Foreign Language Press Survey - Clippings

References - Czech Legionnaires - Found in the Foreign Language Press Survey

"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." (Website and source of articles:


Listed below are articles in the Foreign Language Press Survey related to Chicago area activities and the Czech Legionnaires. (Not all are specific to the military units commonly described as the "Czech Legion".


Editorial -  Denní Hlasatel, Aug. 29, 1917 (Czech Legion France)

Moaning cries for help are reaching us from our Czech brethren who are fighting in the ranks of the French army, in whose service they enlisted as volunteers to prove their attachment for the French nation, and to help destroy the murderers of our nation, the Germans. The majority of the Czech legionnaires are dead now. But those men fell, convinced that their dear old motherland would be liberated. They might be considered lucky in comparison to those who were wounded only, and are now exposed to direst misery. Not being French citizens, and not considered soldiers of the regular French Army, they are not entitled to state aid. Even had France tried to come to their succor, the French republic could not do so, as it had the enormous problem on hand of taking care of its own men. There are many Czech families in France who have lost their breadwinners on the battlefields. These poor fellow-countrymen are now destitute, and need quick and effective relief. Who ought to be the first to extend a helping hand to them if not the Czechs in the United States!

We have heard many of our fellow-countrymen say that they would be willing to contribute if direct aid were needed for our soldiers. They reiterated their assurance when they were approached by the Czech National Alliance, which is in charge of the relief movement. Those people have an opportunity now to help the most deserving and the best sons of our nation, those who have become the most pitied after they had fought for the interests of mankind. Come to their aid quickly, and with all in your power!


Concerning the Czechoslav Aid Committee - Denní Hlasatel, Aug. 18, 1918 (Czech Legion France)

In yesterday's meeting of the Ceskoslovansky Pomocny Vybor (Czechoslav Aid Committee) in Pilsen Sokol Hall more letters of thanks were read. They came mostly from Czech soldiers who while in the Austrian army had been taken prisoners by the Serbians. The latter released them to the Czechoslovak army, which at present is fighting shoulder to shoulder with the French and the Italians. There was one letter sent by Brother Sramek which typifies the sentiment of our boys. It shows how the aid extended to them is appreciated and the spirit in which it is received. All our soldiers are expressing satisfaction in being able to serve in France in the Czechoslovak army as volunteers under the Czechoslovak banner. Conspicuous mention is made of the special recognition of the Czechoslovak army by France.

A banner was presented to it by the City of Paris, accompanied by a document expressing appreciation of our army's service. This document is going to be published. The flag was presented by the President of the Republic himself. Unanimous resolutions toward united action were passed in the meeting.

Mr. Stepina, for the Aid Committee, is to make contact with Mr. Vojta Benes, secretary of the Czech National Alliance, for the purpose of planning immediate action. New coworkers were welcomed. A great many gifts, particularly for the Red Cross ambulance to be donated, were received and acknowledged with thanks. Although action for the purchase of the ambulance has not yet officially been started, still the Aid Committee was in a position to appropriate the amount of $2,400 for the ambulance, which is to be sent to Vladivostok under the care of the American Red Cross. Authorities in Washington were notified. A staff or physicians, nurses, etc., was recommended, and further lively co-operation in every way was promised. The contributions of an ambulance each to France and Italy will follow in the near future. It behooves us to point out that our ladies are taking on a large share of the preparations. Many women from our educational institutions are enlisting in Red Cross service, so that our campaign may be said to be in full swing.

The present time calls for higher requirements in all activities of support or aid, and everything has to be done to prevent one activity's overlapping or handicapping another. This warning is emphasized in all statutes governing the care of war sufferers, widows, orphans, the maimed, or the wounded. The activities of the auxiliary bodies extend, of course, also to the support of our legionnaires in France, their widows and orphans and other surviving dependents, and not less to the aid of prisoners of war in Serbia.

