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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  • Chicago Times -- May 30, 1871
    Yesterday's German Procession. (Editorial).

    How many of the thousands who took part in the enormous German procession of yesterday were inclined to criticize Providence for sending down rain upon the white muslin dresses of Madam Germania and her lady attendants, and upon the gorgeous costumes of the crusaders and knights, after holding out a promise of fair weather all the morning, it would be impossible to tell. It is certain, however, that one of Kaiser William's pious dispatches would have been out of place, and that it was an unfortunate incident of an occasion that was otherwise very happy.

    The display was a remarkable one in every particular, - remarkable for the numbers of those who participated as well as for the greater numbers who were thus represented; remarkable for the ingenuity which was attested by the variety and interest of the manifold features; remarkable for the spirit of organization and order which pervaded it, and remarkable more than all for the insight which, as a whole, and in its details it furnished to the character of our German citizens.

    It would be scarcely possible for the native American people to organize so 2grand a display, not only because they have not the traditions, the patient and enduring enthusiasm, and the requisite imagination, but because they actually have not the resources in people and in varied accomplishments. It was an elegant peroration upon the theme of German power.

    The celebration of the triumph of German arms and the return of peace could scarcely have been the most prominent suggestion of this procession to the mind of an observer. One might easily have watched its two or three hours of length without even recurring to the immediate occasion of its being. It was rather a history and a commentary upon the strength of a people and how it may be obtained. It brought to mind that the Germans compose a large proportion of the population of a great city, thousands of miles away from their native country, who must have their share of the credit and fame it has attined for its rapid growth, its encrmous energy, and its unparalleled enterprise.

    It taught the lesson that the Germans can preserve their traditions without relapsing into a fossil state, and can grasp the idea of progress without abandoning the sacredness of their ancestral customs. It was a most artistic, and yet not unnatural, blending of the old and the new.

    There was a wonderful combination of art and nature, of theory and practice, 3of invention and application, of science and trade, of music and work, of war and peace, of literature and music, of the ornamental and useful, and all this, too, without any special symbol of religion, which alone, with the exception of the old Crusaders, was unrepresented of all the ideas admitting of representation. This is not mentioned in any mood of disparagement, but as a remarkable evidence of what may be accomplished by materialism.

    It would require a whole column to mention even the names of the trades, callings, and professions that the Germans were able to include in their procession, which had a significance, on this very account, usually foreign to displays of the kind. It proved them to be good workers of a good stock. It showed their education and customs to be eminently practical and useful. It was a splendid indication of that real wealth that the Germans bring to America with their health, their vigor, their steadiness, and their application.

    If there is one thing for which America should thank the Germans that come here more than for all other things, it is their honesty and their fecundity in bearing children. There is nothing weak or stinted about them. The "great crime of the nineteenth century" has not yet contaminated them, and their ignorance or their disregard of the doctrine of Malthus is largely 4the secret of their power, and certainly a great blessing to America.

    All nationalities, like all individuals, have peculiarities that are disagreeable to the rest of the world, and customs which, simply because they differ, are apt to be condemned. The Germans are more tenacious of their customs and peculiarities than most peoples, but they are certainly over-balanced by the energy and the strength which they have brought along with them. When the Sabbatarians and prohibitionists, with whom the Germans are, singularly enough, affiliating, in a political way, remember that this people has given us some of the best music, the highest art, the sweetest poetry, the strongest sinews, the most sensible system of muscular exercises, the most favorable method of schooling young children, and the most persistent application to industry, they can scarcely deny to them the privilege of drinking their beer in their gardens and dancing their Sunday away in peace.

    How many of the thousands who took part in the enormous German procession of yesterday were inclined to criticize Providence for sending down rain upon the white muslin dresses of ...

    German
    III H, I C, I B 3 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- September 02, 1871
    Editorial: Hecker Und Kapp

    Starting with Hecker's criticisms of Kapps's book, the Weser-Zeitung discusses public life in the United States, but falls into the same mistake as Kapp, namely, not distinguishing between New York and the United States.

    ...Our newspapers are not so much descriptions of public life as critical reviews. They constantly publish accounts of all that is bad, blameworthy and repulsive, and don't need to repeat all the time what is good and deserving of praise, because they may regard that as known to their readers.... A comparison between America and a country where the newspaper press hardly ever touches social conditions is a play with false cards. In Germany far less crimes are reported in the papers, but it does not follow that fewer are committed....Hardly about any other phenomenon of American life do foreigners utter so indignantly a genteel pshaw! as about the frequency of divorces, seductions and elopements. And yet it is a fact that there are in no country of the world so many happy marriages as here. But this general rule never appears in the newspapers; the exceptions fill it.

