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 -- June 26, 1872
    [Bohemian Aid Committee Formed].

    The Chicago Bohemians resolved in a meeting to collect money for the support of their countrymen in Bohemia, who lost all they had through a terrible inundation during May 25th to 28th, and to forward it to the Aid Committee in Prague. At the meeting, immediately, about $250.00 was collected. An Aid Committee was formed consisting of:

    Cenek Duras, President

    Vaslav Kolzum, Vice President

    F. V. Ligro, Secretary

    Henry Horner, Treasurer.

    The Chicago Bohemians resolved in a meeting to collect money for the support of their countrymen in Bohemia, who lost all they had through a terrible inundation during May 25th ...

    Bohemian
    II D 10, III H
  • Svornost -- September 10, 1878
    [Committee Appointed to Solicit Relief for Yellow Fever Victims]

    Bohemians at a mass-meeting in "Telocveine Jednoty Sokol" (Gymnastic Society Sokol) Hall, selected a committee composed of Mr. J. Padecke, Klenhy and Kozak, to solicit and receive contributions for the benefit of Southerners stricken with Yellow Fever. According to the report, it will require at least $1,000,000 more to care for those now stricken by the fever.

    We are convinced that the Bohemian people will gladly contribute to this cause; all contributions will be publicly acknowledged.

    Bohemians at a mass-meeting in "Telocveine Jednoty Sokol" (Gymnastic Society Sokol) Hall, selected a committee composed of Mr. J. Padecke, Klenhy and Kozak, to solicit and receive contributions for the ...

    Bohemian
    II D 10
  • Svornost -- September 30, 1878
    [Fund Raised for Yellow Fever Victims]

    We are advised that the Committee appointed by local Bohemians, to solicit funds for the relief of those stricken with Yellow Fever, has thus far collected a total of $700.00.

    We are advised that the Committee appointed by local Bohemians, to solicit funds for the relief of those stricken with Yellow Fever, has thus far collected a total of $700.00.

    Bohemian
    II D 10
  • Svornost -- November 25, 1878
    "Healthy Body, Healthy Mind"

    This is a saying of which the truth cannot be denied, and one which receives confirmation in professional circles. It seems that physical culture among Bohemian-Americans, and particularly among Chicago Bohemians, is not an important subject. In fact, it appears to be regarded with the utmost indifference everywhere among us. With more than 200,000 Bohemians in the United States we have only about 15 gymnastic societies, with about 800 members. Until the recent organization of the National Gymnastic Society the local units in most cases, scarcely subsisted.

    Merely 800 members of gymnastic societies among a population of 200,000 Bohemians! These figures do not do us much honor. Were it not for the improvement recently shown, we should have to admit that all hopes of establishing a physical culture program among our compatriots in the United States must be dismissed.

    We have noticed for some time past that our fellow-Bohemians are turning away 2from all that is beautiful and useful; that gymnastics, the theater, and many other arts are being neglected. They seem to have nothing else in mind except the organization of benevolent societies. We are not unfriendly to such organizations and wish them to be as successful as any others, for we acknowledge their usefulness. But we deplore the fact that on account of the continual organization of such societies all our other nationalistic efforts suffer.

    In Chicago, where we have 25,000 Bohemians, we have two gymnastic societies. How many members have they? Not quite two hundred. This is not proportionately enough. Five or six hundred gymnasts would not be too many for Chicago. So many could and should be counted as members of our two organizations. There are in our city so many Bohemian youths that if one fourth of them were to join either one or the other of our two societies, these organizations would be much larger. Our compatriots, however, continue to remain indifferent toward these organizations and instead of giving them support are actually withdrawing from them.

    Only a small part of our people take notice of these organizations, and Chicago 3Bohemians in general think of them only when some charitable purpose is to be undertaken. Then every one remembers that we have two national halls, that we have a Telocvicne Jednota Sokol (Sokol Gymnastic Society) and a Cesko Amerikansky Sokol (Bohemian-American Sokol), and that it is the duty of our racial organizations to support this or that good cause. That either of these gymnastic societies should be noticed at any other time seems to be out of the question.

