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Passports, Profiteers, Police. A Swiss War Secret
From 29th November 2019 at the Gallery, Petersgraben 31
The exhibition «Passports, Profiteers, Police: A Swiss War Secret» tells the story of an underground rescue network in Switzerland which provided thousands of Jews Latin American passports to escape from Germany and its occupied territories.
The permanent exhibition uses objects to narrate two thousand years’ worth of Jewish history and present, navigating the intersections of religion, migration and emancipation. What is Judaism? In four rooms and with six (Video-)Guides, the Museum narrates Jewish life from different perspectives — from the everyday to the High Holy Days — in the past and in the present, with Jewish Switzerland as a focal point.
In 1897, Theodor Herzl convened a Congress in Basel, during which he introduced his idea of a «Jewish State.» With our online exhibition, we show the development of his vision through objects, which include items in the Jewish Museum’s permanent collection. Herzl was not alive to see the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948, but he nevertheless numbers among its spiritual founders, and even today his legacy remains: His countenance decorates banknotes and stamps; his name is inscribed in Israel’s geography (Herzlia, Mount Herzl).
What does the younger generation believe in? What role does religion play for twelve- and thirteen-year-olds, who have grown up in Basel in spiritually and aesthetically intercultural families? Together with school classes, Objects of Faith — which in the German both means «objects of faith» and «matters of faith» — examines religious diversity as both an opportunity and a challenge in today’s society.