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.

Read more about this historic project.

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 04, 1864
    General Rosenkranz' Order against Strikes (Editorial)

    Since a condition of war still exists in Missouri, General Rosenkranz has issued the following order: "Everybody is forbidden, directly or indirectly to intimidate, or to hinder from the performance of his duty, any workman who is employed in a Saint Louis factory or shop where articles for use on ships plying Western waters, or in the service of the military, marine, or transport-divisions of the United States. Other workers may not enter such establishments for the purpose of finding out who works in them. Organization, maintenance, and attendance upon meetings, of associations or combines that propose to dictate to the owners of such establishments who shall, and who shall not, work therein, is also prohibited." Thus if necessary, men who work in the aforesaid factories or shops are granted military protection. The proprietors of these places of business are ordered to 2report the names of all those "who have left their work since March 15, 1864 for the purpose of joining such an association or combine, or who have been induced to leave their work through the activity of such an association or combine, or through the efforts of individuals affiliated with such associations or combines." The commanding office is charged with the enforcement of this order, and the city authorities, as well as all loyal citizens, are asked to co-operate.

    We condemn this order, because we consider it both unjust and unnecessary. It is true, of course, that the introduction to the order indicates that the military authorities do not wish to include within the scope of the order the wage question or strikes for the purpose of obtaining more pay, and that these authorities are apparently concerned solely with interference by workers with the operation of the aforementioned businesses. It is also true, of course, that the order pertains to those branches of business that manufacture goods necessary to carry on the war. However, we should like to ask, How many 3factories and shops are not included in this category? Tailors, manufacturers of boots and shoes, machinists, saddlers, blacksmiths, wagonmakers, steelworkers--in short, men in nearly all the principal occupations and trades in Saint Louis are doing work for the Army or Navy. And, no doubt, the order goes far beyond its original object, for it directly deprives workers of their right to join an association, but does not take this right away from manufacturers or dealers. Furthermore, the order imposes a system of military supervision upon workers. It greatly exceeds the limits set by the New York Antistrike Bill, which was withdrawn when the workers who would have been adversely affected by it protested against its passage. The encroachment upon personal freedom and the systematic secret persecution which the order involves are not justifiable under any circumstances.

    And, besides, the order will not attain its purpose, which is to prevent interruption in work that is being done for the Army or Navy. Yes, we venture to say that it will have just the opposite effect; for many workers in Saint Louis will go to other cities where there is also a shortage of labor and 4where higher wages are paid, or where the workers are not hindered by the military or municipal authorities from endeavoring to obtain more pay.

    Let us hope that Colonel Knobelsdorff, who is so sensible and humane in other respects, will have withdrawn his order by this time.

    Since a condition of war still exists in Missouri, General Rosenkranz has issued the following order: "Everybody is forbidden, directly or indirectly to intimidate, or to hinder from the performance ...

    German
    I D 2 a 4, I G, I D 2 a 3, I D 2 a 2
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- December 15, 1871
    [Congress Takes Action on Relation between Capital Labor]

    A motion introduced into Congress by Representative Hoar (Mass.) recognizes the national scope of the relations between Capital and Labor. The motion aims at the nomination of a permanent commission of three members whose function it shall be:

    "To investigate the questions of wages and working hours; the relations between capitalists and laborers, and the social, physical and educational conditions, of the laboring classes in the United States; and to determine how these conditions are being influenced through the existing commercial and financial laws and through the currency."

    In explaining his motion Mr. Hoar expressly pointed to the Labor Internationale and the Paris Commune. Of the latter he said that one should not condemn it, as long as one has heard only one side, as is the case at present. A cause for which thousands, not only of workers, but likewise of highly educated 2and well-to-do men heroically gave their lives - such a cause surely has a claim to be examined conscientiously and without prejudice. The leading idea of the Internationale, namely, an association of all humanity and the exclusion of all national antagonisms he called one most worthy to be pondered....

    As far as can be judged from the still continuing debate, Representative Hoar's motion will be adopted almost unanimously. That, the members of the Internationale, if they wish, may interpret as their victory. But the quixotic, garrulous visionaries among them, who dream of communistic Utopias, will get the surprise of their lives. The adoption of the Hoar motion will bring results with which they, crazy bunglers of the stripe of citizen of Sorge of Hoboken, will be as little satisfied as Karl Heinzen is with the Hohenzollern empire.

