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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  • Russkaya Pochta -- April 28, 1917
    Concerning the Accusations against the Russian Colony (Editorial)

    On the pages of the Saturday is sue of the Daily News, one of the large Chicago newspapers, there appeared a notice containing a very serious accusation against the Russian colony of Chicago.

    The statement is made that in the radical circles of the Chicago Russian colony there are many persons hired by the German government who, being controlled by that government, openly make propaganda among the Russians for the idea of a separate peace with Germany.

    The influence of this propaganda is so destructive, so it is said further in the notice, - that it is to be considered as a greater danger, a greater harm than explosions of munition plants producing munitions for Russia.

    Information about this propaganda, says the newspaper, has been 2received from the local Secret Service and from one "Russian revolutionist" who visits all Russian meetings....

    We consider it to be our duty to answer this notice, because it throws discredit on the Russian immigrants of Chicago in the eyes of the American public, and because it disfigures the truth. We want to discuss briefly the question as to whether it is true that an energetic propaganda in favor of a separate peace with Germany is being carried on in the Russian colony of Chicago.

    In as far as we have been able to make observations in our multifarious contact with representative members of the Russian colony at public and private meetings, the voices advocating a separate peace with Germany are so feeble and insignificant that they do not attract 3anybody's attention. There is no need of talking about any energetic activities directed towards this aim. It is sufficient to point out the fact that not a single meeting advocating a separate peace has been held, nor has a single Russian pamphlet of such a character been published.

    On the contrary, we observe just the opposite. The overwhelming majority of the Chicago Russians hate the German government to such an extent, because of its cruel way of conducting the war, that any talk about the necessity of concluding a separate peace with Germany arouses only protest and indignation in the heart of every Russian.

    We believe that if an inquest would be made as to this subject in the Chicago Russian colony, the result would be a most unfavorable one for Germany.

    4

    On the other hand we think that if it had been proved that certain members of the Chicago Russian colony are agents of the German government, such persons would have fared very badly. And this is easily understood.

    The Russian colony in America lives at the present time by the same things which are the vital issues in Russia.

    And Russia, by the mouth of even its most radical representatives, such as Chkheidze, Tsereteli, Kerensky, the Social-Revolutionary Party and the Soviet of Workmen's Deputies, - has declared itself decisively against a separate peace with Germany.

    On the contrary, Russia has resolved to continue the war "until the policy of the German government towards all countries is changed."

    5

    This view has been expressed quite recently by the Zemlya i Volya (Land and Freedom), organ of the Russian Social-Revolutionists.

    On our own behalf we may add the following: there can be no talk about a separate peace with Germany as long as German militarism remains such a terrible threat to all European states; as long as free Russia is threatened by an invasion of the monstrous German army; as long as Germany will not renounce the predatory, grabbing policy towards all the nations involved in the present war.

    We are sure not to be mistaken if we say that all the Russian colony will support this our view. As far as we know, even the most extreme internationalists are in favor of provoking a revolution in Germany in order that the war would be stopped. Even they do not talk a bout a separate peace with Germany.

    On the pages of the Saturday is sue of the Daily News, one of the large Chicago newspapers, there appeared a notice containing a very serious accusation against the Russian ...

    Russian
    I G, I C, III H, I E
  • Russkaya Pochta -- May 26, 1917
    'Friends of Russian Democracy

    A large Russian organization has been formed whose problems are quite important.

    As it was reported in Russkaya Pochta about a month ago, a meeting of the newly organized 'Society for the Aid to the Russian Revolution' was held at the Sherman Hotel. The aim of this society was originally to help the Soviet of workers and soldiers deputies. At the above mentioned meeting a secession occurred because of a difference of opinion. At this meeting the majority of those present did not agree with such a program. The group of members who insisted on the original program, feeling insulted, left the hall of the session. After this a commission was appointed for the working out of plans of further action of the society. The next session was held May 15, 1917, at the 2Sherman Hotel, under the chairmanship of M. Polack. The report of the commission was read by Mr. Berg, and the following points were accepted:

    1. The aim of the society is in every way to help the revolutionary movement in Russia.

    2. The society has the aim of furnishing in America true light on the real situation in Russia.

    3. The society's aim is to help as much as possible, both economically and morally, the liberated political exiles and prisoners.

