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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  • Magyar Tribune -- March 23, 1917
    The Emigration Problem

    Previous to the war which has been going on for the past three years, many of us who never thought that we would go back to Hungary,are now thinking seriously of emigrating with the thought that after the war there will be a shortage of man power due to the great number that lost their lives or became cripples.

    There is some question as to whether the supposition is true. Does it seem probable that the Hungarians emigrating from this country, will be respected as good workers, and can they expect a livable wage for their work? Why did we come to this country? Was it not because there were too many of us in Hungary and we could not make a living there?

    As we learned in school, the natural resources of Hungary are silver, iron ore, and coal and easy transportation by water. Our immigration to this country was therefore not caused by Hungary's not having sufficient natural resources. The 2real reason seems to be political and lack of general wealth among the people, also lack of general and technical education. On account of these facts many of the people became surplus population in their particular line of work,and if a man did get a job he was 'pushed around' and constantly reminded, that if he did not like his job there were many others who would like it. Most particularly was this true of the agricultural worker. Most of them worked long hours for very low wages. Hungary is an agricultural country and most of its farm implements are manufactured in foreign countries; therefore industry absorbs very few or none of the employables.

    About the only place where industry and mining thrive and develop is in the agricultural regions where the owners can obtain cheap and ignorant help. This situation brings about a wandering class of workers. This type of workers has a tendency to retard the development of both agriculture and industry. We would think that the working class of people are at fault, but there is also a certain percentage of professional men involved; they cannot find work due to the fact that in Hungary the industries are so far behind in development. Such was the picture before the war started.

    3

    Even then the workers were beginning to realize that organization was necessary. They wanted shorter hours and more pay. But the Capitalists realized the ignorance of the people and created internal strife among them, so that these organizations were soon broken up.

    But now the war is nearing its end, and the people are fast realizing that they were not fighting and killing to save their own, but to save the property of those who had treated them so harshly. In Hungary the great land owners are the law makers and legislators. The people who fought for them must realize these facts, and they must demand their rights.

    The development of Hungary depends on the question of whether or not the people who fought in the war will have any rights. If the government provides regulations for livable wages for the agricultural workers, free press, and free and independent courts for the people, then perhaps the Hungarians in America might feel that it would be worth their while to go back to Hungary after the war is over.

    Previous to the war which has been going on for the past three years, many of us who never thought that we would go back to Hungary,are now thinking seriously ...

    Hungarian
    III G, III H, I G
  • Magyar Tribune -- March 23, 1917
    Immigration

    The United States immigration authorities recently released the statistics with reference to immigration into the United States. These statistics showed that the United States received 24,745 immigrants in the month of January of this year. Last year this country received 298,826 immigrants.

    During the month of January the immigration consisted of 211 Hungarians, they were all women and children, 1,020 Germans, 3,397 English, 321 French, and 400 from Mexico.

    The United States immigration authorities recently released the statistics with reference to immigration into the United States. These statistics showed that the United States received 24,745 immigrants in the month ...

    Hungarian
    III G
  • Magyar Tribune -- April 12, 1918
    Emigration

    During the early part of the War it looked very much as though the central powers were going to win the war and out of this came the thought that many people would emigrate after the war was over. But now that the United States had entered the war, it has almost become an impossibility with the United States aiding the allies for Germany to win; she is standing with her back against the wall. The masses who believed that Germany would win the war previously have still some faith in the possibility that the war may he won by Germany, therefore, they have not given up the idea of emigration, and with this idea in mind,they believe that if the central powers win,there will be countless opportunities in the countries that claim victory.

    Without considering what will happen in this country if this emigration takes place, we must think of what conditions await the emigrants who arrive in these lands of opportunity. Emigration in such great volume as is predicted 2would be a terrible blow to this country, and its industries, but the right to emigrate cannot be denied those people who desire to do so. Enactment of laws to stop emigration also seems to be an impossibility. Probably the only way mass emigration can be stopped is by acquainting the people with the conditions that will exist in Central Europe, especially in Austria Hungary more so than in Germany. One must bear in mind that when we came to this country there was a reason for it, there must have been some fault or something we did not like about the social or economic system in the country from which we came.

