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  • 1918
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no longer be maintained, they endeavour to translate all that they have acquired into reality, so as to secure the spoils for themselves. Thus the Germans conceived the idea of establishing a province ‘Deutschböhmen’ which must be prepared by the establishment of district governments. From this a very interesting conclusion may be drawn–_that the Germans themselves lost faith in the further existence of Austria_, otherwise they would not be in a hurry to save their province Deutschböhmen in the present Austria. Because they rather wish for no Austria than for an Austria where they would not be able to rule, _they are already counting upon the break-up of Austria:_ since the Germans do not want to accept the solution of a free Danubian confederation of nations, they prepare already their union with the Hohenzollerns.

“But then we must ask the Germans to take nothing with them that does not belong to them. It is more than questionable whether Deutschböhmen really is German.

“There is another reason which speaks against the creation of a Deutschböhmen. I am convinced that _if a plebiscite were carried out among German people in Northern Bohemia, they would declare against separation from Bohemia_. Why? Because the Germans are too clever not to know that Bohemia forms not only a historical and geographical unity, but that this unity has besides a historical basis, also a practical foundation. The relation between the Czech part of Bohemia and Northern Bohemia is to a large degree the relation of the consumer and the producer. Where do you want to export your articles if not to your Czech hinterland? How could the German manufacturers otherwise exist? When after the war a Czecho-Slovak State is erected, _the Germans of Bohemia will much rather remain in Bohemia and live on good terms with the Czech peasant than be identified with Germany, boycotted, opposed and hated by the whole world_, especially if we guarantee, not only by promises, but by deeds and laws, full autonomy to the German population within the Bohemian State.

“_The real question which puzzles us to-day is: How can Austria exist at all?_ That is the question. And I again repeat solemnly Palacký’s word that _Austria may exist only so long as her nations wish for it_, and that _she will cease to exist_ as soon as her nations do not want her to exist. The Slav nations of Austria declared clearly and emphatically their wishes and desires in their proclamations. If instead of working for the conversion of the ruling factor in favour of these wishes Dr. Seidler shows us Gessler’s hat of Austria with a German head and backbone, then let him remember that _we shall hate this Austria for all eternity_ (loud cheers and applause) _and we shall fight her, and God willing, we shall in the end smash her to pieces so completely that nothing will remain of her_.”

_The President:_ “I cannot admit such an expression about this state and I call the deputy to order.”

_Dr. Stránský_: “Excellency, I really do not deserve such a rebuke. It would be sad if we could not speak freely and with proper emphasis against a state form which has been imposed upon us.

“Let Dr. Seidler remember that _we regard Austria, whose integrity according to him must not be questioned, as a centuries-old crime on the liberties of humanity. Let him remember that it is not only our political intention, not only our instinct of self-preservation, but our highest duty and–do not hesitate to say so–our national religion and our greatest moral mission to damage Austria wherever and whenever possible, and that our loyalty to our own nation, to our native country, to our history, to our future and to the Bohemian Crown, prompts us to betray Austria which is backed up by Germany. We are therefore determined faithfully to betray her whenever and wherever we can_. I tell you further, gentlemen, that this state, this Austria which Seidler talks about, is not a state at all. _It is a hideous, centuries-old dream, a nightmare, a beast, and nothing else_. It is a state without a name, it is _a constitutional monarchy without a crown and without a constitution_. For what kind of a constitution is it if it has not the necessary confirmation by oath and won the general approval of nations because it was found to be untenable? _It is a state without patriots and without patriotism_, it is a state which arose by the amalgamation of eight irredents–the German one included–it is a state which had no future and in which the dynasty … (suppressed) … in a word, it is a state which is no state at all. _As a matter of fact, Austria no longer exists_, it is an absurdity and an impossibility. If I spoke about Czech regiments which went to embrace their ‘enemies,’ I must admit that personally I know nothing about them except what I heard from my German colleagues who persist in making complaints against us. We believe every word of what they say to be true, but … (suppressed by censor). Did you ever hear that a husband conscious of his honour and respectability told the whole world about the infidelity of his wife who left him because he ill-treated her? No, because the husband knows that it is his shame and not hers. _And if Czecho-Slovak brigades are to-day fighting against Austria-Hungary it is only a proof that there is something very wrong with Austria, that Austria is more rotten than Shakespeare’s Denmark._ For what other state has soldiers who ran over voluntarily to the enemy? You keep on saying that England has the Irish problem. _Did you ever hear of Irish brigades, did you ever hear that any French legions were fighting for the Central Powers against France_, or Russian legions against Russia when we were at war with Russia? Indeed, gentlemen, not even Turkey has any legions fighting with the enemy against her. _There must therefore be some deep reason for Czecho-Slovak, Polish and Yugoslav legions fighting on the side of the Entente_.”

We think that any comments on this explicit declaration, in which a Czech deputy representing his whole nation openly expressed hope for the dismemberment of Austria and praised the Czecho-Slovak troops fighting for the Allies, are superfluous.



The Czechs have always clearly seen that one of the chief reasons which enable the German-Magyar minority to rule over the Slav majority is the lack of co-operation amongst the subject peoples. Already before the war the Czechs were pioneers of Slav solidarity and reciprocity, wrongly called Pan-Slavism. Thanks to their geographic position, they have no claims conflicting with any nations except the Germans and Magyars who are their only enemies.

In these efforts for promoting Slav solidarity the Czechs met serious obstacles. In the case of some of their Slav friends it was lack of internal unity which prevented co-operation. In other cases it was the quarrels artificially fomented by Austria between her subject nations, notably between the Poles and Ruthenes and between the Yugoslavs and Italians. Finally, the Poles lacked a definite international point of view. They were justly sceptical of Slav solidarity seeing that they were oppressed by a government which claimed to represent a great Slav nation.

All these obstacles, however, have one by one disappeared as the war has gone on. All the subject peoples of Central Europe saw that they were persecuted and driven to be slaughtered by the same enemies in Berlin, Vienna and Budapest. The oppressed races found at last that they have common aspirations and interests, and the collapse of Russia to-day makes even the Poles realise where their real enemies are. The Polish people may to-day have only one orientation: against the Central Powers. It is an inspiriting sign that even some Polish “Realpoliticians” begin to realise that Austria is doomed and that it is bad politics to count upon Vienna, to say nothing of Berlin.

_(a) The Congress of Rome_

In order to give practical expression to the growing sense of co-operation amongst the oppressed nations of Austria-Hungary, their representatives assembled in Rome at the beginning of April, 1918. In those days the great spirit of Mazzini revived again in Rome, and from that moment Italy definitely became the champion of the movement of the oppressed nations of Austria-Hungary towards independence.