It is also necessary to establish funds for the support of widows in Bohemia and for widows here in America. The American Red Cross has promised to extend a helping hand to us in this field. A new source of contributions for the work has arisen from gifts of people who instead of honoring their dead by flower offerings place the equivalent in money at the disposal of the Aid Committee. Such contributions have been received already, and they certainly are an example worthy of being followed.

A committee consisting of wealthy and prominent Czechs has been formed in New York City of which the aim is to aid our suffering people and soldiers and alleviate their hardships. Mr. J. F. Stepina, chairman of the Czechoslav Aid Committee, is a member of that New York body. The longer the war lasts, the more numerous will the needy become as the result of it. There will be many more from the front in France and also from Italy, as a letter from Major E. Konrad, dated at Rome, bears witness.....


The First Czechoslovakian Bazaar and Exposition to be Held in Chicago Will Open Tomorrow, May 27, in Pilsen Park Pavilion - Denní Hlasatel, May 26, 1920

Only a few hours' time remains until the opening of the First Czechoslovakian Bazaar and Exposition tomorrow, Thursday, May 27, at 8 P. M. Mr. Jan Masaryk, ambassador of the Czechoslovak Republic to the United States, will be present.

The Bazaar and Exposition will be held in the Pilsen Park pavilion, and final preparations will be completed tonight by many of our generous men and women, national workers from the following organizations: the Ceskoslovenske Narodni Sdruzeni v Americae (Czechoslovak National Alliance of America), the Slovenska Liga v Americe (Slovak League of America), the Narodni Svaz Ceskych Katoliku v Americe (National Alliance of Bohemian Catholics of America), the Cesky Umelecky Klub v Chicagu (Bohemian Arts Club of Chicago), the Vcelky (Bees), the Priadky (Spinners), and the Cesko-Americka Obchodni Komora v Chicagu (Bohemian-American Board of Trade of Chicago). The pavilion, under the skilled hands of the architects of the Bohemian Arts Club, has been changed beyond recognition, and the unanimous opinion of those who watched the preliminary work is that nothing of the kind has ever been accomplished before. Among the various attractions there is an imitation of the "Prasna Brana Prazska" (Prague Powder Tower); replicas of Bohemian and Slovakian cottages; and a special section reserved for the Bohemian Arts Club of Chicago exhibition, the decoration of which has been a matter of great importance to our architects.

Various booths will be occupied and taken care of by the following organizations:

1: The Pilsen and California branches of the Ceskoslovenske Narodni Sdruzeni v Americe; 2: Cicero branch of the Ceskoslovenske Narodni Sdruzeni v Americe;

3: Priadky;

4: Vcelky;

5: Slovenska Liga v Americe;

6: Narodni Svaz Ceskych Katoliku v Americe;

7: Cesko-Americka Obchodni Komora v Chicagu;

8: Smoked meat products and not dog stand;

9: Cesky Umelecky Klub v Chicagu, whose members will exhibit about one hundred sculptures, paintings, and other artistic works.

The Ceskoslovenska Obchodni Komora v Chicagu will exhibit luxurious, imported, handmade articles recently received directly from Czechoslovakia. These will be for sale and ten per cent of the gross receipts will be donated to the legionnaires' fund.

The Bazaar and Exhibition will be open from Thursday, May 27, until Sunday, May 30. Tomorrow will be the day for the Ceskoslovenske Narodni Sdruzeni v Americe; Friday is reserved for the Cesky Umelecky Klub v Chicagu; Saturday will be the day for the Slovenska Liga whose president, Mr. Albert Mamatej of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will come to Chicago to address members of the League. Sunday will be the day for the Narodni Svaz Ceskych Katoliku v Americe. Reverend F. W. Jedlicka, who recently returned from Czechoslovakia, will be the speaker.