    2

    One cannot judge the relative moral condition of two countries from the newspapers, because these presuppose for comprehension, a personal acquaintance (die unmittelbare Anschauung des Lebens) with the life of both. Least of all is such acquaintance dispensable in regard to conditions that the papers of the country deal with - more or less recognizably - in the interest of their respective parties. If one believes the various papers, all officials in the United States are scoundrels - a statement that even the worst pessimist would not really want to maintain.

    How far the Weser-Zeitung falls into this mistake - and in the other one, of regarding the conditions in New York as typical for the whole country - one may see from the following quotation:

    "The danger for the United States lies perhaps not in the greater badness of people, but in that, that the better elements are more and more estranged from public affairs. Feeling repulsed by conditions as they are and impotent to change them, they dedicate themselves exclusively to their private interests - which, of course, must affect their moral stamina. Because work for the 3public good is moral salt that preserves nations, and the main value of political freedom is that it forces the individual to care for the common good. Instead, here political liberty has the effect that almost exclusively corruptionists care for public affairs...The system of the Middle Ages, when the peaceful merchant paid fixed fues in advance to the robbers, in order to avoid direct pillaging, has been transplanted on gigantic scale to the most modern Republic, and has slowly taken possession of city, State and Federal governments. The administration of justice is poisoned to the core, and has become a battlefield of grandiose money manoeuvres. That the whole civil service is nothing but an institution to take care of demagogues, every American will admit, and almost all Americans take this evil to be incurable, to be inseparably intertwined with the institutions of the Republic."

    To this the Anzeiger des Westens' remarks: "The author of the article in the Weser Zeitung overlooks the fact that Forty million Americans live on a territory that, if it were inhabited by Two hundred and sixty millions, still would not be settled as densely as Germany. The morality of man stands in a 4necessary correlation to the field that is left to human passion....The fact that we are regularly paying off, in spite of the prevailing corruption, an immense debt; that we understand indeed, in our relations to other nations, how to keep on the general level of international morality; that millions of European immigrants are happy in this country and only here have found a chance to develop their talents and to move as free people; this and many other things might convince the distant observer, that the Americans are morally not inferior to other nations. If such an observer could also see the endeavors of the Americans in those fields that are regarded as the fundaments of all present-day social and political institutions - if he knew how the people through improvement of the schools and through serious political studies strive to win depth - he would expect less from an external attack on official corruption than from its elimination from within."

    This is what Friedrich Hecker does. This it is that gives him the conviction that he shares with hundreds of thousands of German-Americans who are not "America-tired." Kapp in New York has not had so much occasion to study the sound heart of American democracy, as Hecker had. Besides he was perhaps from the start, not in the right receptive mood for both pleasant and unpleasant impressions. So he has become a 5pessimist, and expects the worst in the future for the U. S. A. However, against such hypochondria the healthy feeling of the millions that Hecker expresses - the trust, in spite of the many undesirable evils, in the moral vigor of the people - in the end will justify itself.

    Starting with Hecker's criticisms of Kapps's book, the Weser-Zeitung discusses public life in the United States, but falls into the same mistake as Kapp, namely, not distinguishing between New York ...

    German
    II B 2 d 1, I B 3 a, I J
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 16, 1876
    Body of a German Found on the Lake Shore.

    The body of a man was found yesterday on the lake shore in the neighborhood of Rogers Park. From a letter found on the body it was identified as that of a German, by the name of John Becker. The letter was from Waukegan and was signed Sarah Dembran. Becker was told in the letter, that due to the opposition of the parents, he should look for another girl friend. Besides the letter a knife was found, the blade of which fitted the wound perfectly.

    Becker was a fresco painter and came as such to Chicago about two years ago. He had taken part in the Franco-German War and was 30 years of age. His last works were the mural paintings in Koody's Church, corner of Chicago Ave. and LaSalle St.

    The body of a man was found yesterday on the lake shore in the neighborhood of Rogers Park. From a letter found on the body it was identified as that ...

    German
    I B 3 b, I B 3 a, II A 3 c
  • Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung -- September 23, 1879
    The German Theatre.

    After witnessing the first three performances of the season, we came to the conclusion, that Mr. Hochster's wish is, to have society get used to flighty engagements and mass-marriages. Although, we live in an era of steam and electricity, those patentquick love stories, are somewhat too progressive, and are not a good example for our youth.

