Page:Jews in the Czecho-Slovak State.pdf/7

This page has been validated.

Moreover, Jews in Bohemia always enjoyed equal privileges—equal rights.

By far the best indication of the treatment of the Jews by a government or a nation is their own attitude toward that government or nation. The majority of Jews of Bohemia always were and are now good Bohemian patriots, loving Bohemia and the Bohemian people.

Thus Oesterreich, who changed his German-sounding name to its Bohemian equivalent, Rakous, wrote treatises of passionate love on Bohemia and the Bohemian people. Besides him there were many others like Lederer, Lustig, Kohn, Nebesky (1848), etc., etc. Among prominent educators I might mention Prof. Veleminsky, whom we count among our personal friends, having gotten acquainted with him when he toured the United States visiting and studying American schools shortly before the war.

Many Jews were prominent in the political life of Bohemia. Josef Stransky, now minister of commerce, one of the most courageous leaders of revolt against Austria-Hungary, L. Winter, now minister of public welfare, social democrat, Meisner, prominent socialist writer, Langer and many others.

Czechs never stood in the way of the Jewish free development in Bohemia. Jews taught in Bohemian schools, sat in city councils and banks, headed big industrial enterprises (Bondys, Fischls, Morawetz, etc., etc.), in brief, were just as much a part of the Bohemian cultural and industrial life as the Czechs themselves.

The well-known Hilsner incident in which Prof. Masaryk became prominent, was engineered by reactionaries, while the nation stood solidly behind Masaryk against the intolerable superstition of ritual murder.

We might say considerably more showing that the Czechs always were lovers of democracy and equality which they practiced as well as preached. The Jews were best treated in Bohemia even in the Middle Ages and the Jewish colony of Prague is the oldest in Europe, the famous Jewish cemetery being one of the most remarkable antiquities that city boasts of.

For brevity's sake, however, we shall end here fully convinced that the above facts are enough to convince any open-minded man or woman of any creed or nationality.

We wish to state this, however, that it was and is now the aim of the Czechoslovaks to make use of the special commercial and financial abilities of their Jewish citizens in building up the economic strength of the young republic and that therefore there cannot be any talk of prejudice or injustice to Jews in Bohemia, and that only malicious and avowed enemies of the freed Czechoslovakia can spread such untruths with view of injuring the enviable harmony and concord that reigns in it.

January 1, 1919, Chicago, Ill., 3734 W. 26th st.