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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  • Atlantis -- [Unknown date]
    A Trip to Wisconsin

    In America we are indifferent about the future, although it is the "Land of the Future." Likewise, Chicago does not consider the possibility of commercial catastrophes, which have afflicted and affected all of our commercial cities. The speculators,-and who is not a schemer in Chicago? -fear no business crisis; they act and conduct their affairs as if the city were twice as large. If Chicago has a future,-and we have no doubts of it whatsoever,-then it appears that it is being anticipated. After all, Chicago's geographical and commercial conditions are very auspicious. In the end it will exceed the hopes of the most sanguine.

    We saw many splendid buildings, but the German House, in particular, attracted our attention. Situated on the North Side, near she business district, centrally located, its position provides equal accessibility to the inhabitants of the North, West, and South sections of the city.

    2

    The hall was built by Germans with funds obtained through a bond issue. The building forms the focal point of all German endeavors; associations, meetings, etc. We consider this an excellent proposition and predict most gratifying results, especially so because the structure is not the property of any specific club or lodge, being dedicated to the entire German population, which presumably precludes a repetition of the fate that engulfs our German Free-Masonic halls in Cincinnati, St. Louis, etc. The German element will gain considerably thereby, as the work is conducive to create a certain permanence, and that in turn builds power. We feel certain that the might thus obtained will not be wasted in the furtherance of reactionary politics and corrupt office seekers, because Chicago's Germans, in the main, are liberal-minded, consisting of young, ceaselessly ambitious individuals, while the few grey-beards have no influence. The latter, therefore, must stay inactively on the sidelines. German initiative is capable of anything; it requires only a 3proper start. A plastic, formative material is available, and the sculptor's expert touch need only add the requisite precious image.

    This phase is the problem of the only German newspaper of the city, The Illinois Staats-Zeitung. How the publication prospers becomes most apparent when one considers that it is the only German daily in Illinois and Chicago, where we have nearly 30,000 Germans. But the political and social significance of the paper vastly exceeds its material basis. After all, the Germans of Chicago are almost unaffected by preconceived opinions and party preferences, being comparable to a blank leaf which is suitable for any test. We hardly know of any other German publication in the United States which may proceed so individualistically and independently as this newspaper, which need not follow the dictates of popular opinion but is in a position to hold it. The German public here is inclined to accept the best, yet appears satisfied with the common offerings.

    4

    The Illinois Staats-Zeitung attained considerable recognition in its responsible task, and in our judgment its leaders will continue on the straight political path. Some deviations, such as supporting the election of Chase, are temporary; and the paper soon reverted to a decided anti-slavery program. The Illinois Staats-Zeitung reflects the opinion of the great American majority of Chicago who regarded Douglas's Nebraska speech of last year as worthy of a Benedict Arnold. The Germans acquiesce, although they are more interested in business than in politics. Obviously, the demand for a good, regularly appearing slave-driver publication is not very great in Chicago, and if the politicians organize one, it may prove detrimental to their party.

    When we arrived in Chicago, Hillgaertner had departed for Iowa to follow his former legal vocation. He had been editor of the Staats-5Zeitung for three years and his liberal views, above all, brought prosperity to the paper. We cannot refrain from taking advantage of this opportunity to pay him our profound respects. A man like Hillgaertner should not leave the battlefield during its present dreary aspect; we hope to see him again doing effective work among the people. Even if American politics with its crass contradictions and questionable methods do not fascinate a friendly soul, one feels nevertheless that the hour approaches when men in Europe will combine to proclaim justice, extol liberty, and then Hillgaertner will not be absent.

    Among the English newspapers, the Chicago Tribune now shows the same tendency as the Staats-Zeitung. Only six months ago the Tribune was a violent temperance and know-nothing organ [Knownothing, a political party opposed to anything which was not of English or Irish origin.6Transl.], fundamentally opposed to the Staats-Zeitung as well as the entire German population.

    In America we are indifferent about the future, although it is the "Land of the Future." Likewise, Chicago does not consider the possibility of commercial catastrophes, which have afflicted and ...

