Слике страница

seems to be no question whence a nation, or a tribe, without any fixed domicile, gets the idea of constitutional rights and constitutional government. But it is a fact that the Magyars took over from the Slovaks their form of county government, which, to the present date, probably slightly altered, forms the spinal column of the Magyar State.

Magyar history originated when the question of a written history became a burning necessity for a nation which yet had to explain howit happened to get to Europe. Thus their history turned out to be a makeshift without either archaeological or ethnographical foundation. In the brief presented yesterday by the representatives of the " Hungarian-American Federation " there are some very weighty contradictions. Where Mr. Pivany stated that " the Bohemians, or Czechs, have made some allusions to the semimythical Moravian Empire of Svatopluk, which is alleged to have extended over parts of northern Hungary and been disrupted by the incursion of the Hungarians in the ninth century, the Slovaks, it is alleged, are the descendants of Svatopluk's Moravians;" Dr. Sekely admits that " there were only a few Slovaks," two contradictory statements, both in the same brief. How serious can such statements be taken?

Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I could go on a great deal longer, but I shall refrain from anything further that I have to say to the brief which you have so very kindly said you would permit us to file. We thank you very much for the opportunity to be heard.

The Chairman. You may file your briefs with the reporter.

(The briefs referred to were subsequently submitted and are here printed in full as follows:)

To the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

May it please you, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of this committee, Mr. Ven Svarc, of Cleveland, Ohio, an American by birth, of Czech descent, a lawyer by profession; Mr. O. D. Koreff of Pittsburg, an American citizen of Czech birth, a newspaper editor: and myself, an American citizen of Slovak birth, represent the Slovak League of America and the Bohemian National Alliance, which have branch organizations in more than one-half of the States of the United States.

At this time I desire to thank this committee for the privilege it. has extended to us in granting us an opportunity to be heard and present to you the case of Czechoslovakia in so far as it relates to the Magyar Government. Our purpose in view in appearing before you is to cooperate with your committee and assist you in reaching a judicious settlement in the matter entitled "The Case of Hungary," and further to refute and correct the vicious and misleading statements propounded by the representatives of the Magyar people who appeared yesterday before your honorable body. 1 shall be very brief and dwell with the Czecho-Slovak and Magyar situation in the United States and leave the economical, geographical, and historical questions affecting the Czecho-Slovak and Magyar situation to my colleagues.

I believe that you ought to know something about the Czecho-Slovak people in the United States. The Czecho-Slovaks began to immigrate into the United States befor the Civil War and many of them fought bravely and heroically in that war. These Czecho-Slovaks began to immigrate to our shores in large numbers principally to escape the hardships and cruelties perpetrated upon them by the Magyar and Austrian Governments and to escape military service, realizing the humiliation and the insults that would be heaped upon them and the treatment accorded them by the Magyar and Austrian militaristic lords.

Since the presentation of the Magyar case involves Slovakia more vitally than it does the Czechs, I shall confine myself more to the Slovak people in this country, a subject with which I am more familiar, having been intimately connected with them for many years in various matters and being a Slovak by birth.

I am submitting the immigration records showing the Slovak immigration to this country from the year 1906 to 1915, during which years their immigration was larger than that of any time.

Number immigrating to United States.

Year.' !Year.

