Page:The Bohemian Review, vol1, 1917.djvu/206

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Current Topics.


The evil turn of affairs in Russia has affected the cause of Bohemia even more unfavorably than it has hurt the general cause of the Allies. Separate peace by Russia would leave the Czechoslovak army at the mercy of the Germans, just as it would spell the ruin of the Roumanian army. The Bolsheviki revolt came at the very time when the Bohemians and Slovaks in Russia had achieved a splendid organization which would have made its influence felt on the eastern front. Six months of work by Masaryk in Russia smoothed out all differences among the Bohemian settlers in Russia and the 300,000 Czechoslovak prisoners of war. The army has grown to 40,000 men in the field with hundreds volunteering every day and with the highest income tax in the world paid monthly by every member of the Czechoslovak nation in Russia. Due to the great work of Masaryk and his coadjutors in the Czechoslovak National Council Bohemia secured a position analogous to that of Belgium or Serbia—the home country under the heel of the oppressor, but a temporary government with its own army and independent finances in existence on the territory of an allied country, helping to defeat the common enemy and establish the independence of Bohemia.

Czechoslovak Soldiers, Former Prisoners of War, Training in France.
Czechoslovak Soldiers, Former Prisoners of War, Training in France.

Czechoslovak Soldiers, Former Prisoners of War, Training in France.

What will become of the great work accomplished in Russia, of the fighters, of the other prisoners working in munition factories and supporting by their voluntary tax the Bohemian army and government depends on the outcome of the Russian muddle. Bohemians are thankful that their great leader, at least, is safe and well and that his personal ity will surely make itself felt in the difficult Russian situation. It appears from a cablegram recently received by the Bohemian National Alliance| in Chicago that Professor Masaryk was for a number of days in great danger of life in Moscow. He arrived there on November 10th from Petrograd and reached with difficulty the Hotel Metropole. As it happened, this hotel became the headquarters of the cadets in their fight for the control of Moscow. The bolsheviki troops occupied the great theatre on the other side of the square on which the hotel is located. For four days the cadet headquarters were under fire of machine guns and rifles and had to surrender on the fifth day, when the bolsheviki brought up heavy guns. There were five hundred guests in the hotel and during Thursday and Friday negotiations were carried on by them with the victors for their release. Masaryk was made the spokesman of fifty foreigners, including British air men and three Americans, and on Friday all were released.

During the earlier disorders in Russia previous to the bolsheviki revolution Masaryk observed