Page:The Bohemian Review, vol1, 1917.djvu/108

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were required to furnish larger quantities than their entire production amounted to, others had to furnish so much that there was practically nothing left for their own consumption. The prefect of that city after several protests that were ignored resigned. The official who is now in charge of the district prefecture said this: “I know that we are going to “win”. Everything is already cracking. If only it would crack first in Germany, for otherwise the Germans will break us in pieces.” All this I consider characteristic and expressive of the real spirit of the people.

“The schools are in a pitiable state. Hunger makes the children stupid. Everywhere I heard lamentations and saw tears, and nowhere did I see any proficiency. Even the best pupils are indolent. But one has almost to laugh upon seeing all that is excluded from any mention in instruction; so for example, in geography one does not learn anything about Russia, Serbia or England, but the teachers have orders to emphasize Germany, Austria and Turkey.

“An interesting detail. Germany has mobilized more than a hundred authors under the ministry of war with orders to write pangerman novels, dealing with events of the present war, to write articles for newspapers, to gather and edit documents that might be used to prove what a good thing the war has been for William, his dynasty and for all the Germans. This bureau is administered by Rudolf Herzog, formerly chief editor of the Hamburger Neueste Nachrichten and of the Berliner Neueste Nachrichten, and by Dr. Rod. Presber. The members of this bureau are not very pleased with their task. They try to give of their best, but look upon it as a favor, when they are sent out on a mission to influence public opinion of a neutral country. One of these propagandists was recently sent from Switzerland to Austria to gather observations and then write a novel on the topic of Mitteleuropa and the close union of Austria with Germany.”

The letter needs no commentary, says La Nation Tcheque. It describes admirably the spirit of the people in Bohemia, the terrible distress prevailing in Austria, the general despair and the great hopes of the Czecho-Slovak people.

Bohemians in Nebraska.

By Prof. Šárka B. Hrbkova, University of Nebraska

In this mixing bowl of nations it will require the most skillful alchemy to preserve the pure gold not alone of the native stock, but of the stranger within our gates. It is only fair and logical to know well the character of the constituents cast daily into the American melting pot.

In 1910 the total population of Nebraska was 1,192,214. In the same year, the population of foreign birth and foreign parentage amounted to 539,015, or almost one-half the total population.

Of this foreign population 62.810 or 13 per cent came directly from Austria or were born of parents coming from Austria. The question is, are all or nearly all of these “Austrians” from Bohemia? Of the 539,-392 Bohemians enumerated in the United States census in 1910, it is probably safe to say that one-eighth reside in the State of Nebraska. This deduction is based on a process of elimination, according to the claims of each of the other more important Bohemian communities in this country. The complete census, when issued, will give this in detail. Every year from 300 to 500 Bohemian emigrants arriving at the various ports give Nebraska as their destination. The immigration figures since 1900 entitle us to regard 69,000 as a fair estimate of Nebraska’s foreign-born Bohemian population.

Every one of the counties of Nebraska have Bohemian inhabitants, the heaviest percentages of Bohemians being in Douglas, Colfax, Saline, Saunders and Butler counties. Cities and towns which have a generous percentage of Bohemian population are Omaha, especially the south side, Wilber, Crete, Clarkson, Milligan, Schuyler and Prague. In the main, however, Bohemians are settled on farms rather than in towns, and in the eastern portion of Nebraska, rather than in the western.

The great majority of the Bohemians of the state are engaged in agricultural pursuits and as farmers are the real backbone of the great West. It may be said that the Bohemian farmers of the state represent the mainstay of the Czechs in Nebraska