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 -- December 23, 1871
    [Relief and Aid of the Fire Victims and the Foreigner]

    The first report of the Chicago Relief and Aid Society contains a tabulation of the 18,478 families according to nationalities who up to November 18 had received aid. The word 'nationality' is not to be understood in the passport sense of the word, but as belonging to a certain stock. Englishmen, as such, are separated from Scotch, Irish, Wallisians and Canadians. Poles are not counted as Russians, Prussians or Austrians, even though there exists no Polish state. Spaniards are not separated from Spanish Creoles, and Swedes, Danes and Norwegians are summed up as Scandinavians. Native Americans of black skin are called Africans, while Bohemians are enumerated as such, not as Civleithanic Austrians. Against these classifications nobody has raised any protest. But fate so willed it, that forty-three families are designated as "Jewish," and immediately a Mr. Philipp Stein creates havoc in the Chicago Tribune. He says:

    "The Jews once were a nation, but everybody knows they long since ceased to be one. A nation is a totality of a people bound together by a common language and common customs..... The Jews in the last two centuries have 2uniformly adopted the language and the customs of the peoples among whom they live. In England they are Englishmen; in Germany, Germans; in America, Americans..... The differentiating quality is their religion. It is not the first time in the history of our city that the error to which I take exception has been committed."

    Nay, and it is not the first time either that we have to take exception to the error on which the intended correction is based. Mr. Stein desires that the Jews should have ceased to be a special nationality (Stammesgenossenschaft), but he errs if he thinks that what he wishes is already a fact. It is even in France, Germany, England and America only very partly true.....And is the Jew in Bucharest a Rumanian, In Constantinople a Turk, in Belgrade a Serb, and in Valparaiso a Creole? He does not dream of it. The forty-three families in the tabulation who are classified as Jews called themselves Jewish. Does Mr. Stein expect the young secretary, who records the statements of the aid seeker in the lists, to correct these statements from ethnological, national, religious viewpoints?..........

    The English word "nation" and the German word "nation" are far from being completely synonymous. In English "nation" means a political unit that may 3comprise very divergent ethnological types. In this sense France is a nation. Even Turkey in spite of its inextricable jumble of peoples is a nation. In the German language, however, the concept of "nation" conveys the idea of identical descent.....Mr. Stein's protest has been written in English, but thought out in German....

    The Jews have ceased to be a nation, but are a separate nationality; i.e., they still are a special "Stammesart" (stock) and will remain so until the differentiating physiological characteristics [will have become either obliterated entirely or otherwise diluted by intermarriage.]

    The first report of the Chicago Relief and Aid Society contains a tabulation of the 18,478 families according to nationalities who up to November 18 had received aid. The word ...

    Jewish
    I C, I C, I C, II D 10, II D 10
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- December 25, 1871
    [Relief and Aid of the Jewish Victims of the Fire]

    Thirty or forty Jewish families are announced among the 18,478 who are being assisted by the Relief and Aid Society. These are mostly Slavic Jews, because German Jews consider themselves usually as Germans and have become more or less accustomed to regard their religion as a personal household affair and not a national barrier. Jews who have immigrated to Chicago from Germany also consider themselves Germans. The Polish, Hungarian and Bohemian Jews, on the other hand, will surrender themselves to Germanism only if the German-Americans can exert sufficient attraction on this peculiarly tenacious race. It will certainly be more advantageous for the Germans to strengthen their power through such recruiting than to lose, in this country, what they had already gained in Central Europe. It is precisely the wholesale trade which in Chicago is by far too little in German hands, and, if the Jews here feel themselves rebuffed by the Germans, they will educate their children to be Anglo-Americans; the result will be a de facto loss for the German cause.

    2

    (This little piece might owe its existence to some polite protest by Dr. Chvonik against the long article on the matter of the forty-three Jewish families on December 23. The emphasis is slightly shifted from the underscoring of differences, to the desire for assimilation. The last sentence seems to plead for inter-marriage, with an argument that Bismarck occasionally used: "Race mixture is not only biologically highly desirable, but, in the case of the daughters of the very rich Jews, financially even more so."

    Thirty or forty Jewish families are announced among the 18,478 who are being assisted by the Relief and Aid Society. These are mostly Slavic Jews, because German Jews consider themselves ...

    Jewish
    I C, I C, I C, II D 10, II D 10, III A, III A
  • [Association documents] -- December 31, 1871
    Sinai Congregation, Board of Directors Minutes

    The Committee on School reported that the Sabbath School is doing well, that they had a conference with Dr. Kohler and Mr. Weinbach, and Dr. Kohler has written to Europe to import the necessary books.

    The Committee on School reported that the Sabbath School is doing well, that they had a conference with Dr. Kohler and Mr. Weinbach, and Dr. Kohler has written to Europe ...

    Jewish
    I A 2 a
  • [Association documents] -- January 28, 1872
    Sinai Congregation, Board of Directors Minutes

    A communication of U. (nited) H. (ebrew) R. (elief) A. (ssociation) was received and placed on file. It was moved and seconded that the secretary issue an order to U. H. R. A. for each paying member, one dollar.

    A communication of U. (nited) H. (ebrew) R. (elief) A. (ssociation) was received and placed on file. It was moved and seconded that the secretary issue an order to U. ...

    Jewish
    II D 1
  • [Association documents] -- February 26, 1872
    Sinai Congregation, Board of Directors Minutes

    Special meeting of the board...., for the purpose of electing Jacob Weil as a member of the congregation. Upon motion, J. Weil was elected a member of our congregation.

