Page:The Bohemian Review, vol1, 1917.djvu/168

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guage, passed the following resolution at its thirteenth annual convention at Saratoga, Iowa, September 11th: “We gladly recognize the sincere efforts of the Bohemian National Alliance for the liberation of our native land and express to the officers of the Alliance our full confidence and appreciation. We call upon our brethren in all the churches to stand faithfully by this movement and give it even larger support than has been done heretofore. Upon general request we establish hereby the Liberty Guard of the American Czecho-Slovak Protestants for the purpose of gaining the sympathies of our American and English brothers in faith for the freedom and independence of the Czechoslovak nation.—Rev. Joseph Břeň, D. D., Rev. Václav Vaněk, D. D., M. Votava.”

From Moravia comes the report that at the pastoral conference of ministers of the Reformed Church, held in Brno in June, the appeal of the Bohemian authors to the deputies urging them to be firm was enthusiastically endorsed. At the same time the desire was expressed for the dissolution of the existing Reformed Church of Austria and the constituting of a national Czechoslovak evangelical church. This movement for church independence is a corollary to the movement for political independence.


Signs are multiplying that the cause of Czecho-slovak independence is making friends in the United States. One of the most encouraging events of the Campaign is the almost simultaneous appearance of several sympathetic articles in the large American magazines.

The September issue of the North American Review, the great monthly of which Col. Harvey is editor, has a discussion of “Bohemia, the Submerged Front”, by Stephen Bonsal, author and war correspondent. Mr. Bonsal speaks of the Bohemians from personal knowledge; he has visited Bohemia several times, the last time being in 1915, and he also is acquainted with the movement for independence going on in America and the Allied countries.

He gives credit to people of Bohemian birth in this country for the zeal with which they came forward to fight, when war was declared, and approves of the determination of all Czechs and Slovaks to accept nothing less than full political independence. What has pleased the Bohemian readers of Mr. Bonsal’s article the most, is this: “One feels drawn towards the Bohemians for their idealistic point of view. They are perfectly familiar with the econoic wrongs and the exactions which their country has suffered at the hands of the Austrians, but always subordinate these injuries to the threatened loss of the language and the nationality which they hold so dear.”

William Hard writes in the October Metropolitan on “The Case of Austria-Hungary”. It is a powerful argument for the dissolution of the dual monarchy. As he expresses it the dismemberment of the Habsburg monarchy would not be dismemberment, but jail delivery. And he demonstrates from recent history of the Jugo-Slavs and the Czecho-slovaks that Austria deserves no better fate than total disappearance. America should heed the following forceful point:

“If you add together the population of the non-German and non-Magyar territories within the boundaries of the Central Powers, you get a total of approximately forty million. The Germans and Magyars together number approximately eighty million. That is, the non-Germans and the non-Magyars add fifty per cent to the military power of German and Magyar aggression. And the compulsory inclusion of these non-Germans and non-Magyars in this war is today the world’s supreme terror and horror.”

The September Chamberlin’s, a Chicago magazine edited by Henry Barrett Chamberlin, publishes an interesting account of the Bohemian freedom movement from the Chicago point of view, written by Albert J. Patton. Speaking of the large numbers of Czech volunteers from Chicago, Mr. Patton says: “Though they are the most loyal of Americans, is it not love of America, but hate of the Teuton that sends them into the trenches ahead of the American legions. For the Czechs have been fighting the Teutons since the year 630, and it has been a life and death battle nearly all the 1,300 years. Time and again the Teuton hosts have ridden over the Czechs, almost obliterating them. But time and again the Czechs have reconstructed themselves, and arising from subjugation have re-established themselves and their race. That is why the Chicago Bohemians are so eager for another crack at the Teuton—this time with the preponderance of weight on their own side and not on the side of the enemy.”

Guido Bruno writes in September Pearson’s on “The Czechs and their Bohemia.” Mr. Bruno was born in Prague, and though he has spent most of his life in America he has not forgotten the land of his birth. He summarizes the long struggle of Czechs to preserve their national existence and describes the high-handed treatment to which they have been subjected since the first days of the war. His story is illustrated by pen drawings of two Bohemian leaders, Kramář and Masaryk and a view of the Cathedral of St. Vitus.

Bohemian women’s societies adopted a resolution on August 5th claiming the right to be consulted during the existing crisis in the fortunes of the nation, but endorsing the radical demands made by the deputies. “”A Czechoslovak state, fully independent, is our supreme desire; to attain it we are ready to sacrifice all, believing that truth and right will prevail.”

Every issue of the Prague official organ publishes military court decisions ordering confiscation of property of Czech soldiers who deserted to the Russians.