The Czechoslovak Review/Volume 2/A letter of appreciation
A LETTER OF APPRECIATION
Letters come frequently to the editor commending the work done by the Bohemian National Alliance and the Bohemian Review. Some of these letters are from Americans of standing and influence. None of them have been published so far, because the small amount of space in this modest monthly can be filled with matter of more general interest, and because to publish complimentary letters would smack of self-advertising.
Exceptions, however, must be made to every rule. A letter is at hand from a physician in far-off Saskatchewan that deserves a place in this record of the work of the Bohemian National Alliance. It shows that the efforts to gain friends for Bohemia, whether done by the leaders in Chicago or by farmers on the prairies, do bring results. But let the letter speak for itself. This Canadian doctor says:
“Through the courtesy of Mr. Joseph Virgil, a Bohemian of this city, I have been privileged to read from time to time the current copies of the Bohemian Review and other papers containing data of interest concerning the aspirations of the Czechoslovak people. I have for some time had it in mind to write you a few lines expressing my sympathy with your people, for whom I have always had an admiration and also to compliment you on what I consider the cleverest propaganda on record. In a sense you people of the Bohemian National Alliance are demonstrating the truth of the old saying that ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’. You could never have hoped by your own material powers to gain such a leverage of influence as you have apparently won through the influence of your Association and your Press Bureau. Prejudice has been removed, criticism disarmed, and approving interest awakened as a result of the spread of your organization. Great credit is also due to the many members of your society who have gone to much trouble to get acquainted with influential people and where misunderstanding existed to endeavor to remove it.
“In Canada our government has felt that safety demanded the disfranchisement of all citizens from enemy countries. I did not approve of this, but wiser men, perhaps, did. The average Canadian will make no distinction between the various races of Austria. They are all enemies to him. But I can see how in our own district surrounding this city sentiment is being formed decidedly favorable to Bohemians. Mr. Joseph Virgil has gone to much trouble to help forward this. Indeed it was his enthusiasm which led me to write several newspaper articles on the Bohemian fight for independence and also to interview the editors and discuss the matter. Your Bohemian Review is an ably managed paper and so well written that it is of interest to any thinking man.
“This evening I visited with several of my Bohemian friends and then gave an article to the morning paper stating that every Bohemian in the city had bought from one to three Victory bonds this week. I also took the men over to our citizens’ recruiting committee with whom we discussed your Alliance. These men, and indeed all Canadians, are glad to have a Bohemian representation in our Canadian army. My own young son is in the famous ‘Princess Pats’ and I have just received word of his being wounded. But we hope that our losses shall not be in vain, but that at the conclusion of the war human affairs may be straightened out and put on a more equitable basis.”