Page:The Bohemians (Czechs) In The Present Crisis.djvu/21

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Yes, there are other martyrs to the Bohemian cause than the volunteers who have laid down their lives in Russia and France. There have been numerous executions in Austria, and we have reliable information that almost four thousand persons were executed by the Austrian government for political offenses during the first fourteen months of the war, and that a large per cent, of these were Bohemians who dared to express their opposition to the Austrian government. Many Bohemians are in jail, among them the daughter of that most illustrious of Bohemians living, Professor Masaryk. They all are following in the footsteps of Hus and Jerome, and it is appropriate that we pay our tribute to them as well.


IN commemorating the memory of those fallen in the present struggle and doing our best to further the cause of Bohemian independence, we are also actuated by motives of best Americanism.

The term Americanism has of late been seen a good deal in the press and it has been on the lips of many of the most prominent statesmen and thinkers of America. Like all terms, it may be given various meanings, depending frequently upon the point of view of those using it. But I submit that real Americanism also means an endeavor to see justice done, and justice means freedom of all oppressed nationalities, means the liberation of those still suffering under the heel of the conqueror.

We submit that it is American public policy to maintain that this country has the right to sympatize with the efforts of any nation to acquire liberty. This, at any rate, was the position of Daniel Webster in the famous Huelseman incident.

The Declaration of Independence declares that among the inalienable rights with which mankind is endowed are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments were erected among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.