed by the coming Jerusalem Jew;
the psychical Eurasian, the link and interpreter between East and
West-nay, between antiquity and the modern spirit; the synthesis of
mankind, saturated with the culture of the nations, and now at last
turning home again, laden with the spiritual spoils of the world's
benefit. He shall found an ideal modern State, catholic in creed,
righteous in law, a centre of conscience-even geographically-in a
world relapsing to pagan chaos. And its flag shall be a "shield of
David," with the Lion of Judah rampant, and twelve stars for the
Tribes. No more of the cringing and the whispering in dark corners;
no surreptitious invasion of Palestine. The Jew shall demand right,
not tolerance. Israel shall walk erect. And he, Israel's spokesman, will
not juggle with diplomatic combinations-he will play cards on table.
He has nothing to say to the mob, Christian or Jewish, he will not in-
trigue with political underlings.He is no demagogue; he will speak with
kings in their palaces, with prime ministers in their cabinets. There is
a touch of the hybris of Lasalle, of the magnificence of Manasseh
Bueno Barzillai Azevedo Da Costa, King of the question-beggars.
Do you object that the poor will be the only ones to immigrate to
Palestine? Why, it is just those that we want. Prithee, how else shall
we make our roads and plant our trees? No mention now of the Eur-
asian exemplar, the synthetic "over-man." Perhaps he is only to
evolve. Do you suggest that an inner ennobling of scattered Israel
might be the finer goal, the truer antidote to anti-Semitism? Simple
heart, do you not see it is just for our good-not our bad-qualities
that we are persecuted? A jugglery-specious enough for the mo-
ment- with the word "good"; forceful "struggle-for-life" qualities
substituted for spiritual, for ethical. And yet to doubt that the world
would-and does- respond sympathetically to the finer elements so
abundant in Israel, is not to despair of the world, of humanity? In
such a world, what guarantee against the pillage of the third Temple?
And in such a world were life worth living at all? And, even with
Palestine for ultimate goal, do you counsel delay, a nursing of the
Zionist flame, a gradual education and preparation of the race for a
great conscious historic role in the world's future, a forty years'
wandering in the wilderness to organise or kill off the miscellaneous
rabble-then will you, dreamer, turn a deaf ear to the cry of millions
oppressed to-day? Would you ignore the appeals of these hundreds
of telegrams, of these thousands of petitions with myriads of signa-
tures, for the sake of some visionary perfection of to-morrow? Nay,
nay the cartoon of the Congress shall bring itself to pass. Against
the picturesque wailers at the ruins of the Temple wall shall be set
the no less picturesque peasants sowing the seed, whose harvest is
at once waving grain and a regenerated Israel. The stains of sordid
traffic shall be cleansed by the dew and the rains. In the Jewish
peasant behold the ideal plebeian of the future; a son of the soil,
yet also a son of the spirit. And what fair floriage of art and litera-
ture may not the world gain from this great purified nation, carrying
in its bosom the experience of the ages?
Not all his own ideas, these; some perhaps only half-consciously
present to him, so that even in this very Congress the note of
jealousy is heard, the claim of an earlier prophet insisted on fiercely.
For a moment the dignified assembly becomes a prey to atavism,
reproduces the sordid squabbles of the Kahal. As if every movement
was not fed by the subterranean fires, heralded by obscure rumblings,
though 'tis only the earthquake or the volcanic jet which leaps into
But the President is finely impersonal. Not he, but the Congress.
The Bulgarians have a tradition that the Messiah will be born on
August 29th. He shares this belief. To-day the Messiah has been born-
the Congress. "In this Congress we procure for the Jewish people
an organ which till now it did not possess, and of which it was so
sadly in want. Our cause is too great for the ambition and wilfulness
of a single person. It must be lifted up to something impersonal if it
is to succeed. And our Congress shall be lasting, not only until we
are redeemed from the old state, but still more so afterwards...
serious and lofty, a blessing for the unfortunate, noxious to none,
to the honour of all Jews, and worthy of the past, the glory of which
is far off but everlasting."
And as he steps from the tribune, amid the roar of "Hoch," and
the thunder of hands and feet and sticks, and the flutter of hand-
kerchiefs, with men precipitating themselves to kiss his hand, and
others weeping and embracing, be sure that no private ambition
possesses him, be sure that his heart swells only with the presenti-
ment of great events and with uplifting thoughts of the millions
who will thrill to the distant echo of this sublime moment.
What European parliament could glow with such a galaxy of
intellect? Is not each man a born orator, master of arts or sciences?