1906 38,221 | 1912 25,281

1907 42,041 1913 27,241

1908 16,170 I 1914 25,819

1909 22,516 I 1915 2,069

1910 32,416 I

1911 21,415 i Total 252.641

It must be explained here that many Slovaks who came into this country were put down on the immigration books as Hungarians or Austrians or Poles and undoubtedly were catalogued as such by our immigration officials. There is sufficient evidence that this is a fact, so that if we would say that from the year 1906 to 1915 the number of Slovaks coming here were about 350,000, we would not be amiss from the truth. The Czecho-Slovak population in the United States to-day is approximately about 1,600,000, or five times that of the Magyar population in this country. Of the Czechoslovak population, about 75 per cent of these people are American citizens. They live principally in the States of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, West Virginia, Texas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Many of the Slovak immigrants as a result of the oppressive educational system operating against them under the Magyar Government naturally suffered from lack or education. It can therefore be readily understood that they would migrate to such States as are well known for mines and factories which were employing unskilled laborers. Many of these immigrants, however, are educated men, having either attended or graduated from Magyar universities, there being no Slovak universities, and therefore possess various professions, such as medicine, law. the ministry, etc., while many of these have come here with exceptional business training as well as with a variety of trades. Many of these business men have engaged in various enterprises, such as banking, manufacturing, and along other commercial lines. They have been exceedingly successful in these business ventures, and a result a number of them have accumulated a great deal of wealth, while others are in fairly good financial circumstances. They command the utmost respect and confidence in the business world. A vast number of Slovaks coming to this country possess exceptional knowledge and experience in agricultural work. The compensation for this character of work in the United States previous to the present war has been exceedingly inadequate for the labor involved, and considering the number of hours expended in this kind of work and the little opportunity afforded for advancement in this character of occupation they have refrained from hiring themselves out to the farmers of this country, and instead have turned to the mines and factories, where the wages were better and the hours much shorter. The mechanics who have acquired their trades, not only a branch of it but in its entirety in the former kingdom of Hungary, are now' employed in large numbers in many of our factories and have been extremely successful. They have become assets to their employers as a result of their thorough knowledge and training in their particular trades. Many of the Czecho-Slovaks have established reputations as business and professional men and further as artists and musicians.

The Czecho-Slovaks have developed a keen interest in our political life. Two Members of the present Congress are of Czecho-Slovak birth, others occupy elective and appointive political positions, while still others hold civil-service places in nearly every arm of our service in Federal, State, and municipal governments.

The Czecho-Slovaks have invested large sums of money in real estate, business, and personal property. Thousands of them own their own homes which is a fair indication that they riave no expectation of returning to their native country, but will remain here. A great deal of this money has been expended for the building of churches so that, for instance, to-day there are 170 Roman Catholic churches, about 50 evangelical ones, some Greek Catholic, and a few churches of other denominations. There are about 500 clergymen connected with these churches. Nearly every church supports a school in;which an elementary course is prescribed and instructions given both in the English and Slovak languages. Many of these churches and schools occupy city blocks and have been erected at a great expense. They are a credit to the Slovak people of this country. The Slovaks have a number of charitable institutions and a national Slovak home for the immigrants, all supported by donations of the various fraternal benefit societies as well as by the people themselves. There is also a Catholic seminary for the instruction of priesthood and brotherhood; also a number of convents which prepare the Slovak young women for the sisterhood. Upon graduation these sisters are assigned to the Slovak parishes and act as teachers in the schools connected with these churches. There are many fraternal, sick, and death benefit organizations which the Slovaks have formed. Some of the principal ones, together with their names, membership, addresses, and assets, are as follows:

[graphic][table][graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The Slovaks also have a number of libraries containing many volumes of Slovak authors as well as works of other authors which have been translated into the English and Slovak lansuages. Many Czechs and Slovak newspapers are published in this country and are as follows:


Dailv papers: The Slovak Daily In America; The National Dailv; The New York Daily;'The Daily Voice.

Semiweekly: The Slovak In America; Weekly; The American Slovak News; Union: Brotherhood; The Slovak Voice; The Slovak Progress; National News; Catholic Sokol; Youngstown Slovak News; Obrana; The Farmer; The Miner* Slovak Journal.

Semimonthly: Slovak Sokol: Woman's Union: News; Critic; Slovak Youth; Ave Maria: Advice;

Some of the Czech newspapers are as follows: Svornost; Slavia; Zajmy Lidu; Spravedlnost; Hlas Lidu; Ilospodar.

Monthly; Witness; Life; Junior
Children's Friend.