    On former occasions, when the labor question appeared exclusively in the form of the so-called "eight-hour movement", we have given it as our opinion that America, with its vigorous realism, is just the right place where the justified components of the labor movement can be separated from the anti-rational and 3confused fantasies, with which it has surrounded itself in Europe. The idea is justifiable that workers should appropriately share in the fruits of enormous progress in the technical field, and that this share should consist in a gain of time for higher intellectual education with a consequent enjoyment of life on a level more worthy of human beings...

    Unjustified, however, is the demand which one can more or less clearly distinguish in the savage howling of the Paris and Berlin demagogues, that, as formerly the capitalist was above and the worker below, so in future the worker should be on the top and the capitalist on the bottom. The place of one aristocracy, that of the purse, shall be taken by another, that of the fist. Not only the hard-working and able laborer, but the shiftless, uncouth n'er-do-well who calls himself worker, shall share in the gain of the capitalist. As in former centuries, "noble birth", so in future the mere name of "laborer" shall be a patent of nobility that assures the possessor the largest possible enjoyment of life with the least possible pains. This 4is the unreasonable view of the labor question that inevitably had to develop in Europe. But here on the soil of a free republic the situation is different. Here, where not a class of capitalist stands in opposition to a class of workers; here where nine-tenths of the capitalist have started their careers as laborers; here it is not a question of depriving somebody of special rights and giving them to the other side, but of assuring both of equal justice. Our workers are no cold and starving proletarians, and don't want to be regarded as poor pitiful wretches. None of them counts on remaining necessarily, to the end of his days, a wage earner, and to desire a state of society where a few years hence his own neck may be cut (if by then he should have become a capitalist) is far from his mind.

    But not in the measure as factory industry develops and population becomes more dense, the misproportion between fixed wage and capital gains will increase, that, indeed, is to be feared. And to cope with that future problem preparations must be made in advance. The solution lies in all probability in the direction of free cooperation. This, however presupposes, not an obtuse, savage, ignorant 5and violent mass of proletarians (as the communism of Berlin and Paris fashion does) but educated, industrious, ambitious workers. Not in the ways of Bebel and Liefknecht, who after all are but repulsive caricatures of Paris communists, but in the sober and practical ways of Schulze from Delitzsch, the labor question in the United States will be solved. As a first step to make such a solution one of the great national tasks, one may welcome Mr. Hoar's motion.

    A motion introduced into Congress by Representative Hoar (Mass.) recognizes the national scope of the relations between Capital and Labor. The motion aims at the nomination of a permanent commission ...

    German
    I D 2 a 4, I H, I D 2 b
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 03, 1872
    An Editorial on Strikes

    Though the worker earns here at present, on the whole, a little more than in other cities of the Union, yet his situation here is rather less favorable, and that mainly due to the usurious height of house rent. Therefore, the demand of workers for higher wages is very understandable. We are convinced that the overwhelming majority of the workers will restrain their demands to the boundaries of the possible. From the beginning on, we have opposed the attitude of Chief of Police Kennedy, who insinuated, last winter, that the summer would see labor uprisings in consequence of strikes, and that an armed resistance of the authorities should be prepared. We are utterly opposed to the savage accusations of some monopolists and monopolistic papers directed against the desire of the workers for higher wages. On the other hand we are of the opinion that the strike, especially under prevailing circumstances, is the least likely means of reaching the desired end.

    2

    It would be far better to direct moral indignation against the usurers who make life hard for the worker, instead of directing it against intended strikes. And because for the time being there is no hope for the elimination of that usury, the factory owners should, wherever possible, yield to sensible and moderate demands of workers.

    Though the worker earns here at present, on the whole, a little more than in other cities of the Union, yet his situation here is rather less favorable, and that ...

    German
    I D 2 a 4
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 28, 1872
    [Coal Yard Strike]

    Last Friday, the workers, who load and unload coal in Robert Law's Coal yards, struck...

    The striking workers were satisfied with their wages, but did not want to tolerate workers not belonging to the Union.

    Mr. Law has now engaged 150 workers who belong to no Union, who work for less than the strikers, namely $3 and $4 a day.

    Those who he employed, heretofore, were all Irish, now Mr. Law is trying it with Germans and Scandinavians exclusively.

    Last Friday, the workers, who load and unload coal in Robert Law's Coal yards, struck... The striking workers were satisfied with their wages, but did not want to tolerate workers ...

