Page:The Bohemian Review, vol1, 1917.djvu/189

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

The Bohemian Review

Jaroslav F. Smetanka, Editor, 2324 South Central Park Avenue, Chicago.
Published by the Bohemian Review Co., 2627 S. Ridgeway Ave., Chicago, Ill.

Vol. I, No. 10. DECEMBER 1917

10 cents a Copy
$1.00 per Year

Bohemians Welcome War on Austria.

It had to come. The President was sincerely anxious to avoid war on Austria-Hungary, as he had earnestly tried for two years to avoid war with Germany. All in vain. The rulers of Germany by their defiance of the conscience of the world and by their insidious attacks on America itself compelled Wilson to act. And now the rulers of Austria who in spite of the President’s forbearance, in spite of his implied invitation to break away from Germany, have sold their very souls to the German devilthese militarists and jingoes of Vienna and Budapest with their puppet emperor have finally convinced Woodrow Wilson that Austria-Hungary will be good only after it has been soundly licked.

Citizens of Bohemian birth welcome with boundless enthusiasm the decision of the President and its speedy ratification by congress. Possibly there is in their joy an admixture of the feeling of satisfaction, the “I told you so” feeling. President Wilson is an optimist in so far as his faith in human nature is concerned; he hopes against hope that the wicked will turn from their evil ways. We, who were brought up in Austria and know the Bourbons of Vienna who never change and never learn anything, we who know the pigheadedness and the over whelming conceit of the big generals and of the Magyar oligarchs, the real rulers of the empire, we could not share the President’s evident hope that Austria-Hungary might yet break away from Germany. Now we rejoice that th last chance of the present rulers to save their power is gone. The government of Austria-Hungary is now our enemy, and America will negotiate only with the representatives of the peoples of this empire.

It is worthy of notice that President Wilson speaks of the people of Germany, but of the peoples of Austria-Hungary. This slight grammatical distinction and a careful consideration of the whole tenor of his memorable message give comfort to the Bohemians who might otherwise be discouraged at the President’s words: “we do not wish in any way to impair or to re-arrange the Austro-Hungarian empire”. President Wilson does not say that he favors the preservation of the anomalous dynastic state; he merely refutes the idea that America fights for its dismemberment or for any other purpose except the freedom of every nation, large and small, to settle its own affairs. The President no doubt knows that with the pressure from above removed the peoples now subject to the Hapsburgs will choose to live under sovereignties far different from the present dual monarchy. When the Bohemians have a free choice, they will set up a Bohemian republic.

Declaration of war against Austria has, however, this effect on the lives of Bohemians in this country: those not naturalized will become technically alien enemies. In France, England, Canada, special measures have been taken by the authorities to except Bohemians (Czechs) from the restrictions applied to alien enemies. All the Allies have recognized the Bohemian people to be a friendly people. Let the United States government do likewise.