    4. The society has the aim of assisting Russians in America who desire to perfect themselves in different trades and professions, so that they may apply their knowledge and ability in Russia.

    3

    5. From now on the society will carry the name of Druziya Russki Democratii (Friends of Russian Democracy).

    6. In principle, it was decided, the society will be non-partisan.

    Forty-two persons joined the society. Discussion of many important questions, problems and aims of the society, as well as the election of the board, were postponed until the next session on account of the late hour.

    The secretary protem of the society is Dr. H. R. Krasnow.

    A large Russian organization has been formed whose problems are quite important. As it was reported in Russkaya Pochta about a month ago, a meeting of the newly organized 'Society ...

    Russian
    I E, I C, IV
  • Russkaya Pochta -- June 16, 1917
    Manifestation of the Russian Independent Society

    The Russian and Ukrainian independent societies showed their power on June 3, 1917, in a parade in which 3,000 persons marched. Passing with flags and banners to the sounds of a march through the Northwest side, they had their massmeeting at Wicker Park Hall. Among the orators were the priests Nikolenko and Popel.

    It is consoling to hear a call to the people from a priest, begging complete unification for the support of the Provisional government of Russia in its hard task. Only a priest who is connected with the Independent Society can say (such words as) "the government of the people, for the people; liberty, equality and brotherhood, freedom of religion; the separation of the church from the government; land to the peasants," etc.

    2

    A not less vigorous speech was made by an American, Clarence Darrow, who said:

    "I greet you here, Russians, brothers of those who have cast off the yoke of tsarism in Russia - brothers of those who made Russia one of the freest countries in the world. Do not forget, comrades, that new free Russia in two months did more for its people than other countries have done in the whole history of their existence. It freed hundreds of thousands of political criminals in Siberia from forced labor and prisons; it proclaimed full freedom of speech, press, conscience and unions; it promised land to those who till it, and (it) makes all necessary preparations for a speedy convocation of a constituent assembly, elected by general and equal suffrage.

    "And this," continued Darrow, "was made by Russia, which everywhere 3they used to call a country of barbarians. There was a time when on all favorable occasions they used to point to Russia. When a policeman was rude to somebody they used to say, He acts as they do in Russia; but time has come when in Petrograd on such occasions they can say, He acts as they do in America.

    "I am against war because it is horrible, but all victims of the present war were redeemed by the freedom attained by Russia. I wish that this war would continue till the full liberation of the whole world."

    Among other things there was an interesting concert program, in which the following participated: Madame Grinevezkaya, the Ukrainian Chorus, Mr. Pokatilov, and others.

    Starik

    The Russian and Ukrainian independent societies showed their power on June 3, 1917, in a parade in which 3,000 persons marched. Passing with flags and banners to the sounds of ...

    Russian
    I E, II D 1, I C
  • Krasnow Scrapbooks Novy Mir -- July 06, 1917
    Owned by Dr. H. R. Krasnow, 4601 N. Broadway, Chicago An Open Letter to the Society 'Friends of Russian Democracy'

    Gentlemen:

    Some time ago, soon after your society had been formed, and in connection with a certain gathering of your society, there appeared in a local paper, the Chicago Daily News, a very provoking article, in which all Russian Socialists combating war were called German agents. In this article it was stated - as per the wisdom of a certain Socialist - that Russian literature against war, Socialist publications in Russian. Russian massmeetings, etc., all this is backed by German funds. It was further stated in the article (as information from 'one who knows') that all the Russian Socialist-Internationalists, whether in Russia or America, are in the service of the Kaiser, and so on.

    2

    Accordingly, the conference of Russian Socialist organizations for aid to the Russian revolution replied to this provoking article, explaining the actual position taken by the Russian Socialist-Internationalists on the question of war.

    I learned recently that the article published in the Daily News was from the pen of a member of your society.

