Page:The Bohemian Review, vol1, 1917.djvu/59

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
The Bohemian Review

Both Professor Masaryk, leader of the movement for Bohemian independence, and the officers of the Bohemian National Alliance in Chicago sent long cablegrams to the members of the provisional Russian government, expressing the joy felt by Bohemians over the good fortune of the Russian people.

A cordial acknowledgment has been received from Minister Miljukov.


In the series of Allied Bazaars, held in several of the large cities of the United States, Bohemians together with the Slovaks have participated with much enthusiasm. They were eager to enroll the Czechoslovak people on the side of the Entente and at the same time get money to be sent to Bohemian volunteers in the Allied armies and to their dependents. Incidentally the bazaars indirectly advised the people of Bohemia as to the work carried on by their kin across the seas. No direct news of the “treasonable” propaganda aimed against the integrity of the, Hapsburg Empire can be printed anywhere within the monarchy. But the “Muenchener Neueste Nachrichten” published in its correspondence from America a statement that Czechs in the United States are absolutely on the side of the Entente, and for proof it cited among other things their official participation in the Chicago Allied Bazaar. Bohemian news papers were permitted to quote this news item, and the Czech people were made aware once more of the work done in their interest by exiles.

The latest of these bazaars was held in Baltimore, in the middle of March. In that city there are some ten thousand people born in Bohemia or born in America of Bohemian parents. Together with the Slovaks they were allotted a booth at the bazaar and the honor of a special day. They went to work with a will, and they succeeded in making an impression on Baltimore. “České koláče” or Bohemian cakes were extremely popular throughout the bazaar and greatly impressed the reporter who described wittily the Bohemian day in the Baltimore “Sun”.

Chairman of the Bohemian booth at the Baltimore Allied Bazaar was Dr. J. J . Toula, an energetic worker in the ranks of the Bohemian National Alliance.


Before the war no one acquainted with the Bohemian people in this country would have believed the assertion that a hundred thousand dollars could be collected by them in a few months for any purpose, however worthy. Constant complaints were made by Bohemian journalists, public speakers, preachers and others that the Bohemian immigrant in America adopted for his working philosophy materialism pure and simple, that all he is interested in is to make money, buy a house, put away a few mortgages, that nothing can move him except self-interest. Seven years ago a campaign was under taken to collect a million pennies as a gift of Czechs in America for the support of Bohemian common schools in Bohemian and Moravian towns controlled by the Germans. Although most of the Bohemian publications in this country supported this campaign, it took more than a year to collect ten thousand dollars from half a million people.

What a contrast is presented by the record of the past three months. Bazaars in three cities alone netted about ninety thousand dollars. Reference was made in a previous issue to the fair of the Czechs in New York, held before Christmas, the proceeds of which amounted to $23,000. Chicago, jealous of its primacy among the Bohemian settlements in America, made a determined effort to beat that figure, and in an eight-day bazaar held in the first days of March earned a sum which is at present estimated at $40,000. Of course, Chicago should have done still better compared to New York, be cause nearly three times as many Bohemians live in Chicago as in New York. Chicago workers urge several good reasons, why they did not make at least seventy thousand, the chief reason being that they could not get a hall large enough to admit all who came to spend money.

But after all Cleveland is entitled to the place of honor among the rival “Bohemian” cities of the United States. Its Bohemian speaking population is about as large as that of New York, but is more scattered and the hall they had to use for their fair, which was held in the middle of March, was very unsatisfactory. Yet they beat New York by a fair margin, the net proceeds being according to the latest figures over thirty thousand.

This does not express the full measure of cheerful giving which has been such a remarkable feature in the life of Bohemian immigrants in America during the last two years. The few hundred Czechs in San Francisco with their three thousand dollar bazaar still hold the record for generosity among the many similar undertakings of the past winter. And the little Czech colony in Boston, numbering about fifty families and having to its credit gifts exceeding five thousand dollars, demonstrates clearly the new discovery that the Bohemian immigrant in his chase after the dollar has not lost all ideals and that he is still capable of self-sacrifice.


In England and France, in Russia and Italy, leaders of public opinion have arrived at much more definite conclusions with reference to the coming reconstruction of Europe, than have their colleagues in the United States. Metropolitan journals of the Allied countries realize that Austria, which has for centuries taken up so much space on the maps of Europe, is doomed, and they pay much attention to the new states which will appear on the future map of Europe, chief of them being Bohemia. In America the big dailies moulding the public opinion of the nation have not looked so far ahead; at most they accept Poland as a coming state, but Bohemia and Jugoslavia have not yet entered within the range of their vision.

Now that the United States is about to join the Allies and consequently will have a voice at the peace conference, it ought to make up its mind as to what concrete changes it will favor in the reor-