The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 05, 1863
    The German Society

    The general meeting of the German Society of Chicago was held in the German House, May 3, 1863, with President Heinrich Greenbaum presiding.

    The report of Agent Schlund was read and adopted, and the matter relating to the Reform School was referred to a committee which will endeavor to persuade the executive board of the Reform School to act in line with Mr. Schlund's suggestion.

    The financial report was adopted as read. Election of officers took place with the following result: president, Heinrich Gindele; treasurer, Karl Vergho; secretary, Conrad C. Diehl. Butz and Schneider were appointed to inform the above of their election. The following rules were adopted:

    1) The newly elected officers may not refuse to serve.

    2

    2) Minimum membership fee shall be two dollars. [Translator's note: The secretary does not state whether this sum is the annual or monthly fee.]

    3) Anyone who pays fifty cents or more shall be permitted to speak and vote in the general meetings for the period of one year.

    4) The salary of the agent shall be three hundred dollars per year.

    Heinrich Greenbaum, President.

    Report of the Agent of the German Society of Chicago for April and May, 1862

    April May
    Secured employment for 93 85
    Secured railroad passes for poor 3 1
    Secured railroad passes for wounded soldiers 3 1
    Found baggage for 11 2
    3
    April May
    Located relatives for 5 3
    Families allotted food 7 5
    Assisted in financial matters 8 6
    Found lodgings for families 6 2
    Secured medical aid and medicines for 7 5
    Soldiers' families supported 6 6
    Assisted immigrants to proceed on their journey 4 1
    Corresponded for 120 98
    Referred to county for aid 5 2
    Total 281 219
    Total for April and May 500

    My activity as agent of the German Society of Chicago was interrupted by the President's call for the organization of volunteer state militia. In my spare time I have devoted myself to helping needy immigrants and 4countrymen without remuneration from the Society, until the Conscription Act was passed; but now my term of service has expired.

    The German public of Chicago, a city where fifty thousand Teutons live, should pay more attention to immigration which is the cause of the great and rapid development of the city.

    While Americans annually spend large sums of money for benevolent purposes, as for instance, for orphan homes, homes for the friendless, and homes for the aged, the German Society of Chicago, which has become a refuge for helpless immigrants and needy German citizens, ought not fall asleep; for the German Society of Chicago is the only German organization which aids needy Germans without respect to origin or creed

    If our German citizens would cease helping every beggar and bum who comes to their door or approaches them in the streets, especially in the winter, and would donate corn, flour, meat, potatoes, etc., no Chicago family 5that is worthy of support would have to go hungry.

    The German Society has done much to increase the school attendance of poor children by exercising a "moral" compulsion--by giving shoes and clothing to those poor pupils who attend school regularly.

    We take great pleasure in commending the work done in the Juvenile Home, where German children were always heartily welcomed and well cared for.

    The Home of the Friendless is maintained for the benefit of children of dissolute or criminally inclined parents, or children who are in danger of entering upon a life of crime, and it has proved to be very effective. However the Home of the Friendless is not a suitable place for the children of poor but law-abiding parents; these children should be placed in more pleasant and less dangerous surroundings, so that they are not estranged from their parents and do not fall prey to greedy employers.

    6

    The Home for Workers is in its infancy. It is the most pleasant and most necessary of all branches of charity; for who is more deserving among the needy than the man or woman who is diligent and faithful and would like to work but is prevented from doing so by age and physical disability, and would rather starve than become an inmate of a poorhouse?

    In the Reform School there are proportionately few German boys; and the majority of them have been placed there because of youthful carelessness or indifference on the part of their parents, who either send their boys out to gather old iron and other junk, or permit them to loiter idly about the streets and alleys. In time the lads meet bad companions and finally are confined to reform schools, where they come into contact with confirmed and hardened offenders, and as a result the boys are totally demoralized.

    I hope that the German Society of Chicago endeavors to have juvenile delinquents classified, so that light offenders, first offenders, or those who do not participate in evil deeds, but just accompany the offenders, are not 7placed on the same level with, treated as, and confined with, real criminals, thieves, robbers, murderers, etc., but are kept separate from the latter.