    We believe, however, that no one can excuse himself from joining one of these societies by saying that he cannot afford it. The dues of both are so small as to be a burden to no one.

    We have written about this several times, and we repeat: Bohemian youth, concern yourselves about gymnastic organizations, help to uphold our national ideals, and increase your well-being by joining the Sokol National Gymnastic Society.

    This is a saying of which the truth cannot be denied, and one which receives confirmation in professional circles. It seems that physical culture among Bohemian-Americans, and particularly among Chicago ...

    Bohemian
    II B 3, II D 10, II D 1, III A, III E
  • Svornost -- November 26, 1878
    [Benefit Dance Given by Vlasta]

    The dance given by "Vlasta" (Women's Society) last Saturday was a grand National entertainment, which not only afforded pleasure to the guests but was a great success in all respects. The Hall-room was beautifully decorated and upon the stage stood a beautiful floral piece. The ladies themselves waited on the guests besides performing all official and committee duties. Between dancing there was speaking and singing. The prologue was delivered by the President of "Vlasta," Mrs. B. Pitt.

    The entertainment continued until morning. The ladies of this new lodge have been before the public twice now. The first time in collecting clothing for our poor unfortunate countrymen out West, who were burned out by the Indians and now the second time with their Ball.

    They are generally recognized by the entire community and we hope that after this successful beginning they will continue to labor in their hereditary national role.

    The dance given by "Vlasta" (Women's Society) last Saturday was a grand National entertainment, which not only afforded pleasure to the guests but was a great success in all respects. ...

    Bohemian
    II D 1, II D 10
  • Svornost -- April 27, 1880
    Patriotic Duty of Chicago Lodges a Great Need for Protection of Immigrants

    Mr. J.F. Vosatka, Bohemian Immigration Agents, on his way to New York after a trip through the west, was a visitor at our office. He took advantage of the opportunity to inform us that immigrants from Europe, especially the Czecho, are well provided with protection against all sorts of knavery. He has many letters from settlers now living in the western part of our country praising the service provided for their benefit through out the entire journey with the exception of Chicago. It is said that there are more thieves and swindlers waiting to entice the unwary immigrant from the railroad stations in Chicago than anywhere else on the entire American journey.

    We are not surprised by this for we know that at all railroad depots, where immigrants unfamiliar with our domestic language arrive, there are many agents of crooked hotels waiting for them and striving with all their power to direct these quite often penniless immigrants to these strange hostelries, where they are lodged over night or longer, fed miserable food and charged from $2.00 to 2:50 per day. At last they are sent on to some railroad depot to continue on their journey. They hold out the immigrant's 2baggage checks if they do not have the money with which to pay the exorbitant charges accrued, and send them on without the baggage, holding it back until they receive the money owed them.

    Immigration is at a very high peak this year, especially of Bohemians, so that there are two or three times each week, large groups of Bohemians arriving in Chicago. Many of these fall into the hands of these swindlers.

    The German people have provided for the protection of their immigrants through an Immigration Society which looks after the welfare of new arrivals, but our nationals do not have even a single representative to look after the welfare of our newcomers. As a matter of fact there are some Bohemians, who have sold out to these greedy sharks, who, as a rule, board the immigration trains at some distance from Chicago in order to be able to line up the victims who are then turned over to the various hotels on a commission basis. We do not know the names of any of these wretches, but we have letters from some of their victims in which it is stated that they were often spoken to in Bohemian and that therefore they were sold-out and robbed by Bohemians.

    3

    What can be done about this? Of course it often happens that there are many Bohemians at the depots who, while waiting for the arrival of friends, do not hesitate to give a helping hand to some other newcomer, as we saw last Sunday, but it is not always so and even with the greatest care it is not possible to protect every Bohemian against loss, for if one is not protected by some kind of organization, he is very often pushed around if not actually beaten by the runners of these privileged hotels.

    In order that all Bohemian immigrants might be protected and properly taken care of it is necessary to organize some kind of agency which would have the Bohemian immigrants welfare to look after, take hold of them and their baggage as far as needs indicate and to deliver them to their friends here or to the next depot as the case may be.