Net proceeds will be donated to the "Svaz Ceskoslovenskych Legionaru" (Czecho-slovak Legionnaires' Alliance) of Prague for the fund which is used to support the widows and orphans of fallen heroes. These widows and orphans deserve general aid, and therefore we expect that our people will patronize this project wholeheartedly. The proceeds will be used to dry the tears of those who are in want, the poorest of the poor in Czechoslovakia. Let there be none of us who would retreat, who would not contribute to so sacred a cause as this one. Today it is our duty to give aid to those whose supporters--husbands and fathers--sacrificed their lives upon the altar of the homeland; who by their blood and their lives helped to restore the liberty of the Czechoslovakian nation and the independence of their country. Therefore we say, "Success to the Bazaar!"



The Great Project of the Czechoslovak Legionnaires of Chicago Opens Today - Denní Hlasatel, Sept. 22, 1920

Today the gates of our historical Pilsen Park will be opened to a project whose foremost purpose is to lend aid to those crippled and sick warriors who fought for Czechoslovak independence, and to widows and orphans of our fallen legionnaires. Czechoslovak-America is expected to help. During the war, and in the period following, the Czechoslovaks in America gave a great deal, but this was almost nothing in proportion to their might and wealth. In order to get more, the golden key to the Bohemian-American pocketbooks must be found.

Today, the key is in the hands of our legionnaires.

At the time when the gates of Pilsen Park are opened, a stream of gold, silver, and currency will also start to flow; and each drop of this merry stream is designated to fill some hungry belly, to clothe some ragged person, to kindle a fire in some cold fireplace, to wipe away tears from some weary face, to enliven hope and faith in many a despondent bosom. Anyone who would hesitate to enrich this beneficent stream would really not be worthy of the name of Bohemian, Slovak, or of man.

Our American Czechoslovak legionnaires, with the help of many hundreds of our willing countrymen, initiated this project. But the creators of the Bazár-Svobody (Liberty Bazaar) did not for a moment depend upon the assumption that only a simple call to our countrymen to fulfill their duties would be sufficient and that the Bazár-Svobody would successfully accomplish what is expected of it for the benefit of those who suffer. They initiated a project of such a nature that, in itself, without any appeal, it is a great attraction for thousands and thousands of our countrymen, and which will be a meeting place for all the Czechoslovak people of Chicago and vicinity during the next five days.

Never in the history of our Pilsen Park have there been so many attractions and entertainments as there are in the present bazaar. Surely it might be said that all the previous projects combined have not had so many actual attractions of such unusual style as there are in the legionnaires' bazaar.

Below we present to our readers a total list of attractions which everybody will be able to see at the bazaar. It is a long list and includes many things which nobody but legionnaires could acquire. It means that anybody who is going to see this bazaar and who will spend a couple of dollars or quarters there, whether it be for his education or his entertainment, will do more for himself than for the cause for which this bazaar is arranged.

Look at the list of things to see at the Bazár Svobody:

A war exhibition: Thousands of souvenirs from battlefields--guns, grenades, gas masks war necessities, various souvenirs made by soldiers, etc.

Battle tanks: Moving forts which turned many a severe combat to the advantage of the Allies.

Reflectors: Apparatus used to throw light beams to a great distance, and which in modern warfare is indispensable.

A soldiers' camp: Replica made of tents which were loaned by the United States Army.

A field kitchen: Here every visitor can really taste a soldiers' ration.

An army band: It will play in the park and lead the parade.

A dance hall: This is for legionnaires and nonlegioncaires.

A registration place where every Czechoslovak of Chicago may register and pay the national tax.

A popularity contest among our Chicago Czechoslovak politicians.

War films which so far have not been shown in Chicago. They will show life in our legions in motion pictures.

Foyer du soldat, a place where our legionnaires and their guests will be entertained.

Restaurant and tea room with a rich bill of fare and an adequate supply of good drinks.

Booths: Various booths will be managed by the following organizations: The Czechoslovak Aid Committee, the Central District of America Sokol Union, the Legionnaires, the Bohemian-American Red Cross, the Master Butchers' Association, the Priadky, and the Slovak Educational Club.

A great parade is being arranged for Sunday afternoon. A contest of Slavonic singing societies will be held at the bazaar on Sunday afternoon.

