Page:The Bohemian Review, vol1, 1917.djvu/111

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out some intellectual pabulum in addition to the simple necessities is amply proven by the fact that barely had a handful of them settled in the state when they clamored for a newspaper published in their own language, that intelligence of the world and its progress might be purveyed among them. To be sure, long before this, Bohemian newspapers from eastern states had been circulated here, the first paper in the Bohemian language having been issued January 1, 1860, from Racine, Wisconsin, with the name “Slovan Amerikanský” (The American Slav).

The first number of the first Bohemian paper in Nebraska—the “Pokrok Západu” or “Progress of the West” was issued August 1, 1871, when Nebraska had been a state scarcely four years. Edward Rosewater, popularly known as Rozvařil, who was born in Bukovany, Bohemia, in 1841 and had come to the United States in 1854, a green Bohemian youth, had after a number of experiences, settled in Omaha where he founded “The Omaha Bee” and his Bohemian weekly-paper, the “Pokrok”, in the same year.

The Pokrok Západu had as its motto: “Pilně sloužíc zájmu národnímu, hledět chci vždy k vzdělání obecnému” (While ever serving national interests, let me give heed always to public education). In the initial issue the first editorial insists that Austria must become a Slavonic state, that it stands and falls in correspondence with the success or failure of the Bohemian people. The Pokrok Západu in November, 1872, combined with the “Amerikán”. It passed into the possession of John Rosický in 1877, who sold it twelve years later to a Printers’ Company under the direction of the present publisher, Mr. Václav Bureš, under whose management it has since remained. Many excellent journalists have sat in the editorial chair of the Pokrok, among them Václav Šnajdr, Fr. B. Zdrůbek, V. A. Jung, Thos. Čapek, Jan. A. Oliverius, F. J. Kuták, O. Charvát, etc.

John Rosický, who had left Bohemia in 1860 to escape military service, has been an important figure in the history of Bohemian journalism and the social life of the nationality, not only in Nebraska, but throughout the middle West. After selling the Pokrok Západu he established other papers among them the Obzor, the Americké Květy, the Osvěta, etc., which finally were combined in the weekly, “Osvěta Americká” or “Enlightenment of America”, which for a time published local editions in various communities of the state. In 1916 it became a literary weekly with the name “Květy Americké.

Although Nebraska is situated on the far end of a spoke of the Hub of the Universe, as our Massachusetts Athens is dubbed, her foreign-born citizens have nevertheless courted the Muses with successful results. Václav A. Jung, a former Nebraskan, has written a number of fine poems and translated Byron’s “Don Juan” and Pushkin’s “Eugene Onegin” into Bohemian. Mr. Jung’s novel, “On the Threshold of a New World” or “The Family of Peter Bel” (Na Prahu Nového Světa aneb Rodina Petra Běla), depicts Nebraska life and actual characters. He has recently completed a monumental English-Bohemian Dictionary in his capacity of instructor in English in Pilsen Academy in Bohemia. Thos. Čapek, who also served in the State Legislature, has written a number of books showing extensive and valuable research, among them “Early Bohemian Immigration” (Památky Českých Emigrantů), “Fifty Years of Bohemian Journalism in America” (Padesát Let Českého Tisku v Americe). In the English language he has written “The Slovaks of Hungary” and “Austria-Hungary and the Slavonians”.

Rev. John Vránek of Omaha has published a book of Bohemian poems entitled “Na Půdě Americké” (On American Soil).

A. Z. Donato of Wahoo, published the story of his trip around the world under the title of “Kolem Světa o Jedné Noze”.

Rev. A. Klein of Brainard, at present Vicar General of the Diocese of Lincoln, has contributed valuable articles to the Otto Enclyclopedia of Prague, Bohemia. Rev. Father J. S. Brož, formerly of Dodge, now of Schuyler, Nebraska, in addition to frequent poetic and prose contributions to the Bohemian Catholic press of this country, is at work upon a superior history of Nebraska in the Bohemian language. He has published “Z Prérie” (From the Prairies) , a book of Nebraska lyrics.

Prof. Jeffrey D. Hrbek, first instructor in Bohemian at the State University, wrote a large number of English poems which were collected and published after his death under the title “Linden Blossoms”.

John Habenicht, now of Chicago, has collected and published in the Bohemian some historical data of Nebraska, largely con-