    In this manner there would be hundreds, yes, thousands of families protected against great loss, and this achievement would be much more appreciated than ten times the achievements of missionaries somewhere in Africa or Australia.

    4

    The question remains as to how we can provide such a responsible agency? We have any number of honorable and able countrymen among us who also know the English language, but they are mostly poor people and we do not have any who could take this service, with all of its duties and necessary expenses, and carry on throughout the year without some remuneration. It is necessary that we provide enough money to at least cover unavoidable expenses.

    This week there is to be a meeting of all Bohemian Steamship Agents here, who could discuss this matter and make some recommendation as to how to meet the situation. Let them not delay, but step right in and work this problem out.

    From the relative standing of our Chicago Lodges we can hardly expect to get enough countrymen to organize a protective society, such as the wealthy Germans have, but we can at least accomplish the most necessary. If all our national lodges and societies, both benevolent and church, without exception, accepted the resolution, that every quarter year they would appropriate from their treasuries $1.50 for the protection of immigrants, there would be collected every quarter from at least fifty lodges 5the sum of $75.00 for which we could obtain the services of a reliable Bohemian who would take upon himself the obligation of looking after our We immigrants. We believe that this could be accomplished in Chicago.

    Each of the lodges could appoint one of its members to represent it in the ranks of a protective society which would meet from time to time, and make public reports as to their progress, of what benefit their work is and what further steps should be taken. These members could take turns in accompanying the paid representative, to the various depots to meet the arrival of immigrants and assist him in his duty of looking after the welfare of the immigrants.

    This is our opinion in the matter, which surely will come to the attention of all our countrymen in Chicago and we hope that the Steamship Agents, who derive a profit from this immigration, will take the first step to secure the co-operation of all lodges in this matter of aid and protection of immigrants to Chicago.

    Success for this undertaking.

    Mr. J.F. Vosatka, Bohemian Immigration Agents, on his way to New York after a trip through the west, was a visitor at our office. He took advantage of the opportunity ...

    Bohemian
    III G, II D 10, II D 7, II D 1
  • Svornost -- May 08, 1880
    Let Us Help Ourselves

    There is considerable talk in public about the collection of donations for the establishment of a National Theatre in Prague. It is hoped that some contribution will be sent from Chicago, but before any start is made to collect funds for this purpose, it is unavoidably necessary, as we said more than a week ago, and which becomes more urgent day by day, that we take every cent, every dollar, which it is possible to collect from our charitable donors, for the benefit of our countrymen arriving here continuously from our native land moving to America to make homes here for themselves and their children, which, in their native land, they were unable to accomplish because of the government and bad times.

    At the present time, every cent so graciously contributed should be used only for the help of those hundreds of our countrymen who passed through Chicago each week toward the west. It would be a sin to divert this money toward any other purpose, no matter how worthy, while we see these hundreds of our countrymen at the railroad depots each week, unfamiliar with the language, robbed of all their means, wornout groaning with hunger; and thirsting for every bit of sincere advice and for all help no matter how small.

    2

    Any one who has visited the railroad depot just once, when a train of immigrants arrived and has met his country men there, men, women and children, who following our example, are coming to build for themselves a more dignified life in this land of freedom, has seen their troubles, has seen how they are swindled, robbed and oppressed in spite of all efforts of the city police and railroad officials, will not harden his heart toward these unfortunates and will admit that all other cultural purposes must wait until this condition is remedied.

    We called attention, to this matter publicly last week, to the Bohemian Ticket Agents who sell railroad and steamship tickets to the people, thereby deriving a profit and a living; they are citizens: J.B. Belohradsky, Vaclav Kaspar, Fr. Novak, Aug. Geringer and V. Fiala. It should be their chief concern to see that some sort of aid is provided and steps taken to provide some kind of organization for the benefit of immigrants to Chicago. They make a profit from this, their interests and gain are first. Thus far not one of them has signified that he would take any step in this matter.

