Page:The Bohemian Review, vol1, 1917.djvu/13

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The Bohemian Review

Just as Napoleon III. built false hopes on the separation of the South German Federation from the North German Bund, so would the Allies deceive themselves if they counted on a permanent division of a Prussian Germany and an Austrian Germany, especially if the Teuton minority in the latter country were turned into a majority. The way to make Germany powerless to disturb the peace in the future, argued Masaryk, is to take away from it its control over fifty million Hapsburg subjects. Germany that would not command the resources of the Dual Empire in men, war supplies and food stuffs, Germany that would have potential enemies instead of a willing vassal on her southeastern flank, would not be strong enough to upset the arrangements which the Allies expect to establish at the close of the war. Such was the argument Masaryk addressed to the selfinterest of the Powers grouped against the Teutons. But even more powerful was Masaryk’s appeal to the sense of justice of the men that professed to fight for the rights of small nations. To leave Bohemia under the Hapsburgs would mean turning them over to the tender mercies of their ancient oppressors made savage because of the substantial assistance furnished by the Czechs to the Allies during the war. And here Masaryk could point to Austrian defeats in Serbia and Galicia which were due in great measure to the unreliability of the Czecho-Slovak soldiers, he pointed to the absence of any expressions of loyalty on the part of the Czech people at home, to the many Czech volunteers in every Allied army, above all to the Czechoslovak regiments in the Russian army, made up of prisoners of war who were eager to avenge the wrongs of their country by fight ing on the side of their brother-Slavs.

Such were Masaryk’s weapons with which he set about the liberation of his native land. The hopes, fears, anxieties, disappointments, successes of the two years 1915 and 1916 he will perhaps describe to us some day, when his work is finished and his country will be able to spare him. In a general way it can be said that he lectured in universities, talked to statesmen, gave in terviews to journalists, wrote to the reviews, established a French periodical in the interests of his country, enlisted gifted writers and generous friends of freedom in the cause of Bohemia. In two years’ time he persuaded Europe that it could exist with out the old Austria and that the Czechs and Slovaks should be set free. He did all that with the help of a few faithful fellow-exiles and a few thousand American dollars.

Masaryk’s work is not done. No one who knows him doubts that far from all thoughts of rest he aims to double his activities. He toils day and night, and when he retires sleep does not come to him. The burden of his great work, constant thoughts of wife and children persecuted by revenge ful officials, anxieties over countless details tax the great strength of this patriot who judged by years alone is an old man. He has one daughter with him now to bear him company and look to his personal wants. A little remark made in a confidential mood to a friend illuminates like a flash of light the heavy soul of this man of burdens: “I did not sleep three nights since I left Bohemia two years ago.”

Not until the Czecho-Slovak people is astually set free by the future peace conference will Professor Masaryk rest from his labors, and even then he will get little rest, for his country will need him. But the first part of his work has been done, when the Allies promised freedom to Bohemia.

Dismemberment of Austria.

The note of the Allies communicating the terms on which they are willing to make peace has been received in America on the whole very favorably. Many voices welcomed it as a second proclamation of emancipation announcing the coming of freedom to the submerged small nations of Europe. President Wilson’s move in the interests of peace, looked upon at first as bound to result to the advantage of the Central Powers, has actually strengthened the sympathies of the neutrals for the Allied cause. The Teutons made an evasive answer, while the Allies announced freely their program