Page:The Bohemian Review, vol1, 1917.djvu/58

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The Bohemian Review

We came to the depot. The band played a sentimental march, handkerchiefs fluttered in the wind to bid us good-by, the crowd looked at us with sympathy, as we were to leave them to go to an uncertain fate.

Bent under the weight of his equipment Corporal L... marched ahead of me. In his rifle was stuck a small red and white flag. We entered the spacious station vestibule. At the entrance stood the commander of our battallion, Captain Brandt, to give us the last, hasty inspection. As soon as he noticed Corporal L. with his red and white flag, he stepped forward, his face flushed with anger, his eyes glittered, and snatching his sabre he swung it at the flag. "Bohemian cattle", bellowed the captain at the offender.

Corporal L. hit on the head by the sabre dragged himself to the train, and once in the car gave way to silent tears. We gathered around him as if to shield him. We knew he did not cry because of the pain, but because of fury at the indignity put upon all Bohemians in a public place.

No one said a word, but we knew that a sentence was pronounced upon the captain. ***

After the first skirmish in which our battallion took part Captain Brandt was missing. When the ambulance men found him, he had four mortal wounds, all in the back, caused by Austrian rifles.

He only got, what he deserved.

Artur Kurt.

Current Topics


For the last three years we have had a steady stream of sensational events, until it seemed that nothing could stir up in us more than a passing in terest. But the Russian revolution is an event of such startling proportions, pregnant with such high hopes for the welfare of mankind that even the most jaded mind grasps its tremendous significance.

The eastern half of Europe and the northern half of Asia, one hundred and seventy million human beings, have been emancipated almost over night at the cost of the comparatively trifling sacrifice of a few hundred lives. The chief value of the revolution no doubt will manifest itself gradually in the improved condition of the Russian people, more education, greater freedom of spirit, higher material prosperity. But at the present time, and looking at the event from a great distance, the observer sees mainly the bearing of this great change upon the fortunes of the world conflict, now nearly three years in duration.

Everyone agrees that the abolishment of autocracy in Russia means a tremendous defeat to Germany. The Kaiser’s hopes of depriving his enemies of the help of Russia have been irretrievably shattered. The Russian people look upon the war with the Germans as upon a holy undertaking, and the new government will give the Allies no reason to fear that it might desert them. In addition to that we may expect to see greater successes on the part of the Russian armies. The awful inefficiency which has hampered the good work of the Russian soldier and which was due partly to the notorious in competency of the bureaucracy and partly to treasonable interference by ministers and other high officials and court favorites with the proper conduct of the war, will be replaced by the same energy which the new premier Prince Lvoff displayed as president of the Zemstva Union. But above all the democratization of Russia is a blow to Germany, because it makes clear and undoubted what was marred before by czarism, namely, that the war is one between liberty and despotism.

America, faithful to its traditions of welcoming liberty in all lands, was the first Power to recognize officially the new Russian regime. Among the Bohemians in America the delight over the upheaval in Russia was unbounded. There is a close racial and linguistic relationship between the Czech and Russian races. Bohemians have firmly believed in the great genius of the Russian people, in its essential democratic and pacific spirit; they believed that whatever had been objectionable and repulsive in the internal economy of the Russian Empire was due principally to German influences. Russia, ruled by its own people, will be no more a menace to the peace of the world, will be no more aggressive or contemptuous of the rights of others, than the United States.

Looking at the revolution from the point of view of Bohemian independence, we must register it as a powerful factor in the realization of this demand. It makes the victory of the Entente more certain, and it ranges Russia definitely with the firm supporters of the claims of Bohemia. It is well known that the former Czar was forced into the war in 1914, because the Russian people would not suffer Austria to gobble up Serbia, a Slav nation. If the new Russian government will truly interpret the will of the people, it will insist unconditionally on the liberation of Slavs of Austria-Hungary from the oppression of Germans and Magyars; it will consider the erection of free Poland, Bohemia and Jugoslavia of greater importance than the acquisition of Constantinople. In the present foreign minister, Paul N. Miljukov, the Czech race will have a warm friend.