    3

    We know of no other method whereby this much-needed organization can be realized, except that the above-named citizens should meet, dedicating one whole evening for the purpose of consulting and taking the necessary steps among the lodges and citizens of our city. Or must we wait until the summer's sultry days have passed, until it begins to snow, until several thousand Bohemians have passed through Chicago are cursing the city and all its inhabitants, because at no other point in their journey did they meet with any injustice or robbery except here, (as is pointed out in the previous paragraphs)? Shall we wait, as so often happens in national undertakings, until Bohemians stop arriving, and arrive with the cross after the funeral?

    In the name of several Bohemian citizens who have many times gone to the railroad depots and convinced themselves of the suffering and need for some kind of aid for Bohemian immigrants, and in the name of our national honor, the love toward our brother countrymen felt by our Bohemian fellow citizens, we call once more for the cooperation of all our countrymen, and we urgently beg that the above named citizens, the ticket agents, whom it concerns most, should not delay, but that they meet and decide as to what in their opinion would be the proper procedure.

    4

    Let us show our countrymen, that there are in Chicago Bohemians, and to be sure Bohemians who are not denationalized, but with a warm heart and with the good old Bohemian spirit, which seeks to help those brothers in distress.

    There is considerable talk in public about the collection of donations for the establishment of a National Theatre in Prague. It is hoped that some contribution will be sent from ...

    Bohemian
    III G, II D 10, III H, IV
  • Svornost -- February 08, 1884
    Home for Forgotten People

    Last Wednesday there was held a meeting of the financial committee of the Home for Forgotten People. The treasurer's report is as follows: Income during the month of January, $1,105.34; expenses, $1,024.53; balance, $80.81. The Burov Mission took in during the same period of time $488.75, expended $251.30; balance, $237.45. The school department of the institution took in $375.65; expended $102; balance, $293.65. The total balance in the treasury consists of $611.91. The newly accepted inmates were 92 adults and 134 children; the released, 70 adults and 17 children. On Feb. 1st the institution lodged 139 people. The school of industry of the Burov Mission has 64 pupils.

    Last Wednesday there was held a meeting of the financial committee of the Home for Forgotten People. The treasurer's report is as follows: Income during the month of January, $1,105.34; ...

    Bohemian
    II D 10, II B 2 f, II D 4, II D 5
  • Svornost -- January 12, 1898
    Proclamation to All Bohemians Living in Chicago and in the State of Illinois.

    The appointed representatives of the Bohemian people in our native land have issued a truly touching request to all Bohemian people, to all hearts who, thus far, for the sacred cause of our nationals have so dreadfully been tried, to give up all charitable collections of various associations and unite and offer all their talents, otherwise devoted to national purpose only, for the benefit of the Central Liberal School and the two national unions in Bohemia, which have found themselves suddenly in a most violent conflict with the age-old destroyers of Bohemian people, namely, the Germans and their unnatural allies, the Bohemian renegades. In this wild struggle which has broken out, and whose unfavorable results could easily be ill-fated to the life of the entire Bohemian people, all the moral and material assistance of our entire nation is needed. We believe that the American-Bohemians will not neglect their national duty, because their love for their beautiful Bohemian land will again flare up within them. They will give with enthusiasm, according to their means.

    For this reason, we are calling a general meeting for Friday, January 14, at 28 P.M., in order to undertake a definite organization so that we may start activity.

    The manner in which we intend to carry out this general collection will be announced shortly and we hope that it will meet with approval.

    The appointed representatives of the Bohemian people in our native land have issued a truly touching request to all Bohemian people, to all hearts who, thus far, for the sacred ...

    Bohemian
    III H, II D 10
  • DennĂ­ Hlasatel -- May 01, 1901
    Tenth Anniversary

    It is a habitual custom to celebrate ten year jubilees. Societies keep this custom, business men practice it and the newspapers, at least, remind their readers that after years they still exist. This is perfectly proper, for ten years indicate a long period of struggle and various happenings in the lives of individuals; a business enterprise, and especially a newspaper, experiences so much in ten years that an extensive volume could be written about it. The lives of Bohemian newspapermen, especially, are so affected. They battle against such unfavorable circumstances, such heedless rivalry and malicious envy, that ten years of their work is equivalent to twenty-five years' work in any other business.