Pokrok Zapadu; Czechoslovak;
Denni Hlasatel; American Svet:

Besides the above-mentioned newspapers there are many newspapers and periodicals published under various names and issued during different periods of the year. Some of the daily, weekly and monthly issues have a very large circulation and reach nearly every section in the United States. These newspapers are principally the only source of enlightenment to the Czechoslovaks in this country. An organization has been formed in this country called the Slovenska-Liga (Slovak League) and is backed by all the Slovak newspapers with the exception of two or three, these latter ones having sold their body and soul to the Magyar representatives. This organization has allied itself with the Czechs (Bohemians) of this country and it has been popularly known as the Czechoslovak National Council. The purpose of this organization has been to assist this Government in the past world conflict and to secure freedom and justice for their very much oppressed brethren in Europe in securing the independence of Czechoslovakia which, thank God, they now have. The Bohemian National Council and the Slovak League are supported by popular subscription from their people who have freely contributed to the worthy cause which these organizations represent.



The vast number of Slovaks immigrating each year from the former government of Hungary to this country developed a serious problem for the Austria-Hungarian Government to solve, 'the labor situation became very seriously affected. In fact, it was so serious that the former Hungarian government was forced to adopt some means to stem the tide of immigration. It was decided by the Magyars to spread propaganda among the Slovaks in this country and they began to spend money lavishly here to Magyarize the Slovaks right in our own country. They began to conduct this propaganda by means of a subsidized press. Articles were written in these unscrupulous papers endeavoring to induce the Slovaks to return to their native country. Misleading statements were printed tending to show that the living conditions affecting the Slovaks in Hungary had entirely changed; that these alleged conditions would materially benefit them. Pamphlets were printed and generously distributed among the Slovaks in this country. Even a poem was dedicated to the" Slovaks of this country bv a celebrated Magyar poet which in substance reminded the Slovaks of the glorious

Elace of their birth and the loyalty that they owed the country in which they were orn. In fact, the Magyar Government went to such extremes in this respect that they were able through their influence to send ordained priests and have them assigned to the Slovak parishes in this country. These instructed priests who carried out the mandates of their masters and arch conspirators, upon their return to their native soil were assigned to the most lucrative and prosperous Slovak churches. The Magyar Government was very considerate and carelul that these priests were well taken care of for the balance of their lives. But fortunately the majority of the Slovak priests who came to this country were courageous enough to discard and disobey the instructions given them. They resolved to expose the true existing conditions in Hungary and showed how the Slovaks were misled by the instructed priests and gave the reasons for it. It was practically suicide for this kind of a priest to return to Hungary for he would be given the poorest kind of a parish and as a result he would be fiarely able to exist under the living conditions that would be forced upon him. Such was thf punishment that the Magyar Government meted out to these patriotic Slovak preacherr of the Gospel.

Within recent years an American citizen of Magyar origin was appointed by a former President of the United States as a special investigator to study the immigration situation of Hungary. When he arrived in that country he was wined and dined and welcomed with open arms and shown every consideration by the officials of the Magyar Government. This was done purposely to influence and induce this investigator to file a favorable report about the immigration conditions to this country. It was not long before this investigator ascertained the abnormal obstacles that were placed in the path of the then Hungarian immigrant. The situation was of an astounding character. This investigator, ignoring the desires of the Magyar officials made an exact and true report of the conditions as he had observed them and forwarded the same to his Government. The moment that it was ascertained that he was reporting the truth, all sorts of obstacles were immediately placed in the way of his performing his duties connected with his mission. Letters were written to our Government by the Magyar officials endeavoring to discredit this investigator. He was accused of being an exconvict and upon some flimsy concocted complaint filed against him, he was arrested, convicted and fined. This merely is an indication as to what extent the Magyar Government is able to stoop in order to prevent the truth from being known and how they would deal with a person even if he represented a great and powerful country like the United States. It is a well known fact that the Magyar Government representatives in this country prior to the declaration of war by the United States against the Central Powers carried on a newspaper and personal propaganda campaign publishing various articles in their newspapers the contents of which were based upon false theories with an intention to operate against the best interests of our country. The articles published in these newspapers as well as the personal solicitation of the Magyar representatives advised the Slovaks and the Magyars of this country to give up their positions or go out on strikes in factories and in other employments where war implements were manufactured, basing their argument upon the pretense that these war instruments would be used to destroy the lives of their Slovak brethern in Hungary. Articles in these newspapers and the influence of the Magyar agents were materially responsible in causing disorder in our commercial life and instilled an ill feeling in the hearts of some of the people, that they had reached through this means, against our country. Their activities became so prominent along these lines that an investigation was ordered by our authorities and the information that was gathered was sufficiently convincing to show us that these Magyar agents and their like were ■creating a great deal of disorder in this country and that they were just as bad as their brothers in crime, the German agents. These agents were plotters and schemers.

