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The Bohemian Review

Jaroslav F. Smetanka, Editor, 2324 S. Central Park Ave., Chicago.
Published by the Bohemian Review Co., 2627 S. Ridgeway Ave., Chicago, Ill.

Vol. I, No. 6. JULY 1917

10 cents a Copy
$1.00 per Year

The Ramshackle Empire.

By Joseph Tvrzický
Secretary, Bohemian National Alliance of America.

Recent news from Vienna proved once more the truth of the famous definition of Austria: “It is a government but not a nation”. The “Fortwurshtlungspolitik” of the Hapsburgs, the policy of pottering along any old way and ignoring disagreeable problems, apparently will not work any longer, for the diseased condition of the Austrian body politic has broken out into dangerous open sores that cannot be hidden before the eyes of the world.

The Empire of the Hapsburgs has existed so long and has overcome so many dangers that the inherent conservatism of mankind can only with difficulty realize that the end of this ancient ,but far from honorable, monarchy is now in sight. It is foolish to count with it as a possible rival of Germany. Napoleon III. went to war with Germany confidently, because he figured that Austria, defeated by Prussia four short years ago, would back him. France fell and lost Alsace-Lorraine because of this miscalculation. And today there are men who imagine that after three years of close partnership, or rather of entire subordination, Austria under the Hapsburgs is capable of playing a part against Germany, which three times saved it from defeat, which controls its armies and enjoys the devotion of the ruling elements of the Dual Monarchy. In France some of the old royalists, in England a few diplomats of the old aristocratic school, even in America ill-informed publicists raise their voices in favor of saving for the Hapsburgs their inheritance.

There are many currents of influence and intrigue that work for the preservation of Austria. Empress Zita is a Bourbon, of the family that never learns anything new and never forgets the old. She has relatives and admirers in the aristocratic circles of France, Italy and Spain. Again, information of the real state of affairs inside the black and yellow boundary posts is very scanty. Items that come out are in most cases such as the Vienna government permits to come out. And above all the Magyar oligarchy which controls Hungary is working feverishly to make friends in the Entente circles and in America. Hungarian noblemen with English and American wives and Jewish bankers of Budapest with connections all over the world talk of the knightly Magyar nation, of Kossuth and his revolt against the Hapsburgs, of the Hungarian democratic constitution that is supposed to be modeled on English lines. And all this time the cry of the oppressed races of Austria-Hungary declares that no compromise is possible with the ramshackle empire of the Hapsburgs.

What is the actual situation today in the Dual monarchy? Is a separate peace possible? And how would it affect the Allies?

The Austrian parliament has recently approved the budget submitted by the government. It would seem at first sight that the representatives of the races of Austria voted confidence in the government. But when the situation is analyzed, a different conclusion follows.

Out of 510 deputies to the Vienna Reichsrat fifty, all of them of the opposition, have not taken a part in the sitting. Ten of these are Czechs. Leader of the independent Czech deputies, Prof. Masaryk, is in exile, condemned to death in his absence. Kramář, Rašín, Klofáč, the latter being chairman of the United Bohemian Club, all three leaders of the Czech delegation, are in jail charged with high treason. Other deputies under arrest or sentence are Soukup, Netolický, Choc, Buřival, Vojna. One, deputy Fresl, committed suicide in jail. Out of 105 Bohemian representatives only 95