    The inmates of the Reform School should be classified in the following manner: 1) Non-participating observer; 2) Seduced; 3) Corrigible; 4) Incorrigible.

    As in Germany, the societies "for the protection of German emigrants" are expanding their activity, so we also should take greater precautions to protect immigrants in our country.

    In conclusion I wish to emphasize that if the German Society of Chicago is not more alert, the thieves and confidence men in New York and other ports will have a gay time; for the German Society of Chicago and the St. Louis Immigrant Society have done more to prevent swindling than any other organization in the United States. The German Society of Chicago may justly be proud of the fact that it has exposed several attempts to defraud innocent people of large sums of money and valuable property, and has also succeeded 8in locating much valuable baggage.

    If the German immigrants who come to Chicago are left without a source of information or material aid, the city will not only lose its wide-spread reputation for the assistance rendered immigrants, but also will soon be deprived of the valuable services of these people.

    The Chicago Turnverein and the Chicago Arbeiterverein have done much for charitable purposes; however, the great majority of the members of these organizations are of the laboring class; many of them are members of the German Society of Chicago, and their zeal is commendable. Yet it is desirable that those who have wealth--home owners, businessmen, and professional men--take a greater and more active interest in benevolence. And they really are obligated, for they avail themselves of the services of the Society when they need help in their offices, stores, or homes.

    I wish to thank our president, Mr. Heinrich Greenbaum for the valuable 9aid he has given me in my work. He was always willing to assist me whenever difficulties presented themselves, though at times it was necessary that he neglect his business in order to comply with my request.

    I have always tried to be just toward everybody; if I appeared to be unsympathetic in some instances it was only because I wished to discourage people who are not worthy of assistance. There are a great number of beggars who journey from city to city; they are very successful in arousing the sympathy of the public, much more so than worthy applicants for aid. They manage to lead the existence which appeals to them by carefully avoiding any flagrant offense against the laws pertaining to vagrancy. When I refuse to feed or house these lazy persons, they slander the German Society of Chicago. And the public, not knowing that these professional beggars have been driven from some neighboring city by the civil authorities, believes their stories about about inhuman treatment.

    .......[The next paragraph of this article contains a repetition of previously 10expressed thoughts.]

    Respectfully,

    F. Schlund, Agent.

    ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT

    Receipts for 1862 and 1863 $652.07
    Disbursements for 1862 and 1863 246.50
    Balance $405.57

    Heinrich Greenbaum, President.

    May 2, 1863.

    The general meeting of the German Society of Chicago was held in the German House, May 3, 1863, with President Heinrich Greenbaum presiding. The report of Agent Schlund was read ...

    German
    III B 2, III G, III D, II E 3, II E 2, II D 3, II D 5, II D 4, II D 7, II D 8, I B 3 b, I D 1 a, II D 10

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- August 22, 1873
    The Lazzarones from Chicago

    The poor boys and girls who have suddenly been transplanted from their sunny homeland "far down South" into our rough climate, and have to secure through begging and singing a sum sufficient to save them from punishment on their return home, have become recently an object of public attention.

    A reporter from the Staats Zeitung went yesterday to interview the Italian Consul, Mr. Cella, an educated and friendly gentleman. Here is what Mr. Cella had to say: "In my opinion most of the reports concerning the Italian musician street children are exaggerated. My compatriots and I feel deeply the degradation of the life of these children. It is true that these children must bring home a certain sum every evening to escape 2punishment; it is also true that this roaming about causes the moral ruin of these children; but it is not true that there are here from 400 to 500 children, who depend on their "padrone" and belong to him. The total number of Italian inhabitants here does not exceed 4,000. The number of children musicians, according to my estimate, runs from 125 to 150, and most of them are under the supervision, not of a padrone, but of their parents.

    "To my mind," concluded Mr. Cella, "the only way to stop this practice is to have a city ordinance passed forbidding begging by playing music." Mr. Cella's plan seems very sensible to us. But we do not consider it a mitigating circumstance even if the "slaveholders" are not strangers but the parents of the children. We hope that the Italians will put an end to taking advantage of these children.