    When that gentleman openly admitted his authorship at one of your society's meetings, your society, I was told, did not take any steps in this matter.

    Is this true?

    Is it true that this gentleman is regarded by your society as a sincere friend of Russian democracy and is still in the ranks of your society's membership?

    3

    Furthermore, at your conference for the organization of a reception for the special mission from Russia, headed by Professor Bakhmetev, you had - among other representatives at the conference - also delegates from three churches, and among these was one from the church on Leavitt Street, where at this time there goes a Blackhundred agitation to restore to power the tsar and the old regime. It is said that Priest Kukulev was there as a delegate from his church, and that you accepted him as a delegate, and you found it possible to discuss with him details of the reception for the mission sent by a revolutionary government.

    Is it true?

    Would you not take the trouble to give an open answer to these questions through Novyi Mir? This question is of interest not to me alone, but to the entire Russian colony of Chicago.

    Yours respectfully,

    M. A. Stolyar

    Gentlemen: Some time ago, soon after your society had been formed, and in connection with a certain gathering of your society, there appeared in a local paper, the Chicago Daily ...

    Russian
    I E, I C, III C
  • Russkaya Pochta -- August 24, 1917
    The Branch of the Society 'Prosvieshchenie' (Enlightenment); its Problems

    The aim of this society is to serve cultural, educational, and social needs, as well as the demands and strivings of all persons of Russian origin in Chicago and suburbs, irrespective of nationality, religion, party, or status; to help raise to a higher level their spiritual, intellectual and social status; to propagate among them a knowledge of the circumstances, problems, and needs of modern life and, as much as possible, to promote closer relations, better acquaintance and understanding between Russia and America.

    The society 'Prosvieshchenie' is non-partisan and progressive, and as such it strives to unify all progressive elements, irrespective of party and outlook, for common cultural, educational, social activity among the masses of the Russian colony in Chicago and suburbs. The motto of 'Prosvieshchenie' is unification, enlightenment and progress.

    The aim of this society is to serve cultural, educational, and social needs, as well as the demands and strivings of all persons of Russian origin in Chicago and suburbs, ...

    Russian
    II B 2 g, I E, I C
  • Russkaya Pochta -- August 24, 1917
    The Branch of the Society 'Prosvieshchenie'; the Platform of the Society 'Prosvieshchenie'

    The society 'Prosvieshchenie' believes in the necessity of a radical change in modern social relations between men, in the necessity of the establishment of a social order founded on the principles of social justice, cooperation and democracy instead of the existing social chaos founded on violence, autocracy and exploitation. The society, nevertheless, believes that any radical change of the modern social relations among men depends on raising the common level and the development of the consciousness of the masses, and on social evolution, not on the parties and their theories. To help this uplift, this development of the consciousness of the masses , to achieve this result under the conditions of our complicated social evolution, within the limits of the problems set forth; and to be guided by the principles of perfect tolerance and freedom of thought while doing such work, - such is the platform on 2which the society Prosvieshchenie stands at present and from which it makes its appeal to the Russian colony in America.

    The secretary of the society Prosvieshchenie was Z. Lossieff. The auditor of the branch of the society is U. Wulbert. The society Prosvieshchenie was organized February 18, 1917. (See Russkaya Pochta, August 17, 1917.)

    The society 'Prosvieshchenie' believes in the necessity of a radical change in modern social relations between men, in the necessity of the establishment of a social order founded on the ...

    Russian
    II B 2 g, I E, I C
  • Russkaya Pochta -- August 31, 1917
    The Branch of the Society 'Prosvieshchenie'; the Constitution of the Society 'Provieshchenie'

    1. The study of the language, history, political and social-economic structure of the country in which we are living.

    2. The study of socialism as the greatest, most serious and scientifically grounded movement of the present time, the thorough acquaintance with which is very necessary to every more or less educated person.

    3. The arrangement of literary-musical evenings and other affairs for the satisfaction of our social and aesthetic needs and demands in these matters.

    1. The study of the language, history, political and social-economic structure of the country in which we are living. 2. The study of socialism as the greatest, most serious and ...