Has not the very caftan-Jew from the Carpathians published his
poetry and his philosophy, gallantly championing "The Master of
the Name" against a Darwinian world? Heine had figured the Jew
as a dog, that at the advent of the Princess Sabbath is changed back
to a man. More potent than the Princess, the Congress has shown
the Jew's manhood to the world. That old painter, whose famous
Dance of Death drew for centuries the curious to Basle, could not
picture the Jew save as the gaberdined miser, only dropping his
money-bag at Death's touch. Well, here is another sight for him--
could Death, that took him too, bring him back for a moment-these
scholars, thinkers, poets, from all the lands of the Exile, who stand
up in honour of the dead pioneers of Zionism, and, raising their right
hands to heaven, cry, "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right
hand forget its cunning!" Yes, the dream still stirs at the heart of
the mummied race, the fire quenched two thousand years ago sleeps
yet in the ashes. And if our President forgets that the vast bulk of
his brethren are unrepresented in his Congress, that they are con-
tent with the civic rights so painfully won, and have quite other con-
ceptions of their creed's future, who will grudge him this moment
of fine rapture?
Or, when at night, in the students' Kommers, with joyful weeping
and with brotherly kisses, sages and greybeards join in the gaudeamus
igitur, who shall deny him grounds for his faith that juvenes swmus
yet, that the carking centuries have had no power over our immortal
nation? "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety."
The world in which prophecies are uttered cannot be the world in
which prophecies are fulfilled. And yet when-at the wind-up of this
memorable meeting-the Rabbi of Basle, in the black skull-cap of
sanctity, ascending the tribune amid the deafening applause of a
catholic Congress, expresses the fears of the faithful, lest in the
new Jewish State the religious Jew be under a ban; and when the
President gravely gives the assurance, amid enthusiasm as frantic,
that Judaism has nothing to fear-Judaism, the one cause and con-
solation of the ages of isolation and martyrdom,-does no sense of the
irony of history intrude upon his exalted mood?
AROUND THE CONGRESS
By BERTHOLD FEIWEL
TIRRED by earnest thoughts, our hearts filled by joyful ex-
pectation we travel towards Basle. The journey is an excellent
introduction to the Congress. It is a Congress in a railway
carriage, one improvised by chance-a Congress in miniature. We
started looking for Zionists as soon as we started out, and we
had soon discovered one. When we left we were only a small
company, but by the time we had arrived we had become a con-
siderable gathering. What joy there was when we found a "Basler"
and made each other's acquaintance. There were hearty, brotherly
handshakes and then we got to know each other. Most of the
travellers had heard of each other, either through mutual friends
or through the pages of our journals. Within a few minutes their
common Zionist conviction turned everybody into friends as
though of years' standing. What did we speak about? The things
that Zionists always talk about when they meet. Congress, of
course, was the main subject... We did not want to betray how
tensely and hopefully we regarded it. Then the conversation flowed
freely: how things stand here and there; what has been done and
what is still to be done. There is so much to relate. All possible
languages are heard, but we all understand one another, for all
the languages contain the same word: Zion. The time passes so
quickly that we can hardly believe it. Outside everything gleams
wonderfully in the evening sun. A consecrated atmosphere seems
to lie over the Alpine landscape, and something of it seems to enter
into our hearts. And so we travel to Congress.
The entrance ticket to Congress is much coveted. The people of
Basle apply days beforehand. Even the day before Congress people.
crowded the office, applying for tickets. University professors, stud-
ents from Basle and Zurich, many ladies including a number of
girl students were among the audience, Jews and non-Jews. Tickets
were distributed as long as there were any. The Office placed some
of the visitors down below in the hall, where there was still a little
room available. Many had to be sent away and fed with hopes of
tickets for the afternoon, for tomorrow or the day after. There is
sometimes even a small fight when someone goes away for a minute
and finds upon his return that someone else has stolen his seat in
the meantime. Our students put things right immediately.
The gallery is filled long before the session begins. In the first
row sit the women and the girls and the elderly ones from among
the inhabitants. They look down curiously into the hall. A Jewish
gathering! What will there be to see and hear? Have some of
them come prepared to laugh? The session opens. They look down
excitedly and listen attentively. They hear the great speeches of
the day. Stormy applause breaks out; waves of enthusiasm fill
the hall. Those up above are dragged along by the enthusiasm.
They join in the lively applause and the girls wave their scarves.
The President has no fault to find with this demonstration from
above. A narrow bond seems to connect the members of the Con-
gress and the audience. If they had not been physically divided
one from the other it would have been difficult to distinguish them.
Hall and gallery both follow with a wonderful perseverance the
often difficult business of the Congress. They are untired by the
great number of speakers who follow each other. The gallery -
that is the symbol of sincerity and loyalty, of the complete frank-
ness of Zionism. Zionism has well withstood its first test of public
The audience in the gallery told the rest of Basle what they had
heard. They could only have related good things. On the second
day, new people came who wanted to hear what was going on in
the hall. For a little while they wanted to attend, for an hour.