The congress was attended by numerous Italian senators, deputies, ministers and other leading men. The Yugoslav Committee was represented by its president, Dr. Trumbic, the Dalmatian sculptor Mestrovic, the Bosnian deputy Stojanovic and others; the Czecho-Slovak Council by Dr. Benes and Colonel Stefanik; the Poles by the Galician deputy Mr. Zamorski, and by Messrs. Seyda, Skirmunt, Loret and others; the Rumanians by the senators Draghicescu and Minorescu, the deputy Lupu and the Transylvanians Mandrescu and De Luca. The Serbian Skupstina sent a deputation of twelve deputies and a delegation of officers from the Yugoslav division at Salonica. Among the foreign visitors invited to the congress were M. Franklin-Bouillon, President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the French Chamber of Deputies, the ex-minister M. Albert Thomas, M. Fournol, M. Pierre de Quirielle, Mr. H.W. Steed, Mr. Seton-Watson, and Mr. Nelson Gay.

The congress unanimously adopted the following general resolutions agreed upon between the various nationalities and the special Italo-Yugoslav Convention concluded between Messrs. Torre and Trumbic:

“The representatives of the nationalities subjected in whole or in part to the rule of Austria-Hungary–the Italians, Poles, Rumanians, Czechs and Yugoslavs–join in affirming their principles of common action as follows:

“1. Each of these peoples proclaims its right to constitute its own nationality and state unity or to complete it and to attain full political and economic independence.

“2. Each of these peoples recognises in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy the instrument of German domination and the fundamental obstacle to the realisation of its aspirations and rights.

“3. The assembly recognises the necessity of a common struggle against the common oppressors, in order that each of these peoples may attain complete liberation and national unity within a free state.

“The representatives of the Italian people and of the Yugoslav people in particular agree as follows:

“1. In the relations between the Italian nation and the nation of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes–known also under the name of the Yugoslav nation–the representatives of the two peoples recognise that the unity and independence of the Yugoslav nation is of vital interest to Italy, just as the completion of Italian national unity is of vital interest to the Yugoslav nation, and therefore pledge themselves to employ every effort in order that at the moment of the peace these decisions _(finalita)_ of the two nations may be completely attained.

“2. They declare that the liberation of the Adriatic Sea and its defence against every present and future enemy is of vital interest to the two peoples.

“3. They pledge themselves also in the interest of good and sincere relations between the two peoples in the future, to solve amicably the various territorial controversies on the basis of the principles of nationality and of the right of peoples to decide their own fate, and in such a way as not to injure the vital interests of the two nations, as they shall be defined at the moment of peace.

“4. To such racial groups _(nuclei)_ of one people as it may be found necessary to include within the frontiers of the other there shall be recognised and guaranteed the right of preserving their own language, culture, and moral and economic interests.”

The Polish delegates laid before the congress a special memorandum of their own from which we quote the following:

“The Polish question admits of no cut-and-dried solution and of no compromise. Poland will either be saved by the Allies or she will become dependent upon Germany, whether the latter is associated with Austria or not; above all, upon all-powerful Prussia.

“There is only one way of avoiding this latter alternative, and that is by countering the plans of the Central Powers with regard to Poland by the proclamation of the Polish programme, which is that of the Allies. This programme is the restitution to Poland of the mouth of the Vistula, of Dantzig and of the Polish portion of the Baltic coastline. This programme will prevent Lithuania and the Ukraine from becoming instruments of Prusso-German oppression and Austrian intrigue. It is only such a Poland as this which will be able to fulfil its historic mission as a rampart against the Germans.

“Its resistance will be still more effectual when united with that of an independent Czecho-Slovak State, and of a strong Rumania, healed of all the wounds inflicted by the war, and if, at the same time, the Yugoslav peoples achieve their unity and independence. The Poles, in claiming the Polish districts of Austria, declare themselves categorically for the complete liberation of Bohemia, which would otherwise be left at the mercy of the German-Austrians. _The independence of neighbouring Bohemia is as necessary to an independent Poland as a great independent Poland is necessary to the very existence of Bohemia._ The united forces of the Polish, Czecho-Slovak and Rumanian nations, forming a great belt from the Baltic to the Black Sea, will prove a barrier against the German ‘Drang nach Osten.’ For, since the collapse of Russia, these are the only real forces upon which the Allies can depend.”

On the day following the congress its leaders were officially received by the Italian Premier, Signer Orlando, who conveyed to them the warm greetings of the government:

“We have seen with keen satisfaction this assembly here in Rome, where for centuries the representative spirits of all peoples and races have always found refuge, and where hard facts seem to assume a prophetic form and ideal meaning.

“These neighbouring nationalities are, in their turn, subjected to Austria, and it has only been the traditional astuteness of this state which has unchained the ethnic passions of the oppressed races, inciting one against the other in order more easily to rule them. Hence, it seems natural and necessary to follow the opposite policy from that which has so greatly helped the enemy, _and to establish a solidarity sprung from common suffering_. There is no substantial reason for a quarrel, if we sincerely examine the conditions of mutual existence, remember the mutual sacrifices and agree in our determination to grant just guarantees to those racial minorities which necessity may assign to one or the other of the different state groups.

“Italy should be able to understand better than any other country the aspirations of the nationalities, since the history of Italy, now completed, is simply your history now awaiting completion…. No other people, before forming itself into a free and independent state, had to undergo so long an apprenticeship, so methodical an oppression, such varied forms of violence. Like generous Poland, Italy was shattered, partitioned by strangers, and treated for centuries as a _res nullius. The firm resolve of the Bohemian people to revive the glorious kingdom which has so valiantly stemmed the onset of the Germans is the same resolve which moved our ancestors and our fathers to conspiracy and revolt, that Italy might become a united state_. The impetuous and vigorous character of the Southern Slavs and the Rumanians of Transylvania already has led to the making of heroes and martyrs; and here they are met by the endless stream of our heroes and martyrs; who across time and space fraternise on the scaffold erected by their common enemy.

“For your nations ‘To be or not to be’ is the inexorable choice at this moment. Here cautious subtleties are of no avail, nor the adroit reservations borrowed from diplomacy, nor discussions more or less Byzantine, ‘while the Turk is at the gates.’ The necessities are Faith and Work; it is thus that nations are formed.”

We have already mentioned that the U.S. Government identified themselves with the resolutions adopted by the Rome Conference. As regards Great Britain, Lord Robert Cecil made the following declaration on May 23, 1918:

“Above all _I welcome especially the recent congress at Rome_, which has done so much to strengthen the Alliance of which Italy is a part. I believe that the congress was valuable for its wisdom and its moderation. I believe that it was valuable for the spirit of brotherhood which it displayed. But above all I welcome it because it showed that the Italian Government, as expressed by the speech of the Italian Prime Minister (Signor Orlando), recognise to the full that the principles on which the kingdom of Italy was founded were not only of local application, but extend to international relations. (Cheers) _Italy has shown herself ready to extend to the Poles, to those gallant Czecho-Slovaks, to the Rumanians, and last, but not least, to the Yugoslavs, the principles on which her own ‘Risorgimento’ was founded_, and on which she may still go forward to a greater future than she has ever seen in the past. (Cheers.) _That is a great work, and those who have borne any part in it may well be proud of their accomplishment_.