    Russian
    II B 2 g, I E, I C, II B 1 a
  • Russkaya Pochta -- September 21, 1917
    Our Organizations and Conscription

    Each day brings to the editorial office new letters from our readers. The majority of these letters voice the moans of helpless grown-up children. They are all suffering from a nightmare which crushes their hearts and makes them feel a deathly chill. This dreadful vision is military service in the United States. These complaints are coming not from those, who have already forgotten their native country, and are American citizens. Our 'complainants' are the common Russian immigrants, who always dreamed about their return to Russia; Russians who came here for earnings and whom the war kept here; but the last order of the provisional government, has entirely cut off the way of return to their native country. Others cannot even visit that country. And their complaints were just. It starts with intimidation with orders to take out the "first papers" and ends with the physical actions of over-zealous clerks of the conscription offices of the American army. The editorial office is receiving more and more petitions and requests from suburban towns and towns in states near Chicago. The editorial office is helpless, physically unable to help this army of sufferers who suffer because of their ignorance, illiteracy, and lack of organization. Mainly because 2of the last, due to the absence in the Russian colony in America of those organizations, which could protect the Russians from all kinds of indignities. What kind of organizations have we had until the present time? What authority had these organizations among the ignorant Russian working people in America? Die the Russian immigration have even one strong organization, which could have a dominating influence on the average Russian immigrant and which could force American opinion, society, press, and, mainly, the American Government, to pay attention to the Russian colony? No!! And now when misfortune from that lack has occurred with all its grave consequences, we must seriously undertake the creation of a powerful Russian organization; we must finally begin to organize. The facts, which broke over the discouraged head of the Russian immigrant, showed all the incompetency, and, in connection with the conscription even the insignificance of our organizations which were barely able to maintain their existance. Therefore, it is our duty, the duty of all those, who strive to live a public life, to analyze our existing organizations and find in them the causes, which undermine their living, active spirit.

    3

    Sometime we are going to give a more detailed account of our organizations; and if our readers desire to express their opinions about this question,--we shall be glad to put at their disposal the pages of our paper, irrespective of the fact whether we agree or disagree with the views expounded by them.

    In our opinion, even a glance at the 'history' of the Russian organizations, shows first of all, two causes: moral, spiritual imperfection in the leaders, or, as it is usually said, in the more progressive elements of the colony, and the material insecurity of the Russian immigrants, or of the colony as a whole. And in our opinion, these two main causes have resulted in tragedy, when the disunited Russian immigrants cannot defend each other. Being forced, however, to do something, they bombard the editorial office with petitions. We call now on the Russian immigrants to think about this profoundly and start organizing.

    Each day brings to the editorial office new letters from our readers. The majority of these letters voice the moans of helpless grown-up children. They are all suffering from a ...

    Russian
    I G, I E, III H, I C
  • Russkaya Pochta -- January 18, 1918
    Project of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Russian Social-Democratic Club

    1. The Russian Social-Democratic Club has for its object:

    (a) The unification of all Social-Democratic Mensheviki of Chicago and suburbs on a basis of fellowship,

    (b) The propaganda of Social-Democratic ideas and of methods of organization and tactics of Menshevism among the masses of the Russian colony, and

    (c) The lending of moral and material support to the Consolidated Russian Social-Democratic Party.

    2. In order to realize the objectives mentioned above the Club

    (a) organizes independently, or in cooperation with other kindred 2labor organizations, lectures, readings of papers on different subjects, talks, public discussions, meetings, circles for the furthering of self-education, and socialistic schools;

    (b) orders, or publishes independently, popular Socialist literature to be circulated widely among the masses;

    (c) participates as far as possible in all manifestations of the public life of the Russian colony of America.

    3. Any person accepting the program of the Consolidated Russian Social-Democratic Party and ready to take the pledge of submitting to the decisions of the guiding institutions of the party can become a member of the club.

    4. A recommendation is required from those who apply for membership 3in the club and, in case of absence of seriously motivated protests against the admission of the applicant, he is considered as admitted, if the majority of the members in session vote for his admission.