    We also have ten years of existence behind us, today. Those were trying times when Denni Hlasatel first saw the light of the world. Memories of the stormy days of 1886 were still fresh in the minds of all, radical labor still felt the blow given them by the brutal proceedings of the police, and the unjust condemnation of their leaders.

    2

    Labor did not despair, but worked energetically for the organization of proletarian lines.

    The American Federation of Labor took the place of the weakened, inexperienced Knights of Labor; unions were formed and organized into central bodies. The influence of labor grew stronger and friends of real freedom expected that their ideals would soon be realized.

    Those were beautiful days of enthusiasm. In that period May 1st played a gigantic role. It was the one real labor holiday, chosen by labor and serving its purposes exclusively. How imposing were those marches in the downtown district, how proudly the participants walked, how cheerfully and enthusiastically they looked toward the future, and how the capitalists and their servants shook!

    3

    May 1st was one of the most powerful agitation methods of labor and local politicians diverted this remarkable movement to the benefit of the capitalists, when they established a State labor holiday, which gradually superseded the first of May, which then degenerated into a pure and simple political agitation.

    On May 1st, 1891, when enthusiasm for the labor holiday was at its height, Denni Hlasatel began to appear. Bohemian typesetters, who up to that time were without any organization and whose circumstances were very sad, such in fact, as in the Bohemian newspaper business of Chicago,which at that time simply vegetated, combined themselves into a union, and when the employers refused to accede to their requests for a shortening in the hours of labor, and an increase of wages, they organized their own newspaper, Denni Hlasatel, which was warmly welcomed by the Bohemian public, especially the workingmen, who accorded it fitting support.

    4

    The program of the paper was then the same as the one we now hold to, that is, to use our influence to the utmost for the organization of labor to strive to join the forces of Bohemians and labor and not to force them apart, and for this purpose, to avoid religious quarrels: rebuke evil, without regard as to who did it, and praise good deeds, everywhere, by any one. Our paper wanted to reach all layers of society, to awaken to the value of reading, those who thus far only occasionally had taken a newspaper into their hands. We can say without exaggeration, that we have adhered to our program and that we actually have achieved our goals.

    It is understood, that our work was strenuous and that we were forced to overcome great obstacles.

    Our sworn enemies were recruited from two camps; from the obstinate reactionaries and from crack-brained eccentrics. We still have these same enemies, only their power is broken and their poisonous weapons have passed from usefulness.

    5

    We do not want to elaborate on this matter, for most of our readers experienced these happenings with us and the memory is still fresh with them. We will bring out only the most important happenings, those which affected the development of this paper.

    In the fall of 1890, the Bohemian country was visited by severe floods, and American-Bohemians, readily and generously, contributed to collections made for the purpose of alleviating the suffering and poverty of those stricken by the floods.

    The local daily Svornost was at that time in the sunshine of its power and fame. Its proprietor, Aug. Geringer, considered himself an all-powerful Pasha, who could permit himself all the greater violations without fear of punishment. But in Hlasatel there came into existence, for him, an immovable judge and chastiser. Soon after coming into existence, Hlasatel discovered that the collections for the flood victims in Bohemia had not been forwarded to the proper places, thus far, by Mr. Geringer.

    6

    Unmistakable proof was found, and at the beginning of the month of August there was called by the "Tel. Jednota Sokol," ("Gymnastic Union Sokol"), an indignation meeting of the people, against Geringer. The attendance was gigantic and the exciting scenes played there were forever impressed on the minds of the participants. Geringer was placed on a pillory there, and this was the beginning of the end of his reign.

    Fire-eating radicals, whose rallying point was the "Literary Society" soon realized, that Hlasatel had no intention of becoming the instrument for the diffusion of their foolish views. Therefore, in a short time, their apparent friendliness had changed to unfriendliness. It was one Sunday in the fall of 1892, when into Hlasatel's place of business there came a deputation from the "Literary Society," asking for nothing less, than that the paper be given into its hands.