    Special meeting of the board...., for the purpose of electing Jacob Weil as a member of the congregation. Upon motion, J. Weil was elected a member of our congregation.

    Jewish
    IV
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- April 15, 1872
    The Chicago Jews

    The Jews here numbered 15,000 souls at the last census and are probably constantly increasing.

    The now existing Jewish communities contain only a small part of the American residents. The Kehiloth Anshe Maariv, (community of men of the West), founded its synagogue in 1851; the Kehiloth Benai Scholem, (of peace), in 1854. The Sinai community was organized on June 20, 1861; the Zion community, September 20, 1864; the North Side community in 1867, and in the last three years, three orthodox communities with Polish rites have been formed, on Clark Street between Harrison and Polk streets, (the former hall of the Union Turn Association), on Pacific Avenue near Harrison Street and since a few months, on Milwaukee Avenue.

    2

    Jewish aid societies exist in sufficient numbers and are strongly supported in their activities by the United Jewish Aid Association. All through the United States is spread a kind of Jewish national association for charity, education and entertainment, which is known under the name of "Benai Berith," (Sons of the Covenant). It counts here five lodges, namely: Ramah, (since June, 1857); Hillel, since June, 1865; Moviz Meyer, since 1867; Sovereignty, since 1869; and Jonathan, since 1870.

    Among the associations aiming exclusively at entertainment the Standard Club and the Phoenix Club on the South Side, and Harmonia on the West Side, may be mentioned.

    The five have paralized the life of clubs and associations on the North Side for an indefinite time.

    3

    Up to 1850, there were in Chicago almost none but German Jews. Since then, however, a strong influx from Polish districts has taken place, so that the number on both sides may be about equal. This is worth mentioning in so far as the German Jews adhere to the reformed; the Polish Jews to the orthodox rite. For the last ten years the "reform" has unceasingly professed so that finally all German communities and even the biggest Polish community have been reformed by the abolition of most of the antiquated customs and religious practices. The most thorough changes were made by Dr. Chronik in the Sinai Community.

    The Chicago Jews have found their place everywhere in business. However, in social life, they have remained almost completely separated from Germans and Americans and live completely among their own kind.

    The Jews here numbered 15,000 souls at the last census and are probably constantly increasing. The now existing Jewish communities contain only a small part of the American residents. The ...

    Jewish
    I C, III A
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- April 30, 1872
    The Report of the Special Aid Committee of the Hebrew Relief Association Was Read the Day before Yesterday in a Meeting in Standard Hall, Abraham Hart Presiding.

    The committee received large quantities of victuals, clothes, and so forth, from Cincinnati. The clothes alone were valued at $5,000. Money contributions amounted to $20,980. The largest sum came from the Adas Jeshurun Community in New York, $2,027, from other communities in that city $9,303, and from Chicago Israelites $2,149.

    2

    The Hebrew Relief Association voted on January 21, unanimously, to rebuild its hospital. The fund for that purpose has reached the sum of $5,710. In this is comprised $250 for the $5,000 that Grand Duke Alexis gave to Chicago fire victims......

    The committee received large quantities of victuals, clothes, and so forth, from Cincinnati. The clothes alone were valued at $5,000. Money contributions amounted to $20,980. The largest sum came from ...

    Jewish
    II D 10
  • [Association documents] -- May 05, 1872
    Sinai Congregation, Board of Directors Minutes

    A communication of Persian relief fund was read....A collection in the Board meeting amounting to $100 was made, and upon motion, J. Mayer and F. Neinbach, with G. Eliel as chairman were appointed a committee to collect for Persian fund.

    A communication of Persian relief fund was read....A collection in the Board meeting amounting to $100 was made, and upon motion, J. Mayer and F. Neinbach, with G. Eliel as ...

    Jewish
    II D 10
  • [Association documents] -- July 28, 1872
    Sinai Congregation, Board of Directors Minutes

    .....the report of the Committee on Funeral Regulations (was) acted upon, section by section. Report was then read and adopted as follows:

    1. In the event of death of a member of this congregation, it shall be the duty of the family of the deceased, or one of their relatives, to inform as soon as possible the president or vice-president of the congregation, or any member of the Committee on Funerals, of such an event, and the person receiving such information shall without delay inform the Committee on Funerals of such death, and shall notify the minister, and through the Sexton the members of the congregation to attend the funeral.

    2. It shall be the duty of one or more of the Committee on Funerals to repair at once to the house of mourning, and offer their services for the arrangements necessary to perform the funeral services.

    3. Although, it is no part of the duties of the congregation to furnish 2carriages, it shall be left to the discretion of the Committee on Funerals to furnish in exceptional cases not exceeding three (3) carriages, for the accomodation of the funeral Committee and such members as desire to attend the funeral, at the expense of the congregation.

    4. The Funeral Committee shall also see to it that the sexton notifies those members living nearest to the house of mourning to attend the customary evening prayers for the three evenings following the day of the funeral.

    5. Not less than two members of the Committee on Funerals shall attend funerals in person.

    .....the report of the Committee on Funeral Regulations (was) acted upon, section by section. Report was then read and adopted as follows: 1. In the event of death of a ...

    Jewish
    I B 4
  • [Association documents] -- August 18, 1872
    Sinai Congregation, Special Meeting, Minutes

    It was moved and seconded to instruct the Committee to consider to strike out Section 1 of Article 15 of our Constitution referring to the Biblical Sabbath.

    It was moved and seconded to instruct the Committee to consider to strike out Section 1 of Article 15 of our Constitution referring to the Biblical Sabbath.

    Jewish
    I B 4