Page:The Bohemian Review, vol1, 1917.djvu/130

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the spirit of La Garde, von Hartmann, Mommsen, Treitschke.

In this extremity the Bohemian people can no longer keep silence.

A foreign committee has been formed of Bohemians living beyond the boundaries of their native country, aiming to inform the world of the real facts, to interpret to the statesmen, political leaders and journalists of the Allies and the neutral states the desire of the Bohemian people, and to champion the Bohemian program. All Bohemian political parties have up to this time been fighting for a qualified independence within the limits of Austria-Hungary. But the events of this terrible war and the reckless violence of Vienna constrain us to claim independence without regard to Austria-Hungary.

We ask for an independent Czecho-Slovak State.

The Bohemian people are now convinced that they must strike out for themselves. Austria was defeated not only by Russia, but by the little, despised Serbia, and is now a dependency of Germany. Today Berlin has galvanized this corpse, but it is the last effort. Austria-Hungary has abdicated. We have lost all confidence in its vitality; it has no longer any reason for existence. By its incapacity, by its voluntary subordination to Germany it has convinced the whole world that the former belief in the mission of Austria is out of date, forever overthrown by the European war. Those who defended the usefulness, even the necessity of Austria-Hungary, and at one time the great Bohemian historian and Statesman Palacky was one of them, thought of Austria as a federal system of nations and lands with equal rights. But Austria-Hungary as a dualistic monster became the oppressor of all who were not Germans or Magyars. It is a standing threat to the peace of Europe, a mere tool of Germany seeking conquest in the East, a state having no destiny of its own, unable to construct an organic state composed of a number of equal, free, progressive races. The dynasty, living in its traditions of absolutism, manages to maintain the semblance of the former world power through the undemocratic co-operation of a sterile nobility, a bureaucracy that belongs to no race and a body of army officers that is against every race.

No one doubts any longer that Austria-Hungary had no justification in the Sarajevo murders for its attack on Serbia; Vienna and Budapest merely carried out their anti-Slavic plans, which came out so shamelessly in the political trials of a number of Serbians. In these trials of Southern Slavs Vienna and Budapest were not ashamed to use documents forged by the Austro-Hungarian legation. War is merely the culmination of this lying policy of Vienna and Budapest. Falsehood is now followed by vindictiveness and cruelty almost barbarous toward all non-German and non-Magyar peoples.

Germany shares the guilt of Austria-Hungary. It had the power and it was its duty to civilization and humanity to prevent the war, but it chose to profit by the imperialistic frivolities of the Viennese adventurers.

Austro-Hungary and Germany, with their Turkish ally, are fighting for a cause that is evil and already lost.

Bohemian (Czech) Foreign Committee:

Prof. Dr. T. G. Masaryk, deputy, former member of the delegations, chairman of the Independent Czech Deputies Club from Bohemia and Moravia in Austrian Parliament.

Jos. Durich, deputy, president of the “Komenský” Society for the support of Czech schools in Vienna.

B. Čermák, president Union of Czechoslovak Societies in Russia, Petrograd.

Bohdan Pavlů, editor Czechoslovak, Petrograd, Russia.

Francois Kupka, president Czech National Alliance in France, Paris.

Dr. Leo Sychrava, editor Československá Samostatnost, Geneva, Switzerland.

J. Sýkora, president Czech National Alliance in Great Britain, London.

Executive of the Czechs and Slovaks in United States and Canada:

Bohemian National Alliance of America: (National Office, Chicago) Dr. L. J. Fisher, president.

Joseph Tvrzicky-Kramer, secretary.

Vojta Beneš, organizer.

Charles Pergler, LLB., author and lawyer, Cresco, Ia.

Slovak League in America: National Office, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Albert Mamatey, pres.

Ivan Daxner, secretary.