We let them into the hall. They had to stand. When we looked
back a couple of hours later they were still standing in the same
places. They gave our hands a friendly squeeze. By that pressure
we knew that they understood us.
The students represent a very small, but very noticeble group
among the participants at the Congress. When you see them or
talk to them you know how the Congresses of the future will look.
There are students here from Vienna and Moravia, from Galicia
and Russia, from France and Germany. Each of them has already
been active as a Zionist, and a great enthusiasm fills them all.
In Basle they work with all their energy. They do things with
enthusiasm, especially the Austrians, in whom one immediately
notices the familiarity with the arrangements for the meetings.
Quickly and gladly they carry out every little service which may
be necessary, so that everything should work smoothly. And every-
thing does work smoothly. The students from France attract one
by their worldly charm; those from Russia by their deep soulful-
ness and wide understanding; the Austrian by their smartness and
routine in organisation. In-the Congress, of course, they are all
merely modest youngsters who obey the masters up there on the
stage. But when they get home they will carry the gospel of the
Congress into the towns and villages of their own countries. The
students are preparing themselves wisely for this future publicity
of the lessons of the Congress. They have bound themselves together
at the Congress and have formed a Union of Zionist Students of
all countries. We shall soon see how valuable this fraternal meeting
of our young people was in Basle.
THE BASLE PRESS
Switzerland is the land of congresses. Hardly a week passes with-
out some international gathering taking place here. A congress is
not news in this hospitable country. But a congress of Jews! The
country had never heard of that before. At the beginning they must
have had the most wonderful conception about the aims and pur-
poses of our meeting, these honest Swiss. But they soon heard
more of the matter. A few days before the Congress opened, the
press of Basle busied itself with our aims and purposes. The papers
are so well-informed that one is astonished. When one reads the
lines they devote to Zionism one is filled with a feeling of joy.
These are serious papers which we have here in our hands. The
articles are quite factual, not too extravagant in their sympathies
but free from any hate. For their final judgement they wait until
they have seen the Congress. Only a few papers make an exception
to this rule. One paper received us with a scornful poem and closed
with the words: "To Jerusalem, whether sooner or later. May Zion
be yours, we wish you a good journey." Should we wonder about
that? Should we complain that the evil has followed us up into
the mountains? We should rather thank those others who under-
stand us a little and who have a little fellow-sympathy for our
sorrows... What the papers write about the Zionists only serves to
increase interest in the Congress. The booksellers have also seized
their chance. Long rows of "The Jewish State" stand in their shop
windows. That is a written invitation to the inhabitants of Basle
to interest themselves in us. And the people of Basle follow the
call, partly out of curiosity, and partly out of a desire to learn.