    German
    I D 2 a 3, I C, I D 2 a 4
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- October 05, 1872
    [A Bricklayer's Strike]

    The German bricklayers held a mass meeting last night in their hall at 55 N. Clark Street, the out-come of which is to be seen from the following letter to our paper:

    Editor of the Illinois Staats Zeitung:

    We have the honor to inform you and the public of Chicago that we, too, the German Bricklayers' Union of Chicago shall be resolved to participate in the strike for the eight hour day and $4 per day wage......... The employers have caused the strike themselves by trying to institute wage reductions that we could not possibly tolerate, after having helping diligently and without complaint, all through the summer to rebuild Chicago. We stand all for one, and one for all, and will not resume work until the employers give in, and also present security that they will keep their promise in the future.

    The German bricklayers held a mass meeting last night in their hall at 55 N. Clark Street, the out-come of which is to be seen from the following letter to ...

    German
    I D 2 a 4
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- October 08, 1872
    The Bricklayers' Strike.

    Some of the striking bricklayers seem to be firmly resolved to attain the long desired aim of an eight hour day or to perish fighting for it. Others, not a few, are inclined to accept the compromise offered by the contractors, - namely, the ten hour day, or to work as long as the daylight permit at the same wages as before the strike, and an assurance that after January 1, eight hours will be regarded as the legal work day.

    Especially the German workers yesterday seemed willing to accept this, in our opinion, very reasonable compromise and only the violent opposition and threatening attitude of the American bricklayers prevented them from resuming work. It is rumored that all who would resume work on these conditions have been threatened with violence.

    2

    We hope that the rumor exaggerates. Otherwise, should it be true and should the attempt be made to carry out the threat, it will happen that we can tell the gentlemen of the strike committee there will be dire consequences for themselves. The bricklayers undoubtedly have the right to form a union...they even have the undisputed privilege, if a majority is for it, to resolve to go on strike. But the right to coerce any member to obey this resolution and to conform with the orders of the majority, that right they have not...It is quite natural, also, for the workers to combine in order to take care of their own interests. Even if the Crispin Ritter Lodge, in Chicago, now and then made mistakes on the whole it did much good.

    The speaker did not believe that the solution of the labor question eventually would lead to bloody conflicts; the education of our day would prevent that. In the United States such conflicts could all the less be expected, because it is the country of the vote, by virtue of which many things have been ironed out. Finally, Mr. Hoffman asked those present 3not to despair if the press falsified, ignored or ridiculed their endeavors. The press, he said was very powerful, and could help much or hurt much. Unfortunately the trade unions were not able to have their own press; eventually that would become different.

    After Mr. Hoffman had ended, the question of a wage raise for the shoemakers was debated. It was decided to hold a mass meeting of the shoemakers of all nationalities at the same place, next Sunday.

    It also was communicated that a committee of the Hans Von Sagan Lodge was charged to made contact with the Scandinavian Lodge. The latter plans to hold a mass meeting in the interest of a raise of wages in about two months.

    Some of the striking bricklayers seem to be firmly resolved to attain the long desired aim of an eight hour day or to perish fighting for it. Others, not a ...

    German
    I D 2 a 4, I C, I D 2 a 2
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 14, 1875
    Labor Mass Meeting

    A mass meeting was held yesterday afternoon at the Bohemian Turner Hall, on West Taylor Street near Canal Street. The smallness of the hall made it difficult to accommodate the huge crowd. Mr. Jeffers was the chairman and Messrs. McAuliffe and Schlueter functioned as secretaries. The agenda was: "The position of the coal miners in Pennsylvania and the striking coal handlers and wheelers, as well as the brick and lumberyard workers in Chicago". [Translator's note: The Union's resolution, appearing toward the end of the article, shows that "the striking coal handlers, or shovelers, and wheelers," refers to workers in Chicago.]

    The proceedings were of a highly exciting nature. The speeches were given in English, German, and Bohemian.

    Mr. Simmen, as first speaker, explained the purpose of the meeting. He 2spoke in English, launching into a mighty tirade against capitalism and then drifting into a discussion of politics. He closed his speech with the following words:

    "The ballot box in America has become a tool by which a band of thieves endeavors to enrich itself. In such a dishonest game, where conniving crooks have stacked the cards beforehand, the workers cannot participate. The universal, equal franchise, that holy institution, the ballot, so coveted by many nations today, has degenerated into a farce, to the dismay and disgust of the honest citizenry. Yes, this is the pass to which we have come in this country. And who dishonored and prostituted the ballot in this manner? We, the workers? Indeed we did not! Let those who created these Augean stables clean them. Let those who so defiled our sacred heritage re-create the ballot box. We have other matters to consider. You have to think of bread for yourselves and your families, and you will never find it in the voting booth.

    3

    "Are you familiar with Ferdinand Lassalle's speech of May 19, 1863, at Frankfort am Main?