“People talk sometimes about the dismemberment of Austria. I have no weakness for Austria; but I venture to think that that is the wrong point of view. The way to regard this problem is not the dismemberment of Austria, _but the liberation of the population subject to her rule. We are anxious to see all these peoples in the enjoyment of full liberty and independence; able by some great federation to hold up in Central Europe the principles upon which European policy must be founded,_ unless we are to face disasters too horrible to contemplate. The old days of arbitrary allotment of this population or that to this sovereignty or that are gone–and, I trust, gone forever. We must look for any future settlement, to a settlement not of courts or cabinets, but of nations and populations. _On that alone depends the whole conception of the League of Nations,_ of which we have heard so much; and unless that can be secured as the foundation for that great idea, I myself despair of its successful establishment.”

_(b) The May Manifestations in Prague_

A direct re-percussion of the Rome Conference was the great meeting which took place in Prague on May 16, on the occasion of the jubilee celebration of the foundation of the Czech National Theatre.

The manifestations took pre-eminently a political character, especially as they were attended by numerous distinguished foreign guests. These included delegates from all parts of the Southern Slav territories, Poles, Rumanians and Italians. The Russians, although invited, could not take part, because of the obstacles placed in the way by the Austrian Government. As regards the Yugoslavs, there were over 100 delegates from the Slovene districts alone, including Dr. Pogacnik, deputies Ravnicar and Rybár, the Mayor of Lublanja, Dr. Tavcar, President of the Chamber of Commerce, J. Knez and others. The Yugoslavs were further represented by Count Vojnovitch and M. Hribar, by delegates of the Croatian Starcevic Party, the Serbian Dissidents, Dr. Budisavljevic, Mr. Val Pribicevic, Dr. Sunaric, Mr. Sola from Bosnia, representatives of the national, cultural, economic institutions, and representatives of the city of Zagreb, with the mayor, Dr. Srpulje, at the head.

There were seventeen Italians with deputies Conci and De Caspari at the head. The Rumanians from Hungary and Bukovina also arrived. The Slovaks of Hungary met with the most hearty welcome. They were led by the poet Hviezdoslav. An inspiring feature was the presence of the Poles, of whom about sixty took part in the manifestations, the majority of them from Galicia, three from Silesia and one from Posen.

The delegation from Galicia included prominent representatives of the Polish Democratic Party, Count Dr. A. Skarbek, deputy and ex-minister Glombínski and deputy Witos, the Socialist leader Moraczewski whose father took part in the Pan-Slav Congress of Prague in 1848, deputy Tetmajer, representatives of the cities of Lvoff and Cracow and of the University of Cracow, members of municipal and county councils, journalists, artists, painters, sculptors, authors and others.

At a meeting arranged in honour of the Slav guests, Dr. Kramár declared that “the Czech nation is stronger to-day than ever before. There is no worse policy than that which gives in before danger. I am sure that our people will not give way. We have suffered so much that there is no horror which could divert us from the path we follow. Happily enough, we see that what we want is also desired by the whole world. We see that we are not alone. To-day the representatives of other nations, which have suffered in the same way as ourselves, have come to us. Of course, they did not come to us only to take part in our festivals, but also to express on the Bohemian soil their determination that their nations want to live freely. We are united by the same interests. Our victory is theirs and theirs is ours.”

The Yugoslav deputy Radic thanked the Czechs, in the name of the Yugoslavs, for unity and solidarity. The Polish deputy Moraczewski expressed his thanks not only for the welcome accorded to the Poles in Prague, but also for the proclamation of the watchword: “For your liberty and ours!”

The main celebrations took place in the Bohemian Museum on May 16. Since the speeches delivered on that occasion were of such significance and are sure to prove of great international importance in the near future, we propose to quote at least the chief passages from them.

The first speaker was Dr. Kramár who declared:

“You know that they are in vain trying to crush us. Every wrong will come back to the authors. That is our firm belief, and therefore you will find no despondency in Bohemia, but only _firm determination not only to defend to the last the integrity of our kingdom, but also to accomplish the unity of the whole Czecho-Slovak nation. We firmly believe in the ultimate victory of the right of nations to liberty and self-determination._ And we therefore welcome you in our beautiful golden city of Prague, because we know that your presence here to-day is the best proof that our faith is the faith of all nations who have hitherto been clamouring in vain for right and justice.

“Allow me to make a personal remark. We were far away from public life, confined in prison, and only very little news reached us. Various events filled us with anxiety and despondency. Bohemia seemed to be like a large, silent and dead churchyard. And all of a sudden we heard that underneath the shroud with which they tried to cover our nation there still was some life. Czech books were read more than ever, and the life of the national soul expressed itself in the performances in the National Theatre. When we heard about the storm of enthusiasm which greeted the prophecy in Smetana’s opera _Libusha_, we felt suddenly relieved, and we knew that our sufferings were not in vain.

“We placed everything that we want into the prophecy of Libusha–a new life, free, not constrained by disfavour or misunderstanding. _We do not want to remain within the limits prescribed to us by Vienna_ (applause), we want to be entire masters of our national life as a whole. We do not need foreign spirit and foreign advice; our best guide is our past, the great democratic traditions of our nation. We have enough strength and perseverance not to be afraid of anything that threatens us, because _we want the full freedom for the whole nation, including the millions of our oppressed brothers beneath the Tatra Mountains_. (A stormy applause.)

“That does not depend on any circumstances outside our scope; it depends entirely upon ourselves, upon our will. _We must show that we are worthy of liberty and of the great future which we are striving for_. It must not be left to the generosity of individuals to support our peoples who under oppressive conditions are awakening national consciousness in their countrymen. _We must mobilise our whole nation_. All of us will be required to assist in the great tasks which are awaiting us.

“I think we may confidently look into the future. The war has united us internally, and it has taught us that all party politics which for a long time past have poisoned our life, are insignificant in view of the great issues of our national future which are at stake. We have lived long enough to see our whole people united in the demand for an independent Czecho-Slovak State, although the modern times have deepened class differences.

“We recollect our past to-day with a firm hope for a better future. The hearts of all are to-day filled with joyous confidence and expectation that we shall live to see the day when in our National Theatre we shall rejoice over the victory of liberty, justice and self-determination of nations. _Our golden Slav Prague will again become a royal city, and our Czech nation will again be free, strong and glorious_.”