    C. Hoffmann

    The poor boys and girls who have suddenly been transplanted from their sunny homeland "far down South" into our rough climate, and have to secure through begging and singing a ...

    Italian
    I B 3 c, I H, I B 3 b
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 18, 1874
    Young American.

    The concept connected with the name young American is not a very pleasant one. The term young America connotes youth which has outgrown its parents and which resents parental authority as an infringement upon its independence. Young America begins to blossom at the age of ten, to loaf at the age of thirteen and to become obnoxious at the age of fifteen. That is in regard to the boys. Young America among the girls is not any better. At the age of twelve she has a "beau" and at fifteen the miss starts her moonlight walks and her love affairs. Young America is bad, but not half as bad as "young German America".

    It cannot be denied that in many German homes the children grow up without any supervision and that boys and girls become loafers of the worst type. What a correspondent recently said, that here boys loaf in the saloons till past midnight is only half of the truth. He, who wishes to go on North Avenue on a Sunday afternoon, can see there clusters of boys at the street corners, who make the most indecent remarks concerning the passers by, who on evenings run around with girls just as young as they and who being work shy would not recoil from crimes. For this we have the word of the oldest and most experience policemen, who assert that no Irish street boy is as bad as a German boy.

    The concept connected with the name young American is not a very pleasant one. The term young America connotes youth which has outgrown its parents and which resents parental authority ...

    German
    I B 3 b, III G, III A, II E 3, I B 3 c
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 16, 1876
    Body of a German Found on the Lake Shore.

    The body of a man was found yesterday on the lake shore in the neighborhood of Rogers Park. From a letter found on the body it was identified as that of a German, by the name of John Becker. The letter was from Waukegan and was signed Sarah Dembran. Becker was told in the letter, that due to the opposition of the parents, he should look for another girl friend. Besides the letter a knife was found, the blade of which fitted the wound perfectly.

    Becker was a fresco painter and came as such to Chicago about two years ago. He had taken part in the Franco-German War and was 30 years of age. His last works were the mural paintings in Koody's Church, corner of Chicago Ave. and LaSalle St.

    The body of a man was found yesterday on the lake shore in the neighborhood of Rogers Park. From a letter found on the body it was identified as that ...

    German
    I B 3 b, II A 3 c, I B 3 a
  • Svornost -- June 15, 1878
    (No headline)

    Teach them, an honest mechanic has a greater value even though he has no possessions or wealth, than a dozen well-dressed, slick, high-toned idlers.

    Teach them to have pleasure in nature through gardening. Being financially able, teach them music, painting and fine arts, but keep in mind that these accomplishments are not necessities.

    Teach them, to that to take a walk along the promenade is better than to go riding and that flowers growing wild are much more beautiful to one who knows how to observe them carefully.

    Teach them, to disdain hypocrisy and, whether, yes or no, we should do likewise.

    Teach them, matrimonial happiness does not depend upon outside influences nor upon the husband's property but upon his character.

    Having taught them these things and if they understand them, let them seek a mate. They will not go astray even without your assistance.

    Teach them, an honest mechanic has a greater value even though he has no possessions or wealth, than a dozen well-dressed, slick, high-toned idlers. Teach them to have pleasure in ...

    Bohemian
    I B 3 b
  • Jewish Advance -- June 21, 1878
    Confirmation (Editorial)

    One of the greatest triumphs of Reform [Judaism] is the introduction of the ceremony of confirmation on the Feast of Shavuoth. It is a triumph over the materialistic tendencies of the age inasmuch as it brings to the synagogue a number of worshippers who would ordinarily spend the day worshipping the Golden Calf--or Mammon.

    The ceremony of Bar Mizvah [ceremony of confirmation when a Jewish boy is thirteen years old], which is still maintained by Orthodox Israelites, is devoid of significance. The boy who has attained his thirteenth year is called up to the Torah and recites a blessing. Sometimes he also makes a speech which is concocted by the teacher in highfalutin language. Sometimes this happens on a Sabbath when the portion read suits neither the person nor the occasion. And 2if the Bar Mizvah gratified the private sentiments of the boy, there was nothing in the Orthodox ritual of a similar nature to impress the Jewish girl of her religious duties.

