The Czechoslovak Review/Volume 2/Masaryk in America

The Bohemian Review

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

Vol. II, No. 5. MAY, 1918

10 cents a Copy
$1.00 per Year

Thomas Garrigue Masaryk.jpg

Thomas Garigue Masaryk

Masaryk in America.

Thomas Garigue Masaryk, the greatest living Bohemian, landed in Vancouver on April 29th and is now among us. To tell what his arrival means to Bohemians and Slovaks in this country one would need the pen of a poet. The man who had been deeply admired and respected by Bohemians for more years than most of us can count has now been for nearly four years the leader of the remarkable Czechoslovak revolution against Austria and the German plans of Mitteleuropa. He is now the head of the Czechoslovak revolutionary government and the civilian chief of three Czechoslovak armies, one in Russia, one in France and one in Italy. In him the intense yearning and consuming desire of Bohemians and Slovaks for freedom is personified. Masaryk will be received and honored by his coun trymen in America as the father of his people.

But the great Czech leader should be welcomed by the entire American people. Two generations ago the United States gave a royal welcome to Louis Kossuth, because he had been the leader of his race against the tyrannny of the Hapsburgs. This country, true to its democratic ideals, has ever sympathized with the struggles of the oppressed peoples for liberation. Much has happened since then. The Magyars as a result of Prussian victories in 1866 received their liberty, only to subject a majority of the inhabitants of Hungary to worse oppression than they had themselves suffered at the hands of the Hapsburgs. And today the two branches of the Czechoslovak race, Bohemians held down by the Germans, and Slovaks strangled by the Magyars, have risen against their foes and are fighting under Masaryk’s noble and wise generalship on the same side as the United States

We do not doubt for a moment that Masaryk will receive in America as cordial a welcome as he did in England, when he came to London nearly thre years ago to lecture at King’s College. Mr. Herbert H. Asquith, who was then Great Britain’s premier, said on that occasion: “I congratulate King’s College upon his appointment and I can assure him that we welcome his advent to London, both as a teacher—the influence of whose power and learning is felt throughout the Slav world—and as a man to whose personal qualities of candor, courage and strength we are all glad to pay a tribute.”

The enemy, as well as the friend, appreciates the great weight of Masaryk in the present world crisis. A year ago, when the first provisional government was at the helm in Russia, the German press charged that the policies of the Entente were shaped by three professors: Wilson, Miljukov and Masaryk. And more recently that diplomatic adventurer, Count Czernin, whose place knows him no more, in a rabid anti-Czech speech charged that the Allies rejected his peace overtures, because they placed their reliance in Masaryk’s revolutionary propaganda, backed not only by the revolutionary Czechoslovak armies, but by all the political parties in Bohemia.

Professor Masaryk as the head of the revolution is placing the crown of great achievement on a life of much toil and striving. His whole work as scholar and statesman was governed by the principle: Through truth to justice. He opposed his own people, when misled by racial pride they accepted as genuine the celebrated manuscripts pretending to come down from the hoary antiquity of the Czech race. He fought valiantly the ugly superstition of ritual murder. He championed boldly and successfully Austrian Jugoslavs upon whom high treason was fastened by means of documents forged by the Austrian minister at Belgrade.

What wonder that Masaryk gave to the world the Bohemian Declaration of Independence at the very time, when the military situation of the Allies was most discouraging. He said in this document in November, 1915: "We take the side of the fighting Slav nations and their Allies with out regard to victory or defeat, because right is on their side.”

In Masaryk there is a wonderful blending of the Slav with the Anglo-Saxon. By birth a Slovak from Moravia he has spent much time in America and England. His wife, who is unfortunately detained in Prague by the Austrian government, is a New England lady, and both the professor and his children look upon America as their second fatherland.

There is no doubt that all the Slavs in America will join the Bohemians and Slovaks in honoring Thomas G. Masaryk. We believe that all in the United States, the people and the government will do likewise. For Masaryk is undoubtedly one of the greatest men of these great days. He has rendered extremely valuable services to the cause of democracy by his unparalleled knowledge of the Austrian and German political, social and economic situation; and now, after a year's sojourn in Russia there is no man more competent to advise the Allies how to handle the difficult Russian situation.

Welcome to the chief of the Bohemian Revolution.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.