    There is a very mistaken idea that, due to the great number of people lost in the war the entire central European set-up will change, and that it will offer countless opportunities.

    It is true that agriculture in Austria Hungary became a business proposition but when this happened this industry became mechanized and, therefore, threw a great number of men out of work. These men were soon absorbed by this country. Most of the people thinking of emigrating are those who before 3coming to this country were engaged in agriculture. The only condition under which these people should go back to their home countries would be if it were certain that there will be room for them in agriculture. This, however, is very questionable, and Hungary and the other central countries of Europe are not industrially inclined, therefore, it seems as though the people who are planning to leave this country have been somewhat misled.

    The land question is the most important question in Europe. There has been a great deal of blood shed in order that the land question might be solved.

    The continuation of revolts has proved that people do not value any one thing more dearly than land which has been taken away from them by force. These revolts have netted the people nothing because the landlords were always protected by an armed force.

    This war is being fought because it will test the strength of the soldiers or 4servants of the landlords. This does not only apply to the depressed people but concerns the entire world; that is the four countries of the world. If these junkers are defeated,and the only way they will be defeated, is by a victory on the part of the United States, then the people will have hopes of getting their lands back. This, of course, should not be misinterpreted to mean that just as soon as the war is over the land will be divided among the population. It would only be the start of a great social reform and will mean the death of the junkers. We must make this notation, however, that if the emigration from this country is too heavy, these landlords or junkers will use this as a tool to battle off those who have been seeking land.

    The emigration question is not a subject that should not be discussed; it is just the opposite; now is the time when the Hungarian masses should be fully informed of the problems of emigration. We must advise the people who are considering emigration, taking their interest whole heartedly or conscientiously, so they will not be victims of propaganda.

    During the early part of the War it looked very much as though the central powers were going to win the war and out of this came the thought that ...

    Hungarian
    III G, I G
  • Magyar Tribune -- May 17, 1918
    The Melting Pot.

    The United States is considered by the world as the melting pot of nations; but since the country declared war, immigration has practically stopped, making raw material rather limited for this gigantic melting pot. For instance, during the last twelve months only 400,000 immigrants have arrived which is only one third the number this country received during the fiscal year ended in June 1914. We must also consider the fact that the year previous to the war the immigration was at its height,with the exception of 1907, when one million and two hundred eighty five thousand immigrants entered this country. The war naturally caused the immigration to drop sharply and immigration authorities tell us that there will be a further drop.

    The population of the United States is decreasing not only because immigration is dropping, but also because emigration is increasing. The larger part of the emigrants is made up of those men who are going back to fight for the country from which they came. The number of emigrants practically matches 2that of the immigrants. This is about the only year in the history of the country that the population of the United States has not increased due to immigration.

    The melting pot is practically empty, and is not working as it would under ordinary conditions; but the work that it has done so far is good and of great importance. Today the United States means more to every foreign born resident than it has at any previous time; this includes the immigrants from the central powers of Europe. The war has brought the foreign born resident closer to the United States; the fusion in the melting pot has become more complete than ever before. The United States is not only a place where the immigrants are able to make a comfortable living; it is not merely a temporary abode, but a real home to them. The people living in the United States are United regardless of creed or nationality, and this condition is created by the war.

    The United States is considered by the world as the melting pot of nations; but since the country declared war, immigration has practically stopped, making raw material rather limited for ...

    Hungarian
    III G, III A
  • Magyar Tribune -- November 22, 1918
    Americanization (Editorial)

    The United States has taken serious steps that will benefit the immigrant population of the United States. The Department of Labor has appointed a Commissioner of Naturalization. His main duty will be to set up offices in all cities where there is a large number of immigrants.

    Among the very important duties of this organization will be to help the immigrants in their troubles, and give them advice in different matters, gratis. This new government organization will protect immigrants against scheming lawyers, and other racketeering organizations. It will also help the people realize that they are not only in this country to obtain employment, but to seek the friendship of all citizens of this country.

    The United States wants to help the immigrants, and realizes their position, but it also expects the immigrants to respond in accordance with the laws of this country.

    2

    This organization will help the immigrants secure passports for their families to come to this country, it will also help them to invest their money wisely. The immigrants should seek the aid of this organization with confidence. It does not ask for anything in return but respect for the United States, and that they become naturalized citizens, and further, that they should understand and hold high the principles of this form of government.