This is only a general, brief outline of the bazaar's attractions. Who then, after seeing this long list of attractions, could doubt that the bazzar will be a chain of brilliant successes during its five days? Who will dispute the fact that every visitor will find this a place where he will enjoy himself and from which he will carry away unfading memories?

Therefore "Vzhuru do bazáru!" (Let us go to the bazaar!) today or any other day before Sunday!

Success Guaranteed - Denní Hlasatel, Dec. 23, 1920

Lively activity was in evidence in our memorial Pilsen Park pavilion yesterday during the early forenoon. Legionnaires, members of the Bazar Svobody (Liberty Bazaar) committee and members of the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Czechoslovak Legionnaires of Chicago were busy classifying and putting in order articles which arrived, after some delay, and which must be sold before Christmas. The sight of all these notions, beads, miniature statues, legionnaire emblems, glassware, articles of porcelain, etc., really electrified everyone of those workers who were present, and inspired in them the desire to finish the hard task of preparing such an enormous number of articles for sale in a short period of time. Taking into consideration the fact that the goods were received late Tuesday night and that yesterday, at noon, the sale was merrily going on, we must acknowledge that our legionnaires still retain a sense of duty toward their brothers beyond the sea.

Beginning at about eleven o'clock in the morning, individual buyers were coming in with the intention of purchasing some of the articles on exhibition. Most of them came through curiosity. But they were so very surprised with what they saw that they bought until their pocketbooks were exhausted. The laughter and shouts of juniors and grownups echoed from all sides. At the sight of the articles on exhibition, the children, especially, could not be restrained, and they begged until their fathers or mothers bought something for them.

Yesterday's weather was detrimental to the efforts of the arrangements committee. But toward evening, when the rain ceased and it began to snow, throngs of prospective buyers came in, and soon the spacious auditorium was crowded. When finally, late in the evening, the pavilion was almost empty, the managers of this Christmas sale stated with smiles that almost half of the articles were sold. Today, weather permitting, the legionnaires hope to bring this sale to a close, and in the knowledge of a well-accomplished duty, they intend to wish a joyous Christmas to all goodhearted Czechoslovaks.

Therefore, whoever intends to visit the pavilion today to soften the misery of orphans and poor cripples with pennies, should take a good hint and go there at once while there is still a chance to buy something.


To All Czechoslovak Organizations in Chicago and Suburbs - Denní Hlasatel, Sept. 27, 1921

Countrymen! The Pamatnik Odboje (Memorial of Insurrection), which is a department of the Ministry of National Defense in Prague, has sent to America a collection of documents pertaining to the activities of the Czechoslovak Legions, and forming an exhibition which will be open for public inspection in the hall of Sokol Havlicek-Tyrs on Lawndale Avenue and 26th Street from October 25 to October 28, 1921. This historically very valuable collection constitutes a visual description of the formation, development, and activities of all our Legions on all fronts of the World War. It is being sent to this country in order that our countrymen may see how our Legions lived and fought while the whole of Czechoslovak America was helping in such a substantial way in the liberation of our old country. The Czechoslovak Legions know how to appreciate the immense work done by Czechoslovak America for the independence of our old country, and the sending of the above-mentioned collection to America is an act by which the Legions want to show their gratefulness for the help that Czechoslovak America has been giving to make our revolution on the soil of the Allies successful.

In order that the exhibition of the Pamatnik Odboje may fulfill its mission it must have as large a number of visitors as possible. It is therefore the national duty of all Czechoslovak organizations in and around Chicago to use their influence in promoting the attendance at the exhibition. In that way they will prove that they have in grateful memory all the heroic deeds and sacrifices of our boys who did not hesitate to give all, including their lives, in order that our nation might be liberated.