    The ceremony of confirmation has remedied these deficiences. It has elevated the idea of Bar Mizvah to a new height--giving it a greater significance in the eyes of Jewish boys and girls. Reform Judaism has saved Shavuoth for the synagogue. Otherwise it too would be lost to the synagogue--like the Sabbath days and the days of the other festivals [Editor's note: The writer is referring to the decline of synagogue attendance].

    One of the greatest triumphs of Reform [Judaism] is the introduction of the ceremony of confirmation on the Feast of Shavuoth. It is a triumph over the materialistic tendencies of ...

    Jewish
    I B 4, III C, I B 3 b, III B 3 b
  • Svornost -- April 12, 1879
    A Review of the Compulsory School Attendance Law.

    Enemies of the law for compulsory school attendance of children between the ages of 8 and 14 years, among whom is found the "Chicago Times" condemn this law and it's regulations. The objections they put forth can readily be dismissed by any reasonably sensible man, who is concerned about the welfare of the community as a whole, and the safe guarding of the rights of all those who in some instance may need the protection of law.

    They claim the State has no right, much less any obligation, to take children from the control of the parents, to raise and educate them against their will other wise, unless the parents so wish it. Such disregard of rights originates in Prussia and is pure and simple despotism, where every inhabitant belongs to the State and the State must provide all his necessities and watch over him. The American principles are that the citizen belongs only to himself, that he is free, and that the State is maintained only for the purpose of assuring his freedom, not for the purpose of putting him under it's protection and regulating his life.

    2

    The Prussian principle is that people are created for the State. The American principle is that the government is created for the people and that more government than is actually necessary to preserve the liberty of the citizenry is despotism. Therefore they claim that the only plane upon which compulsory attendance of schools can be placed is Despotism. These principles however, are undemocratic and contrary to out system of personal rights, which the government should guard against any curtailment.

    They say this kind of law would be as unenforcible as a law prohibiting the drinking of alcoholic liquors, or any other law tampering with our private domestic affairs. It is indeed a strange exposition of the principles of liberty and duty.

    The whole fault of this reasoning, knowingly committed, remains in the fact that they out children on the same level with the parents; they put them on the same plane as other mature citizens. They refuse to admit that children can not be compared with mature citizens, because in the first place they dont know and cannot know their rights for they would not understand them if they were being told and they are 3unable to guard their rights in any manner. Education cannot be forcibly administered in some coercive institution. That is true. We do not expect to force any one with a whip to become a Doctor or Professor if he has not the will nor ambition for it. However, everyone even the poorest and most indifferent can be persuaded while his mind is still pliant, to learn reading, writing and arithmetic thereby reducing the possibility of becoming an uneducated loafer when he has grown up, knowing nothing and seeking his livelihood in thievery.

    According to their objections the State would not have the right, even, to force convicted criminals to learn anything and if they had no trade would be compelled to keep them in idleness. The final argument of the "Limes" that this system which would force children from the home to school like convicts under sentence, would lower the morale and standards of the schools so that none would care to brag that they went to school is sheer nonsense. Only when children begin to show more common sense, can there be any talk of voluntary school attendance. We are of the opinion that all of the objections put forth by the enemies of compulsory education are worthless and that Illinois should have a law compelling parents to send their children to schools.

    Enemies of the law for compulsory school attendance of children between the ages of 8 and 14 years, among whom is found the "Chicago Times" condemn this law and it's ...