    The United States has taken serious steps that will benefit the immigrant population of the United States. The Department of Labor has appointed a Commissioner of Naturalization. His main duty ...

    Hungarian
    III A, III G
  • Magyar Tribune -- March 07, 1919
    Immigration and Americanization (Editorial)

    The immigrant today is a man we must take care of. He needs and deserves attention and thoughtful consideration; its our duty to help him.

    Economically he is a potential asset which we should appreciate. Help him understand the American point of value, and he will become a cheerful and hardworking American just as the rest of us who have preceded him. It is to our benefit, that this man should be able to take care of himself, learn our language and keep his mind hopeful.

    If we want to be loyal to ourselves, we should consider basic principles and find good reasons for doing all in our power to reveal America to this man. We can help him get a truer and more invigorating understanding of freedom, and show him the advantages of our democracy; we can help him get adjusted to 2the American way of living. We should teach him to fight for higher ideals and show him how to realize them. We must get inside this man and see this country as he sees it, but also look back to the land from which he came; and then we must make him realize that this land has accepted him and becomes his foster mother.

    The immigrant today is a man we must take care of. He needs and deserves attention and thoughtful consideration; its our duty to help him. Economically he is a potential ...

    Hungarian
    III G, III A, I G
  • Magyar Tribune -- May 23, 1919
    Emigration

    The savings department of the American Bankers' Association, has sent out the following letter:

    "The terrible pictures which certain Bolshevik agitators are painting for the foreign population of the United States are starting to have some effect. It is believed that 1,300,000 foreigners will soon seek residence in nations where Communism is flourishing."

    "The people who will emigrate will take their savings with them."

    2

    The bankers have estimated that the average emigrant will take from fifteen to twenty thousand dollars with him.

    It is estimated that four billion dollars will go out of the United States.

    There are two important connecting facts: the people who emigrate from this country at the present time are not socially or politically fitted for citizenship in the United States; their voluntary departure will be a very good thing for this country. Those foreigners who are more bold in their Communistic activities will be deported by this country, and other individuals will be put in jail.

    3

    The money which they withdraw from banks, to take out of the country cannot be confiscated, without causing more serious trouble. The bankers want to stop this emigration, but this is to be deplored; just because they want to keep the money in this country, they must also seek to keep these "undesirable foreigners" here.

    This movement of emigration is angering people in the financial circles of this country. We can see that certain individuals would be glad to get rid of these immigrants, if they did not take their money with them. These people saved this money the hard way, and they are entitled to every penny they have 4saved. The four billion dollars which they will take out of this country is very negligible, compared to their contribution to the wealth of this country. And yet the financiers want them to leave their last drop of blood here.

    We do not think that the emigration will be as great as we are lead to believe. The immigrants know much more than the bankers think. These immigrants will not take a chance with their life savings. Especially those immigrants whose homelands are under the Communistic form of government.

    5

    Regardless of how the situation turns out, it remains a fact that the emigrants will not oblige the bankers by leaving their lifes' savings in this country.

    The savings department of the American Bankers' Association, has sent out the following letter: "The terrible pictures which certain Bolshevik agitators are painting for the foreign population of the United ...

    Hungarian
    III G
  • Magyar Tribune -- June 27, 1919
    Severe Restrictions

    The present congressional session will place some very severe restrictions, and enact laws with reference to immigration. This is being done in order to keep undesirables out of this country. They will also enact laws which will give sufficient power to the government to deport those undesirables who have succeeded in coming into this country.

    This resolution was brought before the House by Albert Johnson, who is the chairman of the committee on immigration.

    With reference to the more recent radical disturbances and bombings, this resolution will be passed by the House in record time. The committee on immigration will have this bill up for consideration next Wednesday.

    2

    The fundamental points of this bill are as follows:

    1. To suspend immigration for the next two years.

    2. A thorough investigation of the immigrants who are now living in the United States.

    3. The deportation of those people who neglected getting their first papers in order that they might be free from enlisting for duty in the American Army.

    4. The deportation of all aliens who have records as blackmailers, all those who teach or are practicing the ideas of communism, or are members of an organization practicing or teaching anti- 3Americanism.