After Dr. Kramár had finished, the aged Czech author Jirásek described the history of the National Theatre during the past fifty years, and concluded:

“To-day as fifty years ago our nation is united without party distinction. _We form a single front, and follow a single policy. We all demand our natural and historic rights, and strengthened by the co-operation of the Yugoslavs, we firmly believe that as we succeeded in erecting our National Theatre, so shall we also obtain our rights and be able to rejoice with a song of a full and free life_.”

When the enthusiasm which followed Jirásek’s speech subsided, the great Slovak poet Hviezdoslav “conveyed the greeting from that branch of the Czecho-Slovak nation which lives in Hungary,” and assured the assembly that after going back he would spread everywhere the news of the enthusiasm animating the Czechs so as to cheer up his sorely suffering fellow-countrymen, the Slovaks of Hungary.

Professor Kasprovicz from Lemberg, who followed, declared in the name of the Poles:

“We are united with you not only by blood affinity, but by our united will, and we can reach the goal only by co-operation and by joint efforts.

“This co-operation is perplexing to our enemies who, therefore, do all in their power to disrupt this union. Their endeavours are in vain. _All of us believe that neither the Czech nor the Polish nation will perish_, that even a great war cannot bring about their extirpation; that besides the war there is something greater than all human efforts, that the day of justice will also come, and that the _Czech and Polish nations not only must be but already are victorious_.”

A tremendous applause ensued, and the people sang “Jeszcie Polska niezgynela” (“Poland has not perished yet”). And when the chairman announced that the next speaker was to be the Italian Irredentist deputy, Signer Conci, another storm of applause and cries of “Eviva!” burst out. Signor Conci declared:

“I convey to you the expression of the heartiest greetings from all Italians who are participating in this brilliant manifestation, and from all those who, like myself, follow with great sympathy everything that concerns the fate of the noble Czech nation.

“An old verse speaks about ‘Socii dolorum’ (‘Friends in suffering’), and I must say that this consolation for the different nations of this state has been amply provided for. _But nothing helps the union and brotherhood better than the common misfortune and common persecutions_ which strengthen the character of the nation. In defence against this menace, we and you have written on our shield: ‘Fanger, non flector’ (‘I can be broken but not bent’).

“When I saw with what indomitable firmness you withstood all unjust persecutions, and with what a fervent devotion and enthusiasm the whole nation supported your best and unjustly persecuted leaders, I realised that _this nation cannot die_, and that when the time comes its just cause will triumph. And I bring you our sincere wish that this may be as soon as possible. _It is a wish from one oppressed nation to another_, from a representative of an afflicted nation which has suffered and still is suffering intolerable oppression. May the roaring Bohemian lion soon be able to repose in peace and fully enjoy his own triumph.”

Dr. Tavcar, representing the Slovenes, declared:

“We Yugoslavs are deeply feeling how much the Czech culture is helping us and how great is its influence upon us. _We are the most faithful allies of our brother Czechs_, and at the same time their assiduous and I dare say very gifted pupils. At a moment when our oppressors want to build a German bridge over our bodies to the Slav Adriatic, we come to you as your allies. We shall fall if you fall, but our victory is certain.”

Two other Yugoslav leaders, Dr. Srpulje, Mayor of Zagreb, for the Croats, and V. Sola, President of the Bosnian Sabor, for the Serbs, expressed the same sentiments.

After the speech of the Czech author Krejcí, M. Stanek, President of the Bohemian Parliamentary Union, concluded the meeting.

Stormy demonstrations then took place in the streets of Prague, where the people loudly cheered Professor Masaryk and the Entente.

On the same day also the Socialists had a meeting in which prominent Czech, Polish and Yugoslav Socialists took part.

The Polish Socialist deputy Moraczewski, from Cracow, declared that “the Poles, like the Czechs, are fighting for self-determination of nations.” Comrade Kristan, speaking for the Slovene workers, emphasised the idea of Yugoslav unity. The spokesman of the Social Democrats from Bosnia, comrade Smitran, hailed the Czecho-Yugoslav understanding, and said that, although living under intolerable conditions, his nation hopes for deliverance, and like the Czecho-Slovak nation, demands liberty and independence. After the Polish comrade Stanczyk, the leaders of the two Czech Socialist parties, Dr. Soukup and Klofác, delivered long speeches in which they emphasised the solidarity of the three Western Slav nations, the Poles, Czecho-Slovaks and Yugoslavs, and their identical claims for liberty and independence. Dr. Soukup declared that “Socialism is to-day a great factor not only in Bohemia, but in the whole world.” The manifestation was concluded by the Czech Socialist deputy Nemec, and by the singing of the Czech national anthem.

On the day following, fresh manifestations were held in Prague, and a meeting was arranged, described by the Czech press as the Congress of Oppressed Nations of Austria-Hungary. Among those who supported the resolutions were representatives of Czecho-Slovaks, Yugoslavs, Rumanians and Italians, as well as Poles. The resolution carried unanimously by the assembly reads as follows:

“The representatives of Slav and Latin nations who for centuries past have been suffering under foreign oppression, assembled in Prague this seventeenth day of May, 1918, have united in a common desire to do all in their power in order to assure full liberty and independence to their respective nations after this terrible war. They are agreed that a better future for their nations will be founded and assured by the world democracy, by a real and sovereign national people’s government, and by a universal League of Nations, endowed with the necessary authorities.

“They reject emphatically all steps of the government taken without the consent of the people. They are convinced that the peace which they, together with all other democratic parties and nations, are striving for, will only be a just and lasting peace if it liberates the world from the predominance of one nation over another and thus enables all nations to defend themselves against aggressive imperialism by means of liberty and equality of nations. All nations represented are determined to help each other, since the victory of one is also the victory of the other, and is not only in the interests of the nations concerned, but in the interests of civilisation, of fraternity and equality of nations, as well as of true humanity.”



From the foregoing chapters it is clear that:

_(a)_ The Austro-Hungarian Government represents only the Habsburgs, and the Austrian Germans and the Magyars, who form a minority of the total population of the monarchy. The majority, consisting of Slavs and Latins, is opposed to the further existence of Austria-Hungary.

_(b)_ The Austrian Germans and Magyars, who exercised their hegemony in Austria and Hungary respectively, will always be bound to look to Germany for the support of their predominance as long as Austria-Hungary in whatever form exists. The collapse of the Habsburg Empire in October, 1918, practically put an end to this possibility.

_(c)_ The Habsburgs, Austro-Germans and Magyars, just like the Bulgars, became the willing and wilful partners of Prussia in this war, while the Austrian Slavs, especially the Czecho-Slovaks, have done all in their power to assist the Allies at the price of tremendous sacrifices. Under these circumstances, the only possible policy for the Allies is to support the claims of those peoples who are heart and soul with them. Any policy which would not satisfy the just Slav aspirations would play into the hands of Germany.

