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Herzl in Basel

A century ago, Frankfurt's sizeable Jewish community, a center for the Reform movement, declined to host a meeting of Zionists led by Theodor Herzl.

Herzl then turned to Switzerland, where the First Zionist Congress gathered in Basel in August of 1897 and launched the movement that eventually culminated in the creation of a Jewish state in Israel. The congress was remembered this summer with concerts of Israeli and klezmer music, a new play starring Maximilian Schell as Herzl and an exhibition by Art Spiegelman of Maus fame. More events are planned through 1998.

Herzl was born in Budapest, but lived and wrote in Vienna where the Jewish community flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (after a millennium of persecution). Today, Vienna's four-year-old Jewish Museum presents a holographic history of the community amid thousands of Jewish artifacts. From Nov. 7 through Jan. 18, the museum will display the work of Max Liebermann, the Jewish Impressionist who painted denizens of beer gardens and cafes.

Follow the footsteps of famous Viennese Jews like Sigmund Freud and Franz Kafka on three walking tours--"Jewish Vienna Rediscovered," "Jewish Vienna Past and Present" and "Sigmund Freud and Turn-of-the-Century Vienna." Dates can be found in the monthly brochure Vienna Walks, available from the Austrian National Tourist Office.