The Czechoslovak Review/Volume 2/Congress of Slav women

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3418205The Bohemian Review, volume 2, no. 7 — Congress of Slav women1918


(From the Prague “Národní Listy”, May 18, 1918.)

Yesterday at 4 P. M . a great meeting was held at the Prague Representation House, attended by several hundred delegates of Czech Women’s Societies. There were delegates present from Bohemia Moravia, Silesia, Lower Austria, and there were many guests, Slovenian, Croatian, Serbian, Polish and Slovak women. In addition there was present a delegation of eight Italian women. The memorable congress of Slav women was opened by Miloslava Sis. Following ladies were then called to the platform as vicepresidents of the Congress Mrs. Tavčar of Lubljana, Dr. Milena Gavrančič for Croatian women, Mrs. Jelena Cuk for Serbian women, Karl a Modicova for the Slovenian women, Mrs. Hana Orszok Hviezdoslav for Hungarian Slovakland, Mrs. Gabriella Preiss and Mrs. Ludmila Konečná. Italian women were represented on the platform by Luisa Giacomuzzi Marinelli.

The president announced first the message of the Polish delegation whose representative, Mrs. Sophia Mereczewska of Cracow, had to leave the preceding evening, after common procedure had been agreed upon at a private meeting for the Czechs, Poles and Jugoslavs.

The first speaker was Mrs. V. Kunětická, the first women legislator in Central Europe, whose address was punctuated by frequent storms of applause; after her spoke in a temperamental manner Miss Cilka Krek. Mrs. Ljuba Ivikovich spoke for Croatian women, Mrs. Jelena Čech for Serbian, Karka Modicova for Slovenian. The Jugoslav speakers were answered by the following Czech ladies: Dr. Zděnka Haškova, Miss Marie Gebauer, Mrs. Pavla Moudrá, Frances Plamínek, Mrs. El. Purkyně and Miss E. Mach. The address of the Slovak representative, Štefana Burjan of Lipt. Rožumberk, was received with great enthusiasm.

The deepest impression was made by the speech of the Italian delegate, Luisa Giacomuzzi Marinelli. After she finished, a great ovation was offered to her and the other Italian women. All the speeches were pervaded by the spirit of oppressed Slav peoples. At the close of the Congress the following resolutions were adopted:

“We, Czechoslovak, Jugoslav and Polish women, met during these memorable days that we might, upon the occasion of celebrating the laying of the corner stone for the National Theatre of Bohemia, an event of not merely cultural, but national importance, strengthen our racial consciousness, Slav reciprocity and co-operation. In 1868, when foundations were laid for the theatre, the Czech nation fought against an imposed centralizing constitution and issued its first declaration of state rights. Today, after fifty years, under far more difficult conditions, in the midst of a bloody war in which its fate will be decided, it has the courage to demand more: complete independence not only of the Kingdom of Bohemia, but of all Slav nations, of all oppressed peoples.

This demand, we , Slav women, endorse; today at this reunion, we repeat it: We demand freedom that will secure for all times liberty and independence to subjugated nations and peace to all humanity; we demand freedom for all. We demand freedom for which Slav men fight on all battlefields, scattered, but united in spirit and truth. We demand freedom for which Slav women and mothers have suffered so much.

In the name of this common suffering we are today in the name of all Slav women asking for peace that would bring freedom and the right of self-determination to all nations. We declare that we will work together with Slav men for the achievement of this aim, the only aim worthy of the blood spilled in these terrible wars, the only aim worthy of our sufferings.

Having regard to the true wellfare of Slav nations, we declare it to be our desire and our firm will that the freedom of Slav nations, once attained, shall not be marred by external or internal oppression, either of the nation or of the individual. We want to labor not merely for external, but also for internal liberation. We want the Slavs to be what best answers to their true nature, namely democratic nations. We want their political institutions founded upon the widest social justice and equality for all.

We believe that we work will be facilitated and hastened, if we stand together as far as the diversity of national problems permits. We declare it necessary that a firm and permanent organization of Slav women be formed through which they would communicate to each other their various experiences. We look upon this congress of Slav women as the first step toward the formation of such a permanent organization of Slav women, and as a pledge of fidelity in work and battle for the better future of Slav mothers and their children, as a solemn clasp of hands by which we unite, regardless of national, partisan or social differences, in a true alliance for good or evil.”

This work was published before January 1, 1929 and is anonymous or pseudonymous due to unknown authorship. It is in the public domain in the United States as well as countries and areas where the copyright terms of anonymous or pseudonymous works are 95 years or less since publication.

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