Page:The voice of an oppressed people.pdf/41

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The Allies' political programme formulated in the Note to President Wilson demands the liberation of the Czechs and Slovaks from foreign domination, as well as that of the Italians, Southern Slavs and Roumanians. Italy, Serbia, Roumania are fighting as part of the great alliance against the Central Powers. Can the Czechs and Slovaks, as parts of Austria-Hungary, be treated on the same terms? It is just the inclusion of this point in their political programme which proves that the Allies have grasped the European situation; that they perfectly understand the part which Pan-germanism plays in the war, and that they are aware of the significance of Austria-Hungary for Germany, and, therefore, for Bohemia and Slovakia.

Bohemia is a part of Austria-Hungary, but, nevertheless, the Czecho-Slovaks are working and even fighting for and with the Allies. The peculiar passive revolution of Bohemia is now known to the whole world, though the Austro-Hungarian and German Censors for a long time succeeded in suppressing the facts and in spreading false news about the unity and loyalty of all the Austro-Hungarian nations. Europe now knows what it means when all the leading politicians and writers of Bohemia, and thousands of men and women of all classes, are imprisoned, and many even sentenced to death; when all independent newspapers are suppressed, when the property of thousands is confiscated, when the Czech regiments refuse to fight, and surrender whenever opportunity offers. And Europe, I hope, also realizes the awful moral situation of a nation which wholly sympathizes with the Allies, but whose sons, by the mere mechanical organization of militarism, are forced to fight