Page:The Bohemians (Czechs) In The Present Crisis.djvu/17

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AN attempt has been made to create the impression that the Bohemian movement for independence is nothing but an effort of a few agitators in the service of the Allies, actuated by selfish motives, and influenced by English gold. There has even been some talk of a Bohemian war plot to foster a revolution in Austria, and to draw the United States into war with Germany and Austria.

The workings of the bureaucratic mind are indeed marvelous to behold. The Austrian authorities pretended to be and perhaps were actually surprised at the behavior of those Bohemians who are not subject to Austrian martial law. But only a few years ago a member of an Austrian cabinet declared that the struggle between Bohemians and Germans in Austria ultimately would be decided by force, and that in such contest the Austrian Germans would be victorious with the aid of their kinsmen from the empire, and that the result would be a complete wiping out of the Czechs. That is the kind of government Bohemians have been subjected to, even shortly before the war; that is the kind of government which in this crisis asked for their loyalty.

Whatever progress Bohemians have made during the last century was made in opposition to the Austrian government, and their opposition to Austria at the present time is simply the logical carrying out of the traditional Bohemian attitude toward Austria.

Anyone can understand this, anyone can see the logic of this, anyone can see the inevitability of this, except, of course, an Austrian bureaucrat.

The Bohemians, like most other nations now involved in the war, were surprised by its outbreak; but while opposed to the government, they were not ready for a revolution. For that matter a revolution in modern times is ordinarily a foolhardy thing. One machine gun will easily dispose of a large number of people, and it must be remembered that Bohemians are not led by a few misguided poets. Any talk of rebellion even now is simply an absurdity, and the movement for Bohemian inde-