    It is very true, that this kind of entertainment satisfies, but society should not allow itself, to cultivate a taste for such frivolousness. It seems that society wishes to live entirely on affection, if the statement made by the director," that society prefers plays of that nature", is true.- There was a large audience present. As for the company itself, the old members are good but many new members are not as good as old ones. We will refrain from a synopsis of the play, as more room would be required which is not worth while. The title of last night's performance was "Mercury." Mr. Heinemann played the part of a professor of chemistry, whose temperament through profound 2study of quick silver, became almost what the name implies. He played the part well, except for some exaggeration. Mrs. Scholz-Rademacher, played the part of the professor's wife, a walking rental library. She acted excellently, but as for looks, she did not fit the part. Miss Wassmann as "Evchen" the couple's daughter was exquisite. Mr. Radenbach tried his best to impersonate the spoiled and repulsive child of his mother "Josef". Mr. Meier as "Dr. Knops" was excellent and proved again, what a capable character impersonator he is. Mr. Ravene who played the part of "Bruno Joller", a conglomoration of a madcap and philospher was very good. Mr. Leuschner and Mrs. Meyer did well, as the servants in love with each other. Miss Thyssen was not equal to the part of the love lorn equestriane, and Miss Reinhardt, although an exquisite actress, has not learned the art of make-up. The ensemble was good, although at times extremely mechanical. Splendid scenery satisfied the eyes of the audience.

    There is only one German Theatre in the city now, therefore, we hope, that Mr. Hochster will make a real "art Institute" of it, and not miss this opportunity.

    After witnessing the first three performances of the season, we came to the conclusion, that Mr. Hochster's wish is, to have society get used to flighty engagements and mass-marriages. Although, ...

    German
    II A 3 d 1, I B 3 a, IV
  • Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung -- January 31, 1883
    The Northside Socialists.

    This weekly club meeting was well attended, with comrade Mitlacher, President. Comrade Rau surveyed the major happenings of last week. Comrade Schwab stepped then on the platform to speak as he promised on "Free Love" but concluded with the introduction to the theme. Comrade Grottkau deemed it necessary to speak his opinion on this theme. Complying with the wish of the audience at this meeting, this subject will be continued on February 5th.

    Comrade Schwab gave then the report of the Central Committee. Everything that this committee proposed and decided on was accepted without any debate. The Central Committee also gave orders to each club, to report to the committee as to the relationship of the armed organizations and the Central Committee. A lengthy debate ensued in which comrades Grottkau, Polling, Schwab and Kobitzsch participated. The following resolutions were adopted; It is not only just but necessary, that armed organizations are represented at the Central Committee. Comrade Mitlacher was requested to give next week's report, also.

    This weekly club meeting was well attended, with comrade Mitlacher, President. Comrade Rau surveyed the major happenings of last week. Comrade Schwab stepped then on the platform to speak as ...

    German
    I E, IV, II B 2 g, I B 3 a
  • Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung -- February 13, 1883
    The Northside Socialists.

    The weekly meeting of the northside Socialists yesterday was well attended at which comrade Lange presided. Comrade Brassholz gave the weekly report with an ensuing debate. This was followed by comrade Schwab's announced speech on the theme "Free Love". He gave a picture of the marriages of today which are the result of industrial conditions. He said this was the cause for murders committed on unborn children as well as on the ones, having been brought into the world. Modern marriages are based on nothing but misery. Under our present system the wife is subordinate to her husband but under the Socialist system she would be his equal. The material interest which plays the principal part in marriages of today would be disregarded. Marriage would not mean slavery to women any more.

    People would live in palaces, comparatively equipped with all the latest comforts and, machines to do the heavy work. Children would be reared in educational institutions. Only then, marriage could be noble and only then affection could be considered. Such unions would eventually prove to be of longer duration than modern marriages are. But in a case of incompatibility, the union could be dissolved.

    The weekly meeting of the northside Socialists yesterday was well attended at which comrade Lange presided. Comrade Brassholz gave the weekly report with an ensuing debate. This was followed by ...

    German
    I E, II B 2 g, I B 3 a, I B 3 b, I B 3 c
  • Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung -- April 29, 1884
    A Socialist Meeting

    The group "Town of Lake" held a well attended Agitation Meeting last Saturday in their Hall at 220-45th Court. Comrade Schiffner presided. As there was nobody present to lecture, Comrade Kiesling started a debate of the theme: "Free Love." The motion was made and accepted that $1.75, which was collected for the family of Comrade Stellmacher, should be handed over to the committee in charge.

    The group "Town of Lake" held a well attended Agitation Meeting last Saturday in their Hall at 220-45th Court. Comrade Schiffner presided. As there was nobody present to lecture, Comrade ...