They had no conscience nor any decency in their body. It was their object in view to undermine our Government. They stooped ever so low and stopped at nothing, no matter how cruel or base it was. Murder was in their beans. They concocted schemes to blow up steamships sailing from our ports, to blow up into splinters our factories that were manufacturing munitions. The destroying of life and property was of no consequence to them as long as they could serve their clownish Emperor Charles and their Fatherland. These men were a disgrace to this glorious country of ours. When our representatives had made their investigation and filed their report, Dr. Dumba, ambassador of the Austria-Hungarian Government to the United States, was asked by our Government to leave this country. So we Americans bid this gentleman a fond farewell, this representative of a supposedly highly cultured, refined and humane peoples. An article published in the New Europe of December JO, J918, contains a newspaper article carried by the Pesti Hirlap, a Magyar newspaper, which advises the carrying on abroad of a violent propaganda in the interest of the Magyars and the expenditure of any amount of money necessary to that end. This article is very significant as it is interesting for the following reason: On August 10, 1919, a whole page paid advertisement appeared in four New York newspapers entitled, "To the American Nation; Real Facts About Hungary," making an appeal to the President of the United States, to the United States Senate, to the House of Representatives and to the American Nation for justice to Hungary and signed "The American Committee for the Relief of Hungary; Bertalau liarna, chairman; Arnold Somlyo, corresponding secretary; 665 Fifth Avenue, New York City." This newspaper advertisement contains absolute misleading statements affecting the Slovak situation in which we are principally interested. The other nationalities therein mentioned can well take care of themselves which, no doubt, they will.

An estimate was secured by ine from the manager of the advertising department of the New York World in which one ef-these ads appeared and the amount paid for this ad was exactly SI,34-1. In other words, it cost approximately $6,500 to carry the above advertisement in the four New York newspapers. Can it be that this sum of money was part of the money that was intended to be expended as quoted in the Pesti Hirlap for foreign propaganda work or have the purse strings of the government of Bela Kun been loosened or perhaps the pocket books of the Magyar landed aristocracy been opened to confuse and poison the minde of the American people as !•> the true facts concerning the dismemberment of the former Kingdom of Hungary" Now, we behold the extraordinary scene of witnessing the presence of representatives of these Magyar people in thi3 room of the Senat e Foreign Relations (ommit tee pleading for justice for their kinsmen. These representatives do not represent, the Hungarians. They are Magyars and only represent the Magyar pe .pie. It seems that they have mislead this committee as to whom thev represent and it is evident that they have done this in order to get their case before your committee. It has been a wonder to me that they have not walked into this room arm in arm with the agents of the Kaiser and his war lords, the representatives of the Sultan of Turkey, and the agents of Uenine and Trotsky and endeavored to palm these culprits on your committee and have them he.ird as to the unjustifiable manner in which their Asiatic and European possessions have been taken away from their Governments. The Magyar complaint against the dismemberment of former Hungary has no more merit, than the claim of the above-mentioned Governments. Thev are and have been our enemies.

« ПретходнаНастави »