    5. To allow immigrants only a temporary stay in this country, and grant a permanent stay only after a thorough investigation.

    6. To enact severe restrictions with reference to the registration of all sailors, or boat hands, and a severe penalty on those steamship lines who fail to live up to this restriction.

    These restrictions will enable the United States to get acquainted with all information concerning the immigrant.

    This bill would require everyone to register upon entering the United States, present a photograph and be fingerprinted. The registration and photography would be compulsory each year after entering the United 4States.

    The two-year restriction on immigration will be modified so that those people who have relatives in foreign countries can make arrangements to have them brought to this country.

    It is to be remembered that immigrants, who after investigation prove undesirable, must be deported immediately.

    The present congressional session will place some very severe restrictions, and enact laws with reference to immigration. This is being done in order to keep undesirables out of this country. ...

    Hungarian
    III G, III H, I E
  • Magyar Tribune -- July 04, 1919
    Emigration on Downgrade (Editorial)

    With the cooperation of the Emigration Commission, the Foreign Language Governmental Information Service, Hungarian Branch, has recently made a report on emigration. It states that at least 1,300,000 foreign residents of this country are planning to emigrate. The peace pact which was signed by Germany a few days ago apparently has increased the desire for emigration. It appears to us that many people will emigrate immediately. We also assume that out of the 1,300,000 foreigners, many will realize that back in their homeland there exist many disturbing and uncertain conditions, while the situation in the United States is certain and peaceful and one is assured of some comforts. They will realize that to leave this country now would be foolish and unprofitable.

    2

    The skies of Europe are still filled with dark and hazardous clouds. Those who return to their homeland will be terribly disappointed. The foreign population of this country is beginning to realize this fact.

    In the last few days, thousands of these immigrants have decided to remain in this country, even those who not long ago expressed a desire to go back to their homeland.

    At the same time the Emigration Commission's reports show that the 1,300,000 people who plan to leave this country would take with them 4,000,000,000 dollars.

    That means that approximately 3000 dollars a person would be taken to foreign countries. This wealth is sufficient proof that the Hungarian 3workingman has made a very good living in this country, especially in the last few years. During the war, wages were high, but they have remained the same to this day. In many localities, movements are being started to establish laws governing minimum wages for workers.

    The industries which were engaged in the manufacture of war equipment have been reorganized and the success of these industries is already having a favorable effect on this country. The United States receives the largest share of the benefit of this industrial reorganization, because this country is so far ahead of Europe in industrial development. Furthermore our wealth of natural resources will compete with any nation. The ruined European nations will be forced to buy their building materials and industrial equipment from this country. This will bring about increased 4employment opportunities in this country. Therefore, with these facts generally known the people of this country will be happier, their work will be easier, and opportunities for earning a good living will be assured. The unemployment situation in this country is already decreasing, due to the above-mentioned facts, as reported by the State Employment Agency.

    It is natural, therefore, that those people who only yesterday voiced their desire to emigrate to their homeland have changed their minds. They debate whether it is a wise thing to leave a land of certainty and go to a land of uncertainty where their small fortunes consisting only of money, would soon be spent and thereby increase their misery. At the present time emigration should be discouraged.

    With the cooperation of the Emigration Commission, the Foreign Language Governmental Information Service, Hungarian Branch, has recently made a report on emigration. It states that at least 1,300,000 foreign residents ...

    Hungarian
    III G
  • Magyar Tribune -- January 16, 1920
    They Are Going. (Editorial)

    The Hungarians are leaving the United States daily in large numbers. They are not paying attention to the propaganda that is being spread by foreign consuls, nor are they minding the high cost of traveling. The people who are leaving this country do not seem especially pleased that they are able to emigrate. There is a rather disgusted, yet determined look on their faces. To us these people remind us of a part of a Hungarian patriotic song by Vorosmarty, which is in part: "In the great world outside, there is no place for you. You may be blessed or you may be cursed by the hand of fate, but you will have to live and die here." Who would have believed that there was so much truth in Vorosmarty's words. This truth is clearly demonstrated by the fact that so many Hungarians are now leaving this country.

