The Czechoslovak Review/Volume 2/Hunger riots of Kladno

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3418211The Bohemian Review, volume 2, no. 7 — Hunger riots of Kladno1918


From the Vienna Arbeiter-Zeitung, May 30, 1918.

A sad picture of the condition of food supply in the center of Czech territory, showing how miserably the people there live and how they suffer with hunger, is uncovered by a monster process which was opened before the Prague Criminal Court on May 28th. In several of the steel mills of Kladno and neighborhood workmen went on strike at the end of April of this year. Their pay stopped, and the people had nothing to eat. At the beginning of May, when no one, the authorities least of all, was giving their condition a thought, riots broke out that spread rapidly into the neighborhood (two lines confiscated). In connection with that more than 300 persons, mostly women and children, were arrested. But in many places unfortunately the matter got further than arrests. People will remember that newspapers wrot eof the defense of a flour mill and the killing of a laborer and the wounding of two others by the miller.

The first group of the plunderers just came before the criminal court: eight men, that is to say one grown up man and seven boys from 14 to 18 years old, and 29 women and girls from 15 to 50 years of age. All can read and write, all have attended school; all live, as they stated on what they earn, and out of the wages they support large families. The fathers are mostly in the army, dead or missing. They were suddenly deprived of their pay, the children could not understand it, clamored for food, no on would help them, and so they went into the nearby flour mills to get something. When their lawyer asked them, whether they met with resistance, they said no; whether they employed force, again no. And why did they go to the flour mills? Because flour is eight crowns per kilogram (about 75 cents a pound) and even more. “Some of the men were armed with sticks and posts,” says the indictment.

About eighty defendants have been arraigned in the Prague divisional court, being soldiers on furlough or otherwise subject to the military law.

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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