    "'If the ruling class threatens to suffocate the labor movement....we must....face a....proletarian revolution within a few decades and the terrors of the June uprising will be....repeated. It must not--shall not be!'

    "Lassalle belonged to the higher economic strata, and as arbiter between labor and capital earned only calumny and hatred from his equals, while his love and devotion for the cause of the workers caused his death.....The safety valves he tried to open were kept closed and the present machine of state must eventually explode!

    "Don't our local powers see the misery which afflicts our people here? Can they not perceive that the split between capital and labor is constantly widening? And what are they doing about it? Greater injury is being 4inflicted; capital tramples on labor remorselessly, constantly widening the gaping rift until--I cannot speak of it!

    "Yes, they know it well enough, are fully aware of it, but they desire it.

    "Someone once said (I cannot recall the name): 'Labor is a sort of vermin which must be exterminated from time to time.'

    "Obviously, our capitalists act according to this principle. Now they let you suffer the pangs of hunger, and later when, driven by spotted fever, you find it necessary to fight for bread, then--you will note--what starvation has not accomplished will be achieved with bullets.

    "But look how they are already making preparations for the coming anticommunist agitation; perceive how they train their uniformed servants. And you, you sleep and are unconcerned!"

    5

    Then Mr. Simmen spoke of the Labor party organ, the Vorbote (Harbinger), which, according to Mr. Simmen, represents the only reasonable point of view; and he exhorted the assembly to support it.

    The next speaker was McAuliffe, who harangued the crowd in his usual somewhat monotonous manner. He advised them to use force against capitalism and thus earned hearty applause. In his speech he made indiscriminate reference to the city fathers, Mayor Colvin, Beecher, the Y.M.C.A., etc.; referred to the stuffing of the ballot box and diverse election frauds, castigating all in a characteristic manner. The failure of even a single coal shoveler to appear aroused McAuliffe's displeasure in particular; after all, the meeting was called chiefly for their benefit.

    Winnen spoke with moderation. He admonished the workers to be staunchly united and asked for support of the Vorbote.

    6

    The most provocative and violent expressions were indulged in by Mr. Pflugrad, who spoke in German. He was adequately rewarded, since his speech was repeatedly interrupted by applause.

    The following resolution was then read in German, English, and Bohemian and unanimously accepted by the assembly.

    "Whereas, The coal miners of Pennsylvania, the coal shovelers, wheelers, and laborers in the various woodyards in Chicago have been compelled by arrogant capitalism's unwarranted wage cuts to suspend working operations, and

    "Whereas, The interests of all workers are identical throughout the world; therefore be it

    "Resolved, That the striking coal miners in Pennsylvania, the coal shovelers 7and wheelers and the laborers in the various woodyards in Chicago are assured of the sympathy of all workers assembled here today, at West Taylor Street, and that the aforesaid laborers will be given moral and material support in the fight against capitalism, the subjugator of all workers; and be it further

    "Resolved, That the unification of all workers of America into a single labor party is a vital necessity fully recognized by us, and that we shall bend our efforts toward the attainment of that goal without delay."

    In order to give due emphasis to these resolutions, a collection was started forthwith in behalf of the coal miners of Pennsylvania.

    A committee of four was nominated for this purpose and when these gentlemen became aware that the word "collection" caused a rapid exodus they deemed it expedient to post themselves at the exit and thereby succeeded in garnering $35.50.

    8

    The money will be sent to the General Council of the International Workingmen's Association in New York, with the request that the fund be forwarded to the miners.

    The meeting was then adjourned.

    A mass meeting was held yesterday afternoon at the Bohemian Turner Hall, on West Taylor Street near Canal Street. The smallness of the hall made it difficult to accommodate the ...

    German
    I D 2 a 4, I E, II D 10, I D 1 a, I D 2 a 3, I D 2 a 2
  • Chicago Tribune -- May 09, 1876
    Yesterday's Proletarian Riot.

    The Bohemian and Polish laborers in the lumberyards in the southwest quarter of the city who were called on by the proprietors to accept $1.25 per day instead of $1.50 on account of the great depression in business, struck, and refused to work at the rate, as they had a right to do, But there were plenty of Germans, and Irish, and Americans destitute of employment who were glad to take the vacant places. But this enraged the strikers, who demanded $1.75 per day, and, under the influence of Communist demagogues, resolved that the other workmen should not be employed, but that they must be taken back at advanced wages, and they proceeded to mob both the workmen and the employers. A large proportion of these Bohemians had been idle during the winter months, as the bulk of the work consists of unloading vessels, sorting and piling lumber.