    German
    I C, III C, II D 6, II B 2 d 1
  • Atlantis -- [Unknown date]
    "The German Press

    In the country we have a multitude of small publications, but most of them have no political or literary value. Although Chicago has a German population of nearly 30,000, only one paper exists, the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, and regardless of its capable staff, it becomes apparent that the paper must serve too many interests to follow a straight, definite course.

    German newspaper development in Michigan shows even a lower comparative percentage, i.e., ratio of inhabitants to number of papers published. In that State we have 80,000 Germans, but only two weekly publications and the semi-weekly Michigan Journal.

    Wisconsin is the land of German newspapers.

    In the country we have a multitude of small publications, but most of them have no political or literary value. Although Chicago has a German population of nearly 30,000, only ...

    German
    II B 2 d 1, II B 2 d 2
  • Atlantis -- [Unknown date]
    Explanation

    We hear from a friend in Chicago regarding our assertion in the last issue of Atlantis about the many interests which confront the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, which aroused some very definite suspicions. We do not believe that we can be misunderstood, that our statements may be construed as an aspersion to the paper's independence and honorableness or an intent to cast doubts upon it.

    The expression which we used might not have been very fortunately chosen, but we only desire to convey the impression that in such a large city of diverse German interests it becomes exceedingly difficult for a single paper to do justice to all, and this difficulty is undoubtedly recognized by the editors of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung.

    How many questions arise on the political horizon within a year! What a diversity of problems among the Germans; all need representation.

    2

    Temperance, the German home, German society, tunnel, banking matters, and other affairs affecting Germanism in particular, enough to eliminate political affairs for a time, but this does not justify censure. However, if we created such an impression then we hope that these lines will prove an adequate explanation. After all, nothing could be more disagreeable to the editor of this publication than a prevailing belief that he intends to arouse suspicions about an honest, liberal-minded paper like the Illinois Staats-Zeitung.

    We hear from a friend in Chicago regarding our assertion in the last issue of Atlantis about the many interests which confront the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, which aroused some very definite ...

    German
    II B 2 d 1
  • Atlantic (Monthly) -- [Unknown date]
    German-American Literature

    German publishing in the eastern part of the United States is still in the stage of reprinting and translating in so far as books are concerned.

    A biography of Barnum, written in German, has been offered by the New York publisher Schmidt, who has no scruples about such matters. It is an insult to Germans to believe that they will buy such trash. In the West German literature takes cognizance of progress in its diverse branches. Within the last half year many German papers have been founded; practically all excel in their liberal conceptions and their cultural standard.

    The Illinois Staats-Zeitung, in its Sunday issue a fortnight ago, referred again to the plan of the Hochwaechter (Watchman). It provides for a convention of German editors. We do not believe that the idea can be realized, although the scheme is beneficial and necessary. Most of the German editors, unfortunately, have not much time to travel or to leave their business even for a short period. It appears to me that lack of time and money are the principal 2objections to this venture, rather than disinclination for agreement and peace, because if such a convention takes place, then the usual party rifts and political dissensions will be relegated to the background. It is gratifying to see that personal scandals find less prominence in the papers, and that the editors accede to the general demands of the public. Conditions would be more auspicious if the meeting were scheduled for Whitsunday. On that day the song festival will be held in Cleveland, and may we be permitted to suggest that the conditions would be productive of greater harmony?

    Pgs. 234, 235, 236, 237.

    German publishing in the eastern part of the United States is still in the stage of reprinting and translating in so far as books are concerned. A biography of Barnum, ...

    German
    II B 2 d 1, III B 4, II B 2 d 3, II B 1 c 1
  • Atlantis -- [Unknown date]
    "General Items. German Newspapers,"

    Mr. Binder, formerly associated with the liberal papers of Albany, is now on the staff of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, a very desirable acquisition for the German publication. The slave traders are definitely opposed to the trend of that paper and their protracted plan to found a regular Nebraskan-minded sheet has at last been realized; in fact we have been informed that it has already reached the stage of distribution. Thus far we have seen no copies.

    Mr. Binder, formerly associated with the liberal papers of Albany, is now on the staff of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, a very desirable acquisition for the German publication. The slave traders ...

    German
    II B 2 d 1