    During the time of peace, efforts were made to win these people to the farmlands 2of this country, but it was without success. The Hungarian worker accepted employment under the most hazardous conditions. He was not afraid of work or even of death, but he did not want to bind himself exclusively to farming here. There were a few Hungarians who purchased farms in Canada and in the United States, but now that they have a chance to return to the homeland, the majority of them are selling their farms and going back to Hungary. These loyal Hungarians are doing this with the best motives in mind to protect their country for which their forefathers shed precious blood.

    There were some political factions who wished to divide Hungary, but what right have they to say what shall be done. It is the working people whom the Hungarians have protected, provided with a better living and more comfortable homes. We Hungarian-Americans are good examples.

    We have been immigrating to this country for the past twenty-five years and 3have helped to build it. What is our reward? This, my dear friends, has been our reward: We Hungarians have never asked for Hungarian schools to be built, nor have we asked for any favors, but we are still being considered as belonging to the lower class of people. Whose idea it is or where did it originate that we should be like the hunted animals of the wilds. For the past six years our people have experienced nothing but hard struggles in order that their work would be recognized, but instead of being recognized and respected they are literally being kicked around. This is the reason the Hungarians are leaving America. They are leaving by the thousands now, but soon they will leave by the hundred thousands.

    If we were told that happiness exists only in fairy tales in the land to which we are going, we would not believe it. What are they going back there for now? They want to see what has happened to their native country since the Powers have been so ambitious to gain supremacy. It is a well-known fact that Hungary was the last nation who agreed to enter the War in Europe. Yet the 4Hungarians must suffer most. Everybody wants to kick and cut this nation to pieces. In spite of all this the Hungarians are emigrating from this country because they are still true to their homeland and cannot believe that it has been taken away from them. Those who are going back have no definite plans. They do not know whether they are returning to their homeland to live or to die. Their only reason for leaving is that they know something unfair has happened to Hungary and there is trouble there.

    In order to become familiar with the thoughts and motives responsible for this emigration, we have talked with some of the emigrants. We advised them not to make the trip because of the great suffering endured there. We received a very simple answer. They said that if those who are there are suffering, they would go and help them suffer. They said they were needed there. Some had left their parents, wives, husbands, and children. It was inspiring to hear some men among them who talked more openly and bravely. They say they are going over there to fight in order to win back their homeland. We will 5have to leave these Hungarians to do as they wish because we cannot hold them back. We agree with these emigrants whose determination for justice is shown when they say they will not be persecuted any longer nor robbed of their savings in the bold manner in which it is done in this country through misinterpretation of the laws.

    It is not our fault that Hungarians in this country are so degraded. Our efforts to Americanize them are completely wasted. A new paper can appear every day with articles advising these people to learn the English language, or other articles may appear concerning Americanization. They are sure to ignore them. They are determined to return to Hungary because they feel that their homeland is in danger and needs their help. It is true that such mass emigration will be of a disadvantage to America. Certain states having large Hungarian colonies have already felt the effects of the emigration. There are many thousands of Hungarian coal miners and steel workers in this 6country. They constitute the industrial life of America. Soon its industrial centers will be closed. Foreign born people are emigrating in great numbers, thereby imperiling the industrial life of the nation. To those Hungarians who have turned their backs on America, business means very little to them. While they were residents here they were degraded and discriminated against, which accounts largely for their desire to leave. Life or death, they do not care. They are going back because they feel they are needed most in Hungary. While in America, they were not given much protection nor liked very well. If there had been some capable leaders among the Hungarians, emigration among them would not have been so great. Efforts to educate the Hungarians would have made them understand that this country affords a good living for them and their families. The natural resources of this country are unlimited, and if the Hungarians had some efficient and influential representatives in their group their influence would be felt and the United States would help them in their efforts to stop the destruction of Hungary. Then it would not be necessary for the Hungarians 7of America to believe that the only way to regain the old Hungary is through bloodshed.

    The American-Hungarian leaders have used every available method to teach their people, but there is nothing left to do but to let these degraded Hungarians return to the country from whence they came. We will permit them to regain their beloved country for which they have worked and labored so long and hard.

    The Hungarians are leaving the United States daily in large numbers. They are not paying attention to the propaganda that is being spread by foreign consuls, nor are they minding ...

    Hungarian
    III G, I L