    The visitors received the answer which they deserved and from that time they have persecuted and they still persecute us, although they are only making a laughing stock of themselves with their impotent rage.

    7

    At the time they promised to have revenge, because we did not deliver into their fumbling hands everything which we accomplished with great hardship. They brought Herz from New York, ( he now serves the Republican party), and he, with the callousness and energy peculiar to his breed, began to agitate against Hlasatel and helped organize the ill-famed Pravo Lidw, (Peoples Right), which pulled Bohemian journalism into the mud and filth. Its early inglorious end filled all decent people with satisfaction.

    A very important step, not only for us but for various Bohemian daily papers in Chicago, was taken by Hlasatel in the spring of 1893, in the establishment of a ten cent weekly collection. This proved so satisfactory, that all local Bohemian dailies, whether they already existed or were founded later, established collections after our example.

    Up to the time, when Hlasatel came out, the newspaper business in Chicago and throughout the whole of America was as though ossified.

    8

    - No livliness, no energy, and, consequently, no results. Publishers held to all the old traditions, innovations were laughed at and damned.

    The "Boys from Hlasatel," our esteemed old colleagues called us in those days, but in that stagnant, rotten water of Bohemian journalism they did a proper right about face, and results came. Today, although the number of Bohemian inhabitants in Chicago has not increased much, at least, four times as many people than formerly read Bohemian. Today, men, discuss political and world matters, who, years ago, has nothing on their mind except the path to their work, and back to their homes. The thought levels of our ordinary Bohemian people have been broadened and through them cultural standards have been elevated. Credit for this belongs to Denni Hlasatel and the new methods of journalism instituted by it.

    Our aim always has been and still is, not only to maintain the high standard of our paper, but according to our means, to improve it.

    9

    With this in mind, in the year 1895, we installed a large rotary press in the building at 624 S. Centre Ave., and moved our business there. However, when our business continued to expand and the premises there proved to be too small, we decided to erect our own building. In this we were guided by the thought, that our building should serve towards the beautification of "Bohemian Pilsen", and at the same time provide our workingmen with various comforts and comply with all health requirements. In this we differed substantially from other publishers, who provided space for their workingmen in lightless, airless, rooms, where their health suffered greatly.

    We plunged into debt and anxiety, in order to provide the workingmen and, incidentally, our selves, for all shareholders in Hlasatel are also workers, with a place to work in, such as befits workingmen.

    In the early part of December, 1899, we moved into the present quarters, in our building, at 18th Street and Ashland Avenue.

    10

    From there Denni Hlasatel is sent upon its daily pilgrimage and also from there Hlasatel is sent, twice each week, to all parts of America, wherever Bohemians are settled. Of late we have installed typesetting machines in our plant, merely for the purpose of enabling us to give our readers the best reading material possible. From now on we will issue a twelve-page newspaper on Wednesdays and Sundays, and if it becomes possible for us to do so, oftener, later on.

    This is a brief summary of the most important happenings during our ten years of existence. That we always have supported organized progressive labor, that we wrote about everything, which could benefit our Bohemian countrymen in Chicago and America, that we endeavored that among us should be maintained a love for our nationality and the land of our forefathers; to this, all those who have read our paper will testify. However, even we are fallible, therefore, we do not want to make the assertion, that even with the best intention, we were sometimes unable to avoid mistakes, but this much is certain, that everything which we did came from the conviction that thereby we were working in the interests of our beloved people.

    11

    That our people recognize this, they best demonstrate with the rock-bound faith which they display towards us. Selfish baiters, people, on whose toes we some-times stepped, or told the truth to, and various other enemies, endeavor in vain to shake this faith. We value this faith and will do everything in our power to keep it.

    We have a firm belief, that after ten more years have elapsed, Denni Hlasatel will be the largest and best liked paper in Chicago.

    It is a habitual custom to celebrate ten year jubilees. Societies keep this custom, business men practice it and the newspapers, at least, remind their readers that after years they ...

    Bohemian
    II B 2 d 1, I D 2 a 2, II D 10, III H, III A, I E, IV