_(d)_ The restoration of the _status quo ante bellum_ of Austria or Hungary is out of the question. The Allies have pledged themselves to unite the Italian and Rumanian territories of Austria with Italy and Rumania respectively. The aim of Serbia is to unite all the Yugoslavs. Deprived of her Italian, Rumanian and Yugoslav provinces, Austria-Hungary would lose some twelve million Slavs and Latins. The problem of Poland also cannot be solved in a satisfactory way without the incorporation in Poland of the Polish territories of Galicia. If the _status quo_ were re-established, the Czecho-Slovaks, whom Great Britain has recognised as an Allied nation, would be placed in a decisive minority and would be powerless in face of the German-Magyar majority. This the Allies in their own interests cannot allow. They must insist upon the restoration of Bohemia’s full independence.

_(e)_ The disappearance of Austria-Hungary therefore appears to be the only solution if a permanent peace in Europe is to be achieved. Moreover, as we have already pointed out, her dissolution is a political necessity for Europe, and is to-day already an accomplished fact.

The dismemberment of Austria does not mean a destructive policy. On the contrary, it means only the destruction of oppression and racial tyranny. It is fundamentally different from the dismemberment of Poland, which was a living nation, while Austria is not. The dismemberment of Austria will, on the contrary, unite nations at present dismembered, and will reconstruct Europe so as to prevent further German aggressive attempts towards the East and South-East. A close alliance between Poland, Czecho-Slovak Bohemia, Greater Rumania, Greater Serbia (or Yugoslavia) and Italy would assure a stable peace in Central Europe.

The issue really at stake was: Central Europe either Pan-German or anti-German. If Germany succeeded in preserving Austria-Hungary, the Pan-German plans of Mitteleuropa would be a _fait accompli_, and Germany would have won the war: the Germans would, with the aid of the Magyars and Bulgars, directly and indirectly control and exploit over one hundred million Slavs in Central Europe. On the other hand, now that Austria has fallen to pieces the German plans have been frustrated. The Germans will not only be unable to use the Austrian Slavs again as cannon-fodder, but even the economic exploitation of Central Europe will be barred to them.

From the international point of view, Bohemia will form the very centre of the anti-German barrier, and with the assistance of a new Poland in the north, and Italy, Yugoslavia and Rumania in the south, she will successfully prevent German penetration to the East, Near East and the Adriatic.

Austria and Hungary, reduced to their proper racial boundaries, will be states of about eight million each. The Magyars, being situated in the Lowlands, which are mainly agricultural, hemmed in between Bohemia, Rumania and Yugoslavia, will be in a hopeless strategic and economic position. They will be unable to attack any of their neighbours, and they will be wholly dependent on them for industrial products. Hungary will thus be forced to come to an understanding with her neighbours. Austria will be in a similar position: deprived of her richest provinces, she will no longer be of any great economic or military value to Germany.

Let us now examine the probable future relations between Bohemia and her neighbours.

1. The formation of a strong _Polish-Czech block_ is the only means of arresting the German expansion towards the East. To-day, when Russia has collapsed, the liberation of the non-Germans of Central Europe can alone save Europe from the hegemony of the German Herrenvolk. The creation of a strong and united Poland with access to the sea at Gdansk (Dantzig) and an independent Czecho-Slovak State has become a necessity for Europe.

The understanding between the Poles and Czechs is of vital interest to both peoples concerned, and to Europe as a whole. It is by no means hypothetical, considering that geographically the Poles and Czechs are neighbours, that they speak almost the same language, and that their national spirit, history and traditions bear a close resemblance. The history of Poland offers many strange parallels to that of Bohemia. It is specially interesting to note that in the fifteenth century, as to-day, the Poles and Czechs together resisted the German “Drang nach Osten.” The Czech with their famous leader Zizka participated in the splendid Polish victory over the Teutonic knights at Grünwald in 1410, while on the other hand, there were many Poles in the Hussite regiments who so gloriously defended the Czech religious and national liberties in the fifteenth century. Poland and Bohemia were also united several times under a common dynasty.

After Bohemia lost her independence at the battle of the White Mountain in 1620, she became the prey of Austrian barbarity. The Habsburgs have done their best to extirpate the Czech heretics and abolish and destroy the Bohemian Constitution. With Bohemia’s loss of independence her contact with Poland also ceased. And Poland herself became the prey of Prussia, Russia and Austria some 170 years later, notwithstanding the constitution of May 3 and the heroic resistance of Kosciuszko.

The regeneration of the Czechs at the end of the eighteenth century meant the resumption of friendly relations between Czechs and Poles. The Czechs desired to come to an agreement with the Poles because the latter are their nearest kinsmen in race and language, and like themselves have suffered terribly from alien oppression. There were many Polonophils amongst the first Czech regenerators, and the Polish revolutions always evoked sincere sympathy in Bohemia. The modern Czech writers were all sincere friends of the Poles. Thanks to their efforts, Sienkiewicz and Mickiewicz are read in every household in Bohemia, and the dramas of Slowacki, Krasinski, Wyspianski and others are frequently played on the stage of our National Theatre in Prague.

The present interests and aspirations of Poles and Czechs are identical. Like the Czechs, the Poles are threatened by the Pan-German schemes of Mitteleuropa and “Drang nach Osten,” to which they are bitterly opposed. These plans can be checked effectively only by the establishment of a strong and united Poland with access to the sea, a strong Czecho-Slovak State, and a united and independent Yugoslavia and Rumania.

It was proved by events that Russian imperialism and oppression was never so dangerous to Europe as Pan-Germanism, since the former was built upon sand and opposed by the Russian people themselves; while Pan-Germanism rests upon effective organisation, and its brutal principles of domination are supported by the bulk of the German people. The Central Powers are to-day Poland’s only enemies, and are a danger to her as to all Europe. Poland’s interests lie only in one orientation: in absolute opposition to Pan-Germany.

The alliance between Poland and Bohemia will provide the latter with an outlet to the sea (Gdansk). This will draw the two countries still closer together. Economically such an alliance would be to the mutual interests of both countries. Since Bohemia has not, like Poland, been devastated during this war, she could greatly assist Poland in rebuilding her trade and industries, and this would prevent German economic penetration to the East. On the other hand, Poland could supply her with oil and salt from Galicia.

The Czecho-Polish block would prevent German penetration in Russia, which would thus be able to set her own affairs in order. The Czecho-Polish block would also frustrate the German plans of creating a Polish-German-Magyar combination by means of a small Poland, completely dependent on the Central Powers, or by means of the so-called Austro-Polish solution. The Czecho-Slovaks, owing to their geographic position and past traditions, and owing to their advanced civilisation, may be fully relied upon as the pioneers of peace and stability in Central Europe.

2. The Czecho-Slovak State will probably have a common frontier with _Rumania_. The Rumanians-and Czecho-Slovaks will have common interests, and their mutual political and economic relations will be of great importance. Economically, agricultural Rumania and industrial Bohemia will complete each other. Prague will have direct railway connection with Bukarest and Jassy, while the Danube will connect the Czecho-Slovaks both with the Yugoslavs and the Rumanians, under the protection of the League of Nations.

