Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 03, 1871[The Committee of the German Library Association]
The meeting that was called by Messrs. Kihlholz and Dyrenfurth, or, as they call themselves: the Committee of the German Library Association, was as well attended by representatives of Chicago Germandom, in all social and professional stratas, as a meeting has ever been. It is all the more to be regretted that Mr. Kihlholz and Mr. Dyrenfurth declared themselves not to want nor to be able to yield to the resolutions of the meeting. The discussion became very acrid apropos of the selection of a chairman of the meeting and of the question of delegate credentials. It then turned out that the German American Library Association, consisting only of its two committee members, after the resignation of a Mr. Johnson, had sent a circular to German publishers asking for books for a German-American library in Chicago. Now they regarded the creation of such a library as an obligation toward the German publishers. Mr. Kihlholz, also, had done a great deal of work, incurred considerable expense, and now held the books. Later than the so-called German-American Library Association was formed, which promised to add German books to the Public Library but had done nothing and achieved nothing, so Mr. Kihlholz said, and was dominated by half of a dozen politicians, and now arrogated to itself the power to dispose of what others had worked hard to bring together.2
In addition, the German Library Association, in his opinion, the present meeting had been packed and so, Mr. Kihlholz declared in advance that he would not abide by its resolutions. Mr. Wiel of the Chicago Turn Community, Franz Roesch of the Germania and Concordia Male Choir, Max Eberhardt and Mr. Hesing spoke at length against Mr. Kihlholz' arguments.
Mr. Rosenthal spoke for the Public Library, promising that it would contain everything that a German private library could contain. "For this library, books that could not be bought for hundreds of thousands of dollars had been contributed from England. This library is intended to be a monument of the friendship of the nations and I, as a German, would be ashamed to have to tell the directory of which I am a member, that Germany excludes itself, the Germans want a library of their own, the end of this German private library would be the same as that of eight former ones. I would have to see it auctioned off. Those gentlemen have not calculated what it costs to build a library, have not thought of the building or the rent, the administrative costs or the increase."3
(Mr. Rosenthal finally moved to table Mr. Roesch's motion of a vote of thanks for Messrs. Kihlholz and Dyrenfurth. Mr. Roesch, thereupon, withdrew his motion. However, a little while later Alderman Buehler renewed it).
The well-known labor apostle, Klinks, said the Public Library would be nothing for the German worker. He could not adjust himself to American habits. One should first try it out with a German private library, one then still would be free to do as one wanted.
The motion of Mr. Buehler was tabled, and the motion of Mr. Horwitz adopted with 34 to 25 votes, (to turn the books over to the Municipal Library).
The rest of the meeting was exceedingly stormy. Six or seven members of the International, who were present and had been unable to get the floor, especially the President of the Chicago section, Mr. Simpel, shouted about terrorism, bourgeois, library, etc.4
Mr. Dyrenfurth declared that he did not recognize the meeting and would call another one. A motion of Mr. Seibel to inform the German book trade and the German public in general of the resolutions, and to explain to them the right of the meeting to represent the Germans of Chicago - brought Mr. Kihlholz once more to the fore. He heaped accusations on the meeting, and declared that he felt contempt for it. His consolation was, he said, that the books were stored in Leipzig and that they would remain there until disposition was made.
MR. SIEBEL'S MOTION WAS ADOPTED.
Mr. Hesing finally refuted the assertions of Mr. Kihlholz that the meeting was under the leadership of politicians, and showed the members of the International, who clamored that here, too, the interests of the workers were being slighted, how senseless their arguments were. After a session of four hours the meeting was finally closed, but the discussion continued in the lobby.
II B 2 a, I C, III A, III B 2
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