    2

    Their refusal to work, under these circumstances, and in the present hard times, was a folly which only ignorant men would commit, since, including their families, some 2,000 or 3,000 people are dependent on their employment at this season of the year. But since they have resorted to violence and an attempted interference with the right of other men to labor at any price they choose to accept, it is no longer a question of the policy of the strikers, but simply an emergency requiring the strong arms of authority to suppress quickly and summarily the mob-violence incited against it. There is at present truce between the strikers and the employers, but it has been obtained by a practical abandonment of work, and the terrorism which the strikers sought to establish virtually exists. The moral force of this must be broken, and the right of free men to free labor established beyond the reach of menace.

    The Bohemian and Polish laborers in the lumberyards in the southwest quarter of the city who were called on by the proprietors to accept $1.25 per day instead of $1.50 ...

    Bohemian
    I D 2 a 4, I D 2 a 4
  • Chicago Tribune -- May 10, 1876
    The Commune

    A parcel of blatant communist demagogues, among whom are Thorsmark, Jeffers, Mc Auliff and others, called a meeting of workingmen, and especially the lumbershovers now on a strike, at the Twelfth Street Turner Hall last evening, urging them to assert their rights and show their strength. The gathering was in behalf of the commune, and of the most fiery character; so far as the man Thorsmark is concerned, his address, delivered in any other place but Chicago, would have sent him behind prison bars.

    The meeting was called to order by William Jeffers in English and German, and he was chosen to preside. H. Thorsmark was the first speaker. He addressed the meeting in German. He said the war had commenced, as ever before, and was now a war of nationality. He paid a tribute to Bismarck, who, he said, filled his own and his generals' pockets with gold stolen from the people. The Franco-Prussian war was between rich and poor, and he denounced Bismarck and his policy.

    He then came down to the present troubles in the lumber district, and quoted from the Staats-Zeitung, and said it had not stated facts, when it said that the men had been paid $2 a day, and objected to a reduction to $1.75 a day. The 2bosses talked about hard times and tried to make big profits by reducing the poor men from $1.50 to $1.25 a day. They, the bosses, had said the poor men could live on corn-meal like hogs, and dress themselves in rags. He wanted this thing somewhat reversed. Men could be driven so far that they would be finally compelled to turn and fight against their pursuers. He wanted them to pledge their lives to maintain their rights. They were not compelled to work at starvation wages. They should not demand less than $1.75 a day. He held that workmen had a right to meet in an orderly manner. The rioters, he held, had only protected themselves; and had they not done that, they would not have deserved the name of men. He wanted them to make a party of their own; to show that they were strong and honest, and that thieves could not walk over them.

    He then paid his attention to the last grand jury, and the little conversation between Mr. Storey and Mr. Hesing, and the old bribery business between. This pleased the audience. He then said that there were no such rascals among them. They need not expect anything from the capitalists; nothing from the Staats-Zeitung, or its editors, Hesing and Raster, because it was a business of grinding profit. He wanted them not to forget that they were the down-trodden ones, and that they should not fall to pieces like the Hesing and Storey party, which had fallen apart of its own accord.

    3

    Washington was a captain who had a purpose and who was a man of determination. This same trait was what had helped Bismarck to lay out kings, so that he now wanted to pocket German railways. This spirit he wanted them to show, and they would succeed in carrying a great revolution to success.

    As a diversion, he wanted them to battle through the ashes of cities and to clean out Martin and Schayer for protecting their own party.

    A parcel of blatant communist demagogues, among whom are Thorsmark, Jeffers, Mc Auliff and others, called a meeting of workingmen, and especially the lumbershovers now on a strike, at the ...

    German
    I D 2 a 4, I E
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- September 05, 1876
    [German Typographers Strike]

    The Illinois Staats Zeitung is sorry to have to deliver to its readers today an incomplete paper. Last night the typographers went on strike and it was impossible to secure substitutes on such short notice. For that reason we were unable to print the local news. The Staats Zeitung feels that it has always fulfilled the just requests of its typographers.

    For over ten years it has paid them the union wage although the majority of the German newspapers pay at least five cents less. Now the typographers not only want five cents more than is paid here in Chicago by any newspaper, but also a guarantee that this rate will be paid for the next six months. The news we had to omit today will be published later.

    The Illinois Staats Zeitung is sorry to have to deliver to its readers today an incomplete paper. Last night the typographers went on strike and it was impossible to secure ...

    German
    I D 2 a 4, I C, II B 2 d 1