    5. The funds of the club consist of profits derived from cultural and educational enterprises, donations, collections and fees and dues.

    6. The fees and dues are subdivided into monthly dues and membership fees. Monthly dues are 15 cents per month, and membership fees are 25 cents.

    1. The Russian Social-Democratic Club has for its object: (a) The unification of all Social-Democratic Mensheviki of Chicago and suburbs on a basis of fellowship, (b) The propaganda of Social-Democratic ...

    Russian
    I E, I C
  • Svobodnaya Rossiya -- February 23, 1918
    In the High Rye Is Our Poor Village Lost

    Every time you come to think about the life of our Russians in America, about their organizations and societies, the above line of our poet comes to mind.

    Was it not among the tall stalks of grain, among palaces, mansions, and courts of other nations that the modest life of our compatriots, their organizations, their homes in the poor, forsaken sections, became submerged? Wherever you cast your eye, you see poverty, destitution.

    At a time when life in Russian is, after all, bubbling and gushing, the Russian in America continues in the same old slumbering state.

    2

    Here, too, our land is immense and opulent, now as before, but is devoid of system, even as our native land in the past and now. Of order there is none.

    Chicago and suburbs contain by count 30,000 Russians. How many strong organizations do these 30,000 people have?

    Where is a Russian to look for justice in the bitter hours and days of his life in a strange land? To whom turn for help, with whom hold counsel?

    There are about two or three comparatively strong organizations in all. Even these are as yet young, not yet properly fortified by wisdom and experience. The others are not worth mentioning.

    Out comes some kind of dawn, and before you know it flame is its name, and soon enough it turns firebrand, then ashes, finally nothing.

    3

    At a time when clubs, reading rooms, and social centers are on the increase in other nationalities in the United States, steadily broadening their programs, enlarging and multiplying their influence, the Russian colony is growing richer daily only in the abundance of appeals, in the abundance of conceited words and promises.

    The orator steps upon the platform at a meeting, dispensing promises of all sorts by the ton, but when the time comes to act, he is crestfallen. Where did all the pep go, not even a tiny reading room can we organize, not a place where we can gather in comfort to talk over things. We are scattered, some to the woods, others after kindling.

    Factions and organizations are in such a bundance that even when they call for unity in reality they cause only disunity. Extremely few are those who give true unity. For, disputes and opprobrium do not make for unity, quite to the contrary, they lead to disunity, dissociation.

    4

    What causes all this? Why are we so poor in unity, why such inaptitude for action?

    The key to this enigma lies hidden in the old trouble, not alone of the Russian colony in America, but of Russia proper.

    Those of any intelligence at all are soaking in their own juices. They create small circles, small groups, and there they, so to say, keep enlightening each other, keep learning from each other, and keep feeding their organizations with these same churned-up juices. How much may we expect from a tree nourished by stale juices?

    The Russian national forces are not yet sufficiently roused in America. But seldom does a leader appear from amongst the workers or peasants. Seldom will a Russian colony's "intelligent" comprehend that activity 5must be conducted not within one's own confines but rather should it go forth into the thickest of the masses.

    This is the reason for the eternal sleep from which the life of the nation's masses is perishing. This is why we are such paupers where the blessings from culture are concerned. This is why taverns prosper rather than education, organization, and helpful association.

    It is time that the forces of the Russian intelligentsia in America be ejected from groups and circles, and propelled into the mass-thicket. Enough of that self-gratifying indulgence in eloquent speeches and proclamations.

    To school the scholar is to do harm.

    It is time for the masses of the Russian colony to think better of its 6lot, of its inadequate knowledge, and of the harm from disunity. It is time that these masses give attention to useful books, and that close contact be established with persons and organizations calling to unity and organization.

    When these requirements are fulfilled, our colony will not be so deficient.

    Then shall we not be so defenceless.

    Then shall we not be so disorganized.

    Then shall we stand up in behalf of ourselves and others.

    Every time you come to think about the life of our Russians in America, about their organizations and societies, the above line of our poet comes to mind. Was it ...

    Russian
    I C, II D 1, II B 2 a, II B 2 g