Page:The Bohemians (Czechs) In The Present Crisis.djvu/10

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they were also fought for a religious and civic ideal, for communion in both kinds, and for the rights of the Czech language against the aggression of the Germans.

After the unfortunate battle of White Mountain, in 1620, thirty-six thousand Bohemian families left their native land, and lost their property by confiscation, rather than give up their religion, and what they conceived to be religious truth.

A nation of such character could not remain silent and was manifestly destined to take its place by the side of the Allied powers.

This position was also dictated by the instinct of national self-preservation.

This is a war of German imperialism, it is an attempt to carry out the German Drang nach Osten, and anything standing in the way of German imperialistic ambitions is destined to be destroyed if German ruling classes have their way.

Austria is nothing but a tool in this gigantic German gamble, the success of which would mean a destruction of small nationalities standing in the path of the German push toward the east.

It follows, therefore, that this war is not only one to reduce France to impotence, to destroy the British Empire, to thwart legitimate Russian ambitions, to destroy the Serbian nationality and to absorb Belgium, but it is also a war on the part of Germany and Austria against the Bohemian people, who have been the western sentinel of Slavdom for centuries.

Austria is warring now against her own people, and her own people are now demanding that Austria herself be destroyed; that Austria herself be wiped from the face of the globe.