    German
    I E, II D 10, I B 3 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 09, 1888
    American Happiness in Harriage

    An American preacher made the statement that one of the chief causes of the frequent unhappy marriage in America is due to a lack of dowry. Much could be said, and justly so, about this subject without exhausting it. The cause of this mentioned unhappiness in married Life is, unquestionably, to be found on both sides. Both sexes enter marriage with the same outrageous frivolity and thoughtlessness. Neither the young girl, who plans to enter the marriage bonds.......until, not death, but the judge parts them......has seriously considered whether they are able or not to conduct a home and rear children.

    In the majority of cases they hope, like Micawber, that "something will turn up," or that somehow the matter will solve itself. If the young man has enough money to pay for the wedding ceremony, to buy a wedding ring for his bride, and to defray the expenses of a short honeymoon trip, or if his 2credit is good, so that he can borrow what is needed, matters are not so bad to start with. But what happens afterwards? All is covered up until a suit for divorce, or a muderous shot permits us to behold the tragic results of many marriages which were entered so thoughtlessly and carelessly.

    An American preacher made the statement that one of the chief causes of the frequent unhappy marriage in America is due to a lack of dowry. Much could be said, ...

    German
    I B 3 a
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 23, 1888
    American Family Life.

    The modes of living and habits of life of the American family are aimed at emancipation of the woman from the house or home. The kitchen barely exists for the American woman, while it is a source of continual worry for the German woman, and makes it impossible for her to spend the forenoon elsewhere. The American woman prepares the meal when husband takes off his hat and coat. The menu of the American housewife, consisting of beefsteak and salad, is prepared in five minutes. A servant takes care of the house, keeping it clean, etc., therefore much time is left for leisure. This is being utilized for attending temperance meetings, for debating in clubs, for aesthetic discussion in literary societies, etc; in short, it has become a habit for her to find her amusements independently of her husband. She may remain innocent in doing so but her husband will become demoralized because he is losing the moral influence of his wife. Husband and wife are not one body and soul, but two different individuals, whose inclinations and desires drift apart very definitely, and the consequence is estrangement, divorce, or a sensational scandal. If the American husband, who is attached to his home, senses the loss of his wife's social intercourse, he is willing to take big sacrifices intellectually, in order to enjoy her companionship. If she is a suffragist, or a prohibitionist, or a spiritualist, the husband, most likely, joins the same organization. The rather cool temperature 2of the American family life can be readily seen in their external attitude. The American wife does not say "my husband", but merely, "Mr. Jones" and Mr. Jones speaks of his wife as "Mrs. Jones". In every nook and corner is a lack of that mutual spiritual support, which makes a truly married life possible. All civil service reforms, tariff reforms, political reforms will not save Americanism from decay, unless the American family life is reformed, because it is the source and origin of all political life.

    The modes of living and habits of life of the American family are aimed at emancipation of the woman from the house or home. The kitchen barely exists for the ...

    German
    I B 3 a, I K
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 04, 1888
    Filth and Crime

    For weeks and months the Chicago Press has stirred up the sickening and disgusting filth of the Rawson's divorce scandal. One of the blackest stains on the national character is the lewd, desire of the American Press and its readers for the details of such marital quarrels which are the result of sexual debaucheries. This particular trait is convincing evidence of the fact, that in the nature of the English speaking population of this country is to be found those Celtic-Gallic tendencies, which reach a full and horrible expression in the latest works of the French writer, E. Zola.

    Undoubtedly, Rawson and his wife are both disgusting individuals... It was obvious that their marriage based on sensuality, on the one hand, and on greed for money on the other, could not be a happy one. But what has the public to do with it? Why did the newspaper stir up the filth? For what purpose were the most abominable mutual accusations of such a "cat and dog" marriage published, if not to undermine the morals of the people?

    2

    If the local press possessed a trace of the sense of decency and honor characteristic of the European press, this accused marriage would have been dissolved in all secrecy and the scandal not cast out as seed for the destruction of morals. But when the public surrounds both parties and takes an active interest in their fight, as they would in prizefighters, or in wild animal fights, encouraging and inciting them continually, what else but a serious crime could have been the result?

    ... The unrestricted publicity of court proceedings, considered as a "bulwark of liberty" and as such a blessing for the people, can become a curse for the nation. The Rawson scandal with its filth and crime ought to teach us one good lesson: To do away with publicity of court procedures relative to sexual crimes and divorce scandals.

    For weeks and months the Chicago Press has stirred up the sickening and disgusting filth of the Rawson's divorce scandal. One of the blackest stains on the national character is ...

    German
    I B 3 a, I H