    Bohemian
    I A 1 a, I B 3 b
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- December 27, 1879
    German in the Public Schools (Editorial)

    We received a letter from Mr. Keith, member of the school board, wherein the gentleman took exception to our remarks published in the Thursday, December 25, issue of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung. We accused Mr. Keith of having broken his word. He said that he had merely promised the editor of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung that he would not join in the attacks which were then being made against, the teaching of German in the public schools, and that he had fulfilled that pledge, but that he had never made a declaration that he would maintain that attitude throughout his tenure of office. He was not prejudiced against the Germans or their language, but it was his conviction that teaching the German language in the public schools was of no educational value. If people wished to reproach him for his act, then he would have to accept their censure, but he objected to anyone's saying 2that he disregarded his promises, because such a statement was not founded on fact.

    Well enough. We do not intend to be unfair and therefore we gave his views. Whether his explanations will convince others we leave to our readers. We wish to add, however, that according to Mr. Keith's opinion the reduction in the appropriation for salaries of special teachers is by no means an indication that German instruction will be dispensed with. The appropriation affects only the salaries of the "superintendents" of the special branches, German, music, and drawing, for whom no money will be available after July 1, 1880, but the status of the teachers remains unchanged.

    According to this explanation, only the salaries of the afore-mentioned three superintendents of the special branches would cease after July 1.

    3

    If a definite issue were to be made of the question whether German instruction should be continued or eliminated, the school board's decision would be entirely different from its vote on Stone's motion, three days ago. At least two members (possibly even Keith, as a third, but he did not definitely say this) who voted for Stone's motion would then vote for the retention of German in our schools.

    Let us hope so, and if it does happen, then we will be indebted to the energetic intervention of the German press.

    We also received a communication from another source, wherein the sender endeavored to show that the Germans themselves showed little concern about the teaching of their native language, and proof was offered by quoting statistics of the constantly diminishing attendance at German classes due to parental choice.

    4

    These figures are misleading, because the large number of children who study German at home, in parochial or private schools, or who are far advanced beyond their age group in the public schools and therefore do not study the language there, are not listed. One will readily perceive the importance of German instruction if he considers those children of Germans who have no opportunity to learn the language at home or at a private institution. One can admit, however, that the pedagogic value of maintaining the German language in the school curriculum is less important than the moral value as long as it is taught in the present unsatisfactory manner. Above all, our citizens of German origin will become staunch advocates of the public schools, whereas otherwise our schools might meet with considerable and justified criticism based on sensible teaching methods.

    Those Americans who at heart are opposed to German instruction are the very ones who should favor the teaching of German in the public schools, because 5thousands of children who now attend private or parochial schools would then go to our public schools. Many far-seeing Germans have recognized this fact and opposed strenously the teaching of German in public schools, because the children became Americanized thereby. What inconsequential German is taught in the public schools is entirely disproportionate to the English-American influence prevailing there; however, the majority of the German-speaking people in Chicago are not aware of this fact.

    Another factor which is of moral significance: German instruction steadily reduces the animosity which exists between German-American and English-American children. Those of our readers who have been here for twenty years or more have had experience along this line. A quarter of a century ago the middle and lower classes of our native population had the same attitude toward the Germans as Californians have toward the Chinese today. The Germans--and above all, their language--were ridiculed, and 6it was not unusual for American rowdies to tell Germans not to speak their native tongue in public or while riding on a train. Whenever Germans spoke their native language, Americans scoffed or grinned, so that many Germans, fearing mob violence, resorted to English jargon.

    After the German language was introduced into the schools of our larger cities, matters improved considerably. The new generation does not ridicule people anymore when they talk a foreign language, because it is taught in schools now and therefore commands respect. Fluency in another language is now regarded as an accomplishment, and most of the friction is now a thing of the past. And what applies to the children also applies in a large measure to the parents. The continuation of German instruction in our schools gives assurances of ever-growing mutual esteem between the English-Americans and German-Americans, and helps in fostering friendly relations.

    On the other hand, if we discontinue the teaching of German in the public 7schools we revert to former days, and old grudges will be renewed.

    If the American Republicans, the Irish, and the Kentucky Democrats [Translator's note: This refers to Mayor Harrison, a Democrat from Kentucky, and his followers--hence, Kentucky Democrats], wish to combine to bring about this undesirable condition, then they must expect to be treated as bitter enemies by the Germans.