TABLES AND BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES
SURVIVORS OF THOSE PRESENT AT THE FIRST ZIONIST CONGRESS
Prof. ZVI G. BELKOWSKY, Tel Aviv
Dr. MARCUS BRAUDE, Jerusalem
Dr. MAYER EBNER, Tel Aviv
Chief Rabbi Dr. MARCUS EHRENPREIS, Stockholm
Mrs. ERNESTINA EHRENPREIS, Stockholm
Dr. DAVID FARBSTEIN, Zurich
HASCHEL J. FARBSTEIN, Jerusalem
LEIB JAFFE, Jerusalem
Rabbi Dr. ARON KAMINKA, Tel Aviv
Prof. Dr. JOSEPH KLAUSNER, Jerusalem
Prof. Dr. HEINRICH LOWE, Tel Aviv
IZCHAK MIRKIN, Paris
Dr. ISIDOR SCHALIT, Tel Aviv
Mrs. MARIA MENDELSOHN-SOKOLOW, London
Prof. ABRAHAM S. YAHUDA, New York
LIST OF THOSE PRESENT AT THE FIRST ZIONIST CONGRESS
Dr. D. Alcalay, Belgrade
Mrs. Alcalay, Belgrade
L. Amtschislawsky, Elisabethgrad
R. Asarch, Zurich
E. Attali, Constantine
I. Bahar, Paris,
Mrs. Blanche Bahar, Paris
W. Bambus, Berlin
M. Banyas, Tolna
B. Baribasch, Brussels
F. Beer, Paris
Prof. Zvi G. Belkowsky, Sofia
H. Benjaminowicz, Korobikow
I. L. Berger, Pinsk
Dr. M. Berkowitz, Vienna
Dr. J. Bernstein-Kohan, Kishinew
H. Birkenstein, Frankfurt a. M.
Dr. N. Birnbaum, Vienna
Dr. E. Blumenfeld, Jaroslav
Dr. M. J. Bodenheimer, Cologne
I. Buchmil, Montpellier
R. Brainin, Berlin
M. Braude, Freiburg
R. A. Braudes, Vienna
S. Bromberg, Tarnov
Dr. Z. Bychowski, Warsaw
J. Caleb, Sofia
Gustav G. Cohen, Hamburg
J. Cowen, London
I. Davidsohn, Bartfeldt
E. Davidson, Berlin
A. Donreich, Vienna
S. Drujan, Basle
Dr. M. Ebner, Czernovitz
Dr. IM. Eh'renpreis, Diakovar
Mrs. Ehrenpreis, Diakovar
I. Eljaschoff, Berlin
B. Epstein, Heidelberg
Dr. D. Farbstein, Zurich
H. Farbstein, Warsaw
H. Feinlberg, Basle
B. Feiwel, Brno
Dr. B. Fernhof, Buczacz
N. Finkelstein, Brest-Litovsk
E. Fried, Vienna
Lazarus Friedmann, Mayence
Leon Friedmann, Mayence.
M. Gelis, Berne
A. Ginzbe-rg (Achad Haam), Odessa
A. Ginsburg, Liverpool
G. S. Gitelewitz, Mariapol
Mrs. S. Gitelewitz, (Mariapol
Dr. I. Gleisner, Jamn-itz
I. Goitein, Frankfurt a. M.
I. L. Goldberg, Vilna
'W. Gross, Jaffa
Dr. S. Gruen, Vienna
B. Guenzburg, Welisch
I. de Haas, London
A. Hausmann, Lemberg
P. Heinrich, Heidelberg
C. Herbst, Sofia
Dr. Th. Herzl, Vienna
Miss Klara Hirschensohn, Jassy
I. Hirs-chensohn. Jassy
L. Horodischz, Brest-Litovs.k
L. Huppert, Friedeck
M. Jacobsohn, Basle
L. Jaffe, Heidelberg
A. S. Jahuda, Jerusalem
I. Jasinowsky, Warsaw
M. Ibidrichim, Petersburg
I. Jelna, Mohilev
E. Ish-Kishor, London
Markus Kahan, Homel
Dr. A. Kaminka, Esseg
E. M. Kann, The Hague
J. H. Kann, The Hague
J. Katzenelsohn, Bobruisk
B. Katzmann, Montpellier
J. Klausner, Heidelberg
Dr. N. Klugmann, Vienna
S. Kohn, Brno
N. Kopelowitz, Homel
A. Korkis, Lemberg
Dr. M. Kornblueh, Freistadt
Mrs. Kornblueh, Freistadt
H. Korobkoff, Mstislavl
M. Kramer, Misslitz
B. Kraus, Friedeck
J. Kremenetzki, Vienna
L. Kunin, Berne
E. Lamm, Berlin
Dr. S. R. Laudau, Vienna
I. Lazarus, Fiume
Mrs. S. Lewiasch, Berne
Dr. K. Lippe, Jassy
Dr. H. Loewe, Jaffa
M. Losinsky, Bobruisk
G. Lourie, Pinsk
S. Lourie, Pinsk
A. Lulbarsky, Oddessa
S. Lublinsky, Berlin
A. Ludwipol, Paris
Dr. I. Lurie, Warsaw
Dr. D. Malz, Lemberg
Dr. S. Mandelkern, Leipzig
Dr. M. Mandelstamm, Kiev
B. Margulies, Bucharest
A. Markus, Podgorze
Mrs. B. Markits, Merano
T. Markus, Merano
0. Marmaorek, Vienna
I. Massel, Manchester
I. Melnik, Heidelberg
Dr. A. Mintz, Vienna
I. Mirkin, Montpellier
J. Mohilewer, Bialystok
H. (Mordkowitsch, Rowno
M. Moses, Katovice
L. Motzkin, Berlin
A. Munk, Vienna
Dr. D. Neumark, Rakovitz
A. Neuschul, Vilna
Dr. M. Nordau, Paris
M. Orschansky, Charkov
M. Padua, Paris
A. Perlis, Vilna
S. Pewsner, Berlin
L. Picker, Czernovitz
J. Pickard, Basle
M. Pikarski, Vienna
S. Pineles, Galatz
Dr. S. Poznanski, Warsaw
M. Rabinovitz (Ben-Ami), Odessa
S. P. Rabinovitz, Poltava
N. Rasppoport, Smolensk
Miss M. Reinus, Zurich
L. Rosenthal, Bialystok
I. A. Rivkin, Heidelberg
Dr. I. Ronal, Balaszfalva
S. Rosen'baum, Minsk
S. Rosenbaum, Vienna
A. Rosenberg, New York
I. Rosenblum, Darmstadt
Dr. S. Rosenhek, Kolomea
S. B. Rubinstein, London
A. Sachs, Dvinsk
S. I. Sachs, Dvinsk
B. Safrin, Monasterzyska
Dr. A. Salz, Tarnov
F. Schach, Cologne
Dr. S. Schaffer, Baltimore
Dr. I. Schalit, Vienna