Politically the alliance between a united Poland, Bohemia and Greater Rumania is of paramount importance, because if Poland and Rumania remain as small as they are at present, and if the Czecho-Slovaks and Yugoslavs are left at the mercy of Vienna and Budapest, the Germans will be masters of Central Europe.

3. The relations between _Czechs and Yugoslavs_ have always been cordial, since both of them have always had the same anti-German and anti-Magyar orientation. By way of the Danube the Czecho-Slovaks would be in direct communication with Belgrade. The Czechs could further also be accorded an international railway connecting Pressburg with the Adriatic. The Czechs, being well developed industrially and commercially, could greatly assist the Yugoslavs in organising a state sufficiently strong to arrest German and Magyar penetration in the Balkans.

The Czechs, being good friends of the Yugoslavs and Italians, will at the same time exert their efforts to prevent all misunderstandings between these two Adriatic nations from which only the Germans would profit. A close alliance between Bohemia, Italy, Yugoslavia and Rumania will form an effective safeguard against German penetration in the Near East. Since Rumania will border both on Bohemia and Yugoslavia, the Germans will be completely encircled by a strong Latin-Slav barrier, of which Bohemia will form the centre, working for stability in Central Europe and safeguarding Europe from a repetition of the German attempts at world domination.

4. The Czecho-Slovak State itself will be strong both strategically and economically. It will number over twelve million, and its territory, comprising Bohemia, Moravia, Austrian-Silesia and Slovakia, will be about 50,000 square miles, that is a territory as large as England (without Scotland, Ireland and Wales).

Surrounded by high mountains, Bohemia forms a veritable fortress in the heart of Europe. Economically, too, she will be strong and self-supporting.

In the past Bohemia was the richest part of the Habsburg Empire, with well-developed agriculture and industries. Bohemia produced 829 lbs. of grain per inhabitant, the rest of Austria 277 lbs. The Bohemian lands are responsible for 93 per cent. of Austria’s, production of sugar, most of which has been exported to England. Hops of remarkable quality are produced in Bohemia, and Pilsen beer is known all over the world. Bohemia manufactures over 50 per cent. of all the beer produced in Austria. Bohemia has also abundant wealth in minerals, the only mineral which is not found there being salt. Bohemia produces 60 per cent. of Austria’s iron and 83 per cent. (26 million tons) of her coal. As regards trade, almost all the business between Bohemia and Western Europe has always passed through Vienna, which of course greatly profited thereby. This will cease when Bohemia becomes independent.

Two-thirds of the total Austrian exports, the value of which was over £63,000,000 in 1912, come from the Bohemian lands. To England alone Austria exported £9,000,000 worth of Bohemian sugar annually. Bohemian beer, malt and hops were exported especially to France, textiles and machines to Italy. On the other hand, Germany and German-Austria imported from the Bohemian lands especially agricultural products (butter, eggs, cheese, cereals, fruit), also coal and wood manufactures.

In 1905 Austria exported 425,000 metric tons of wheat and 186,000 metric tons of malt, which were mostly produced in Bohemia. The export of Bohemian beer brings Austria 15,000,000 kronen annually (£625,000), of malt 55,000,000 kronen (£2,290,000). The Bohemian lands further export 130,000,000 kronen (£5,430,000) worth of textiles annually.

The Austrian import trade is also largely dependent on Bohemia. All French articles bought by Bohemia come through Vienna, two-thirds of the whole French export being destined for that country.

As regards England, in 1914 £2,676,000 worth of goods were exported to Austria-Hungary, the greater part of which again was destined for Bohemia, the chief articles being printing and agricultural machines and textile manufactures. England will after the war find a good market in Bohemia, and valuable assistants in Czech banks and business men in the economic competition against the Germans in the Near East, since the Czechs boycotted German goods even before the war. Prague is a railway centre of European importance, being situated just midway between the Adriatic and the Baltic Sea. An agreement with her neighbours (Poland, Yugoslavia and Rumania) and the League of Nations arrangement would secure her an outlet to the sea by means of international railways, while the Elbe and Danube would also form important trade routes. Bohemia would become an intermediary between the Baltic and Adriatic as well as between East and West.

Also the future relations of Bohemia with the British colonies are not without importance. More than half the trade of Austria with the British colonies was transacted by the Czechs, and Austria-Hungary exported to British colonies £3,500,000 and imported from them £10,500,000 worth of goods annually.

5. One of the most important reasons why the Czecho-Slovaks, when independent, will be able to render such valuable services to the Allies, is the high degree of their civilisation. Despite all efforts of the Austrian Government to the contrary, the Czechs have nevertheless been able to attain a high standard of education, and they also excel in literature, music and the arts.

The Czechs are not only the most advanced of all Slavs, but they are even the most advanced of all nations of Austria-Hungary. In Austria as a whole 6.7 per cent. of the children do not attend school; in Bohemia only 1-1/2 per cent. The standard of education of the Czechs compares with that of the Austrian-Germans and Magyars, according to the _Monatschrift für Statistik_ of 1913, as follows:

Czechs. Austrian Magyars. Germans.
Persons knowing how to write
and read 95-1/2% 92% 40% Persons knowing how to read
only 3% 1% 4% Illiterates 1-1/2% 7% 56%

The Czechs have accomplished this by their own efforts, as is shown by the fact that 151 Czech schools are kept up by a private Czech society. These 151 schools have altogether 287 classes and 522 teachers, and are attended by more than 15,000 children. The unjust treatment of the Czechs in regard to schools is further shown by the fact that 9,000,000 Germans in Austria had five universities, 5,000,000 Poles two universities, while 7,000,000 Czechs had only one. The German University in Prague had 878 students in 1912, the Czech University 4713. The Germans in Prague number some 10,000 (_i.e._ 1-1/2 per cent.), yet they have their public schools and even a university; while the Czechs in Vienna, numbering at least some 300,000 (_i.e._ over 15 per cent.), are deprived even of elementary schools, to say nothing of secondary schools and universities.

The Slovaks of Hungary were, of course, in an absolutely hopeless position in view of the terrible system of Magyar oppression. The Magyars consider the schools as the most effective means for magyarisation. In the 16 counties inhabited by the Slovaks there are only 240 Slovak schools, and even in those schools Magyar is taught sometimes fully 18 hours a week. The number of Slovak schools has been systematically reduced from 1921 in 1869 to 440 in 1911, and 240 in 1912, and these are attended by some 18,000 children out of 246,000, _i.e._ 8 per cent. The Slovaks opened three secondary schools in the early seventies, but all three were arbitrarily closed in 1874. They have, of course, no university. Thus they were deprived of intellectual leaders and are doomed to complete denationalisation, unless liberated and united with the Czechs in an independent Bohemia.