    We received a letter from Mr. Keith, member of the school board, wherein the gentleman took exception to our remarks published in the Thursday, December 25, issue of the Illinois ...

    German
    I A 1 b, III A, I B 3 b, I A 2 b, II B 2 f
  • Svenska Tribunen -- December 06, 1882
    The Emigrant Is Complaining

    An Editorial: There are some immigrants, who write home to their relatives, telling them about their hardships in America.

    Let us, therefore, try to find out the reason for these lamentations. It is a sad fact that many a farmer in the northern part of Sweden is a heavy drinker. To get money for this bad habit he sells part of his forest and other property time after time. Finally his thought go to America, because he had heard that many have made a fortune there, although he doesn't realize that progress is made through hard work. Then he decides to sell the rest of his property and to emigrate. But it takes some time before he gets his things together for the journey. He has to attend so many farewell feasts and so his money goes to the wind. Instead of saving up to buy farm equipment in the new country he is dreaming of plenty of gold. He 2is still drinking and drinking. Finalley he is on his way to America. How can such a man create a new home in a foreign land with happiness and peace? He is soon disappointed and writes home his lamentations which are reproduced in the newspapers.

    Here is another picture. Some young men emigrate. When they were at home with their parents, they were spoiled. They decide to make the trip to the United States and get their share of cash as their parents' heirs. At first they have a good time in the new country, and like the prodigal son, they waste what they inherited. Soon it is all gone and their hardships begin. They then write home their lamentations, asking for more money. Such letters are sometimes forwarded to editors, who write about these young men's sufferings with headlines in their papers like this:

    "Warning to Emigrants."

    Some years ago a man about fifty years of age emigrated to America. He was a 3heavy drinker.

    Before he went away his friends warned him not to go because of his age and his broken health, caused by wild living. But he and his family landed in New York. From there they went out west to a small city. Although he couldn't speak English he went frequently to taverns, drinking and drinking. During one of these visits he became intoxicated and started howling and singing and was kicked out of the saloon on to the street. Here he came in contact with the police and was arrested. He then wrote hom that America was a bad country.

    Two years later after this episode, we find our immigrant on the prairie,where he had taken some 160 acres. He had built himself a house of turf with one window. Here he sits, remembering how comparatively easy he had it at onetime in the old country, and still could have had it if he had been more careful with his property. He also realizes that he could have had it much better here in America had he saved his money instead of wasting it on liquor. He could have built a real house and bought farm equipment.

    4

    The tears roll down the gray beard. He starts thinking. At one time I had a nice house. I had forest-meadows, I had plenty, but I wasted it. "Oh, is it too late?" Is it? May we hope that it is not if he, through hard, honest labor, starts over again and stays sober forever.

    An Editorial: There are some immigrants, who write home to their relatives, telling them about their hardships in America. Let us, therefore, try to find out the reason for these ...

    Swedish
    III G, III H, I B 1, I B 3 b
  • Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung -- February 13, 1883
    The Northside Socialists.

    The weekly meeting of the northside Socialists yesterday was well attended at which comrade Lange presided. Comrade Brassholz gave the weekly report with an ensuing debate. This was followed by comrade Schwab's announced speech on the theme "Free Love". He gave a picture of the marriages of today which are the result of industrial conditions. He said this was the cause for murders committed on unborn children as well as on the ones, having been brought into the world. Modern marriages are based on nothing but misery. Under our present system the wife is subordinate to her husband but under the Socialist system she would be his equal. The material interest which plays the principal part in marriages of today would be disregarded. Marriage would not mean slavery to women any more.

    People would live in palaces, comparatively equipped with all the latest comforts and, machines to do the heavy work. Children would be reared in educational institutions. Only then, marriage could be noble and only then affection could be considered. Such unions would eventually prove to be of longer duration than modern marriages are. But in a case of incompatibility, the union could be dissolved.

    The weekly meeting of the northside Socialists yesterday was well attended at which comrade Lange presided. Comrade Brassholz gave the weekly report with an ensuing debate. This was followed by ...

    German
    I E, I B 3 c, I B 3 b, I B 3 a, II B 2 g