We suggest that all our organizations to whom admission tickets to the exhibition have been sent sell these tickets in advance among their memberships, and if need be, order an additional supply from the office of the exhibition committee at 3646 West 26th Street, Chicago, Illinois. Organizations which for some reason or other have not received a supply of these admission tickets should send their names and requirements to Mr. Vincenc Vrdsky, secretary of the committee. For the Druzina Ceskoslovenskych Legionaru (Fellowship of Czechoslovak Legionnaires) in Chicago, Jan Vosatko, president; Vaclav Ruml and Ant. Wagner, organizers of the exhibition of the Pamatnik Odboje; Dr. J. F. Smetanka, Czechoslovak Consul; for the Svaz Ceskoslovenskych Legionaru (Federation of Czechoslovak Legionnaires), Ludvik Kadera; Marie Cervenkova, for the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Druzina Ceskoslovenskych Legionaru; Josef Place, for the Sokolska Obec America (American Sokol Community); Albert Cada, for the Svaz Svobodomyslnych (Federation of [Czechoslovak] Freethinkers); for the Ceskoslovenske Podporujici Spolky (Czechoslovak Benevolent Associations), Otto Pergler; for the Grand Lodge of Czechoslovak Taborites, F. Had; for the Czech-oslovak-American Foresters, Zikmund Chobot; for the Svaz Ceskych Katoliku (Federation of Czech Catholics), Jan Straka; for the Ceskoslovenska Jednota (Czechoslovak Unity), Dr. K. Neumann; for the Jednota Ceskych Dam (Unity of Czech Ladies), Anna Brychta; for the Sesterska Podporujici Jednota ([Czech] Benevolent Sisterhood), Marie Smrcka; for the Ceskoslovenska Bratrska Podporujici Jednota (Czechoslovak Benevolent Brotherhood), Dominik Pesice; for the Okresni Sbor Slovanske Ligy (County Board of the Slovak League), Martin Huska; for the Sdruzeni Ceskoslovenskych Bankeru (Czechoslovak Bankers' Association), J. F. Stepina; for Czechoslovaks of Evangelical Confession, Rev. Vaclav Vanek.


For the Czechoslovak Legionnaires - Denní Hlasatel, Nov. 19, 1922

Our hearts were filled with joy when we in America were given an opportunity to assist in the struggle for the liberation of our Czech and Slovak lands. We made willing contributions to the cause of liberation, and our wishes for a speedy success of our action were sincere. In the meantime our countrymen beyond the seas suffered. All loyal Czechs and Slovaks suffered because of material want, because of political oppression, and because of fear of the future.

But now the time has come when it is necessary to have more than an understanding of and a sympathy for an oppressed people. Our participation in the cause [of liberty] had to be augmented by acts requiring greater sacrifice--our own blood. And again our hearts were filled with joy when hundreds of our [Bohemian-American] boys answered the call, boys who were willing to sacrifice their health and give their lives. And while we kept up our recruiting activities at home our boys were already fighting in bloody battles and spending their days and nights in the madness of war. They were surrounded by untold miseries.

Our cause was successful, and what we so ardently desired became a fact. With joyous pride do we now accept the thanks of a liberated nation, both Czech and Slovak. It was only recently that another proof of their gratitude was manifested to us by their sending us an urn containing the sacred soil of our native land. That renewed assurance of their deep appreciation was received by the Ceskoslovenska Narodni Rada (Czechoslovak National Council), the central office of which is located in Chicago. This last act [of the liberated people] was utilized by the National Council here in Chicago in bringing to our attention the necessity of finishing the cause of liberation by taking care of those who sacrificed their lives and the comforts of their families that Czechoslovakia might exist. Almost one hundred of our Bohemian-American boys died in battle...and many more of them returned crippled from the battlefields of France and Hungary. The Czechoslovak Legionnaires' Aid Society of Cleveland asks aid for hundreds of suffering invalids, widows, and orphans.

The Narodni Rada, after satisfying its members about the indispensability and urgency of that aid, now asks all Czechoslovaks of Chicago and vicinity to do their duty towards our legionnaires. It has launched a campaign to collect contributions among the Czechoslovaks of Chicago and vicinity for the creation of a fund to aid the invalid legionnaires and the widows and orphans of fallen legionnaires. That campaign begins today. Our joy at having liberated our native lands will be unalloyed after this, our last duty, is done.