In literature the Czechs may rightly range themselves side by side with the great nations of Western Europe. Practically all the most important works of foreign literature have been translated into Czech. The Czechs have many good dramas, novels, and much excellent poetry which can be fully appreciated only by those knowing their language. They are also very musical, and their composers such as Dvorák, Smetana, Novák or Suk, singers such as Emmy Destinn, and violinists such as Kubelík, are known all over the world. They are also developed in all other arts, and their folk-songs, peasant arts and industries, especially those of the Slovaks, bear ample testimony to their natural talents and sense for beauty and art.

6. It is obvious that the cause of Bohemia is of very great importance to the very existence of the British Empire. If Germany succeeded in preserving her grip on Austria-Hungary, the Balkans and Turkey, she would soon strike at Egypt and India, and thus endanger the safety of the British Empire. Germany would control vast resources in man-power and material which would enable her to plunge into another attempt at world-domination in a very short time. On the other hand, when the non-German nations of Central Europe are liberated, Germany will be absolutely prevented from repeating her present exploits, Great Britain will be no more menaced by her, and a permanent peace in Europe will be assured. Thus with the cause of Bohemia the cause of Great Britain will either triumph or fall. Bismarck truly said that the master of Bohemia would be the master of Europe.

Bohemia has many traditions in common with England, and she will become her natural ally and friend. In the Czecho-Slovaks, the most democratic, homogeneous and advanced nation of Central Europe, Great Britain will find a true ally and fellow-pioneer in the cause of justice, freedom and democracy.



The following is the text of the resolution passed by the Czecho-Slovak National Council in Prague, in conjunction with the Union of Czech Deputies, on September 29, 1918, and suppressed by the Austrian censor:

“Our nation once more and with all possible emphasis lays stress on the fact that it firmly and unswervedly stands by the historical manifestations of its freely elected representatives, firmly convinced of the ultimate success of its highest ideals of full independence and liberty. _Our silenced and oppressed nation has no other answer to all attempts at a change of the constitution than a cool and categorical refusal_, because we know that these attempts are nothing except products of an ever-increasing strain, helplessness and ruin. _We do not believe to-day in any more promises given and not kept_, for experience has taught us to judge them on their merits. The most far-reaching promises cannot blind us and turn us away from our aims. The hard experiences of our nation order us imperatively to hold firm in matters where reality is stronger than all promises. _The Vienna Government is unable to give us anything we ask for_. Our nation can never expect to get its liberty from those who at all times regarded it only as a subject of ruthless exploitations; and who even in the last moment do not shrink from any means to humiliate, starve and wipe out our nation and by cruel oppression to hurt us in our most sacred feelings. _Our nation has nothing in common with those who are responsible for the horrors of this war_. Therefore there will not be a single person who would, contrary to the unanimous wish of the nation, deal with those who have not justice for the Czech nation at heart and who have also no sympathy with the Polish and Yugoslav nations, but who are only striving for the salvation of their present privileged position of misrule and injustice. _The Czech nation will follow its anti-German policy, whatever may happen, assured that its just cause will finally triumph, especially to-day when it becomes a part of the great ideals of the Entente, whose victory will be the only good produced by this terrible war_.”


Speaking in the Reichsrat, deputy Stanek declared in the name of the Union of Czech Deputies on October 2, 1918:

“This terrible war, started against the will and despite the warnings of the Czecho-Slovaks, has now reached the culminating point. Two worlds have been struggling in this war. One of them stood for the Middle Ages and has with daring impudence inscribed upon its banner ‘Might is Right.’ Inspired by this watchword, the spirit of German Imperialism believed it had a mission to rule the whole world, and it was voluntarily joined by the rulers of Austria-Hungary in the mad desire of enslaving the whole world.

“It was not difficult to guess which side would win unless civilisation were to be thrown back for centuries. On one side stood the mediaeval spirit of autocracy; on the other, pure love of liberty and democracy. And we who have been oppressed by Austria for centuries and who have tasted Austrian ‘education’ have naturally not formed voluntary legions on the side of Austria. In fact _the Czecho-Slovaks have not voluntarily shed a single drop of blood for the Central Powers_. But our compatriots abroad, remembering the centuries-old Austrian oppression, have _formed voluntary legions in all the Allied armies_. They are shedding their blood for the most sacred rights of humanity and at a moment of the greatest danger for the Allies they saved the situation. In Russia, too, they are fighting for democracy. Nobody will succeed in arresting the triumphant progress of true democracy, not even the Austrian and German Governments, nor any diplomacy, nor any peace notes or crown councils. The world will not be deceived again and nobody takes the Central Powers and their governments seriously any more.

“Your peace offensives will avail nothing to you, nobody will speak with you again. _Even the Austrian peoples refuse to negotiate with you, knowing the value of your words. We have no intention of saving you from destruction_. Your aim is still the German-Magyar hegemony and the oppression of Slavs and Latins. You must look elsewhere for support. The fateful hour for you and the Magyars has come sooner than we expected.

“And the dynasty? Look at the electoral reform in Hungary sanctioned by the emperor! This reform is intended to destroy completely the political and national existence of the non-Magyars in Hungary. This is how the emperor keeps his word.

“In view of these events we must ask ourselves: Are there any moral guarantees in this empire? We do not see them and therefore we declare that we _reject all community with the political system of this empire. We want a single front of three Slav States extending from Gdansk (Dantzig) via Prague to the Adriatic._ We protest against any partial solution of the Czecho-Slovak question. The Czecho-Slovak State which must also include the Slovaks of Hungary is our minimum programme. We again emphasise our solidarity with our Yugoslav brethren, whether they live in Belgrade, Sarajevo, Mostar or Lubljana, and we ask for the removal of those statesmen who wish to subjugate the remainder of the Bosnian population. _A free Yugoslavia, an independent Greater Poland and the Czecho-Slovak State_ are already in process of formation, closely allied to each other, not only by the knowledge of common economic interests, but also on the ground of the moral prerogatives of international right.

“Peace is in sight. We wanted to be admitted to peace negotiations with representatives of other nations. The Germans refused and replied: ‘If you insist you will be hanged.’ Of course the Germans never kept their word except when they promised to hang some one! But the Entente replied by deeds recognising the Czecho-Slovak army as an Allied and belligerent army. Thereupon _the Austrian Government asked us, Czech leaders in Austria, to protest against it. But of course we refused._ I said so openly to the Premier, and if you like, I will tell it to the Austrian Emperor himself. _You would not admit us to the peace negotiations with Russia, and now you will have to negotiate with Czech leaders after all_, whether you like it or not. _These leaders will be representatives of the same Czecho-Slovak brigades which Count Hertling called rascals_ (‘_Gesindel_’). _You will have to negotiate with them, and not with us_, and therefore we will not speak with you. Our question will not be solved in Vienna. If you accept President Wilson’s terms, if the German people, and not the German bureaucrats, accept them, then you can have peace at once and save humanity from further bloodshed. There is no other way out, and _we therefore advise you honestly and frankly to surrender to the Allies unconditionally_, because in the end nothing else will be left to you.

