Page:The Bohemian Review, vol1, 1917.djvu/167

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votny are members of the executive committee; Rev. V . Kohlbeck and Rev. F. Boženek are alternate members. The office of the Alliance is located at 2601 South St. Louis avenue, Chicago; it is in charge of Frank Šindelář, executive secretary.


Recently news from Bohemia has been scarce. The keynote to the situation there is given by the failure of crops, which has intensified the long-existing political discontent of the people and caused serious strikes and riots. At the end of August 80,000 workmen, principally of Prague, quit work as a protest against starvation rations doled out to the Czech people, while the government was permitting exportation of grain from Bohemia to Germany. Many conflicts occurred between the strikers and the German and Magyar garrisons. At the meetings of striking workmen resolutions were adopted demanding immediate erection of a Czechoslovak republic. The government declared martial law all over Bohemia.

A correspondent in the Prague “Právo Lidu” relates an experience which is typical of the straits to which the war has reduced people of cities and villages alike. He says: “For three months we did not see a potato. We had to support life a whole week on one kilogram of bran flour and three little loaves of bread for four persons. Recently I got hold of two packages of tobacco; I put them at once in my pocket and took a train out into the country to trade the tobacco for something that could be eaten, potatoes, bread, milk, or anything. I came to a village where I had friends, but found no one at home, except an old fellow smoking a pipe. Whatever he had in that pipe, I knew it was not tobacco. When I told him what I had, he dragged me inside and wanted to know what I would take for it. I said “eats”. All he could find in the house were two eggs, a pint of goat milk and eight potatoes, but he was so eager to get that tobacco that I let it go at that. When I asked him where one could buy some potatoes, he said that it was no use; nobody would take the paper and iron money, but for sugar, coffee, soap or tobacco one could always get something to eat.

“As I was passing by a little later on my way back to the depot, I saw the old man in the shed puffing at his pipe and milking the goat; no doubt he want ed to have the milk at least, when his wife returned and wanted supper.

“When I got back to Prague, I figured out that eight potatoes, two eggs and a pint of milk cost me nearly five crowns.”


Twenty-five years ago, in September, 1892, appeared the first issue of the first English periodical devoted to Bohemian affairs. “The Bohemian Voice” had an excellent program; to impart truthful information on the political, social, and industrial interests of the Bohemian people here and abroad, to keep the new generation in touch with the progress of its ancestors and “to present from time to time before the forum of public opinion all the great wrongs perpetrated by the Austrian government upon our brothers living within the confines of the quadrilateral mountains”. In fact, the monthly paper of twenty-five years ago was published for the same purpose and was pursuing the same aims as the “Bohemian Review”.

The life of the “Bohemian Voice” was brief, only a little over two years. Time was not ripe in the nineties for its support. But the men who backed it and the editors who filled its columns deserve to be gratefully remembered by the Bohemians of the United States as men of vision and energy. The original impulse was given at the convention of the Benevolent Order Č. S. P. S. in Cedar Rapids, in 1891. A committee of fifteen was appointed, known as the Bohemian-American National Committee, composed of the following gentlemen: L. J. Palda, Chas. Jonáš, John Rosický, F. B. Zdrubek, Prof. Bohumil Šimek, Anton Klobasa, J. V. Teibel, J. H. Štěpán, Vác. Šnajdr, V. W. Vojtíšek, J. V. Matějka, Jos. Wirth, I. L. Gallia, Hynek Opic, and F. Choura. Additional members, appointed shortly after, were K. Stulik, F. C. Layer, and Dr. J. R. Jičinský, for the Sokols, John Pecha, for the Taborites, and John Švehla, for the National Slovak Society. These names include some of the biggest men in America of Bohemian birth. After twenty-five years many are dead, but it is of interest to note that several of them are active today in the work of the Bohemian National Alliance—Prof. Šimek, Mr. Layer, Dr. Rudiš Jičinský, and Mr. Vojtíšek.

The first editor of the Bohemian Voice was Thomas Čapek, at that time of Omaha, now of New York. A lawyer and banker, he has always found time for literary activity. Among the books he wrote are two in the Czech language, one dealing with the first Bohemian immigrants in the 17th and 18th centuries, the other outlining a history of Bohemian journalism in America. His English books are: The Slovaks of Hungary, and Bohemia under the Habsburg Misrule. The second editor of the Voice was J. J. Král, well known as journalist and public speaker, at present statistician in the Department of Commerce at Washington. We publish in this issue an article, entitled the “Sea Coast of Bohemia”, which appeared in the Bohemian Voice in September, 1894.


Numerically Protestants are not very strong among the Czech people. But both here and in the old country they have come out strongly in favor of independence, as one might expect from their historical traditions.

In this country the Evangelical Union, an organization consisting of Presbyterian and Reformed churches and ministers using the Bohemian lan-