“In agreement with the whole Yugoslav nation, in agreement with Polish representatives, voicing the will of the Polish people, the Czecho-Slovaks declare before the whole world:

‘Forward in our struggle for liberty and for a new life in our own liberated, restored state!'”


In reply to the Austro-Hungarian proposal for an armistice of October 7, 1918, Mr. Robert Lansing addressed the following communication from President Wilson to the Austrian Government through the medium of the Swedish Legation in Washington on October 18, 1918:

“The President deems it his duty to say to the Austro-Hungarian Government that he cannot entertain the present suggestion of that government because of certain events of the utmost importance which, occurring since the delivery of his address of January 8 last, have necessarily altered the attitude and responsibility of the Government of the United States.

“Among the fourteen terms of peace which the President formulated at that time occurred the following:

“‘The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity of autonomous development.’

“Since that sentence was written and uttered to the Congress of the United States, the Government of the United States has recognised that a state of belligerency exists between the Czecho-Slovaks and the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires, and that the Czecho-Slovak National Council is a _de facto_ belligerent government, clothed with proper authority to direct the military and political affairs of the Czecho-Slovaks.

“It has also recognised in the fullest manner the justice of the nationalistic aspirations of the Yugo-Slavs for freedom.

“The President therefore is no longer at liberty to accept a mere ‘autonomy’ of these peoples as a basis of peace, but is obliged to insist that they, and not he, shall be the judges of what action on the part of the Austro-Hungarian Government will satisfy their aspirations and their conception of their rights and destiny as members of the family of nations.”


On October 14, Dr. E. Benes addressed the following letter to all the Allied Governments:

“By the declaration of the Government of the United States of September 3, 1918, the Czecho-Slovak National Council, whose seat is in Paris, has been recognised as a _de facto_ Czecho-Slovak Government. This recognition has been confirmed by the following Allied Governments: by Great Britain in her agreement with the National Council of September 3, 1918; by France in her agreement of September 28, 1918, and by Italy in the declaration of her Premier on October 3,1918. I have the honour to inform you that in view of these successive recognitions a Provisional Czecho-Slovak Government has been constituted by the decision of September 26, 1918, with its provisional seat in Paris and consisting of the following members:

“_Professor Thomas G. Masaryk_, President of the Provisional Government and of the Cabinet of Ministers, and Minister of Finance.

“_Dr. Edward Benes_, Minister for Foreign Affairs and of the Interior.

“General Milan R. Stefanik, Minister of War.

“The undersigned ministry has subsequently decided to accredit the following representatives with the Allied Powers:

“_Dr. Stephan Osuský_. Chargé d’Affaires of the Czecho-Slovak Legation in London, accredited with His Majesty’s Government in Great Britain.

“_Dr. Leo Sychrava_, Chargé d’Affaires of the Czecho-Slovak Legation in Paris, accredited with the French Government.

“_Dr. Leo Borský_, Chargé d’Affaires of the Czecho-Slovak Legation in Rome, accredited with the Royal Government of Italy.

“_Dr. Charles Pergler_, Chargé d’Affaires of the Czecho-Slovak Legation in Washington, accredited with the Government of the United States.

“_Bohdan Pavlu_, at present at Omsk, is to represent our Government in Russia.

“Our representatives in Japan and Serbia will be appointed later.

“We have the honour to inform you that we have taken these decisions in agreement with the political leaders at home. During the past three years our whole political and military action has been conducted in complete agreement with them. Finally, on October 2, 1918, the Czecho-Slovak deputy Stanek, President of the Union of Czech Deputies to the Parliament in Vienna, solemnly announced that the Czecho-Slovak National Council in Paris is to be considered as the supreme organ of the Czecho-Slovak armies and that it is entitled to represent the Czecho-Slovak nation in the Allied countries and at the Peace Conference. On October 9, his colleague, deputy Zahradník, speaking in the name of the same union, declared that the Czecho-Slovaks are definitely leaving the Parliament in Vienna, thereby breaking for ever all their ties with Austria-Hungary.

“Following the decision of our nation and of our armies, we are henceforth taking charge as a Provisional National Government for the direction of the political destinies of the Czecho-Slovak State, and as such we are entering officially into relations with the Allied Governments, relying both upon our mutual agreement with them and upon their solemn declarations.

“We make this declaration in a specially solemn manner at a moment when great political events call upon all the nations to take part in decisions which will perhaps give Europe a new political régime for centuries to come.

“Assuring you of my devoted sentiments, believe me to remain, in the name of the Czecho-Slovak Government,

_(Signed)_ “DR. EDWARD BENES,

Minister for Foreign Affairs.”


“At this grave moment when the Hohenzollerns are offering peace in order to stop the victorious advance of the Allied armies and to prevent the dismemberment of Austria-Hungary and Turkey, and when the Habsburgs are promising the federalisation of the empire and autonomy to the dissatisfied nationalities committed to their rule, we, the Czecho-Slovak National Council, recognised by the Allied and American Governments as the Provisional Government of the Czecho-Slovak State and nation, in complete accord with the declaration of the Czech deputies in Prague on January 6, 1918, and realising that federalisation and, still more, autonomy mean nothing under a Habsburg dynasty, do hereby make and declare this our Declaration of Independence:

“Because of our belief that no people should be forced to live under a sovereignty they do not recognise and because of our knowledge and firm conviction that our nation cannot freely develop in a Habsburg confederation which is only a new form of the denationalising oppression which we have suffered for the past three centuries, we consider freedom to be the first pre-requisite for federalisation and believe that the free nations of Central and Eastern Europe may easily federate should they find it necessary.

“We make this declaration on the basis of our historic and natural right: we have been an independent state since the seventh century, and in 1526 as an independent state, consisting of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, we joined with Austria and Hungary in a defensive union against the Turkish danger. We have never voluntarily surrendered our rights as an independent state in this confederation. The Habsburgs broke their compact with our nation by illegally transgressing our rights and violating the constitution of our state, which they had pledged themselves to uphold, and we therefore refuse any longer to remain a part of Austria-Hungary in any form.

“We claim the right of Bohemia to be reunited with her Slovak brethren of Slovakia, which once formed part of our national state, but later was torn from our national body and fifty years ago was incorporated in the Hungarian State of the Magyars, who by their unspeakable violence and ruthless oppression of their subject races have lost all moral and human right to rule anybody but themselves.

“The world knows the history of our struggle against the Habsburg oppression, intensified and systematised by the Austro-Hungarian dualistic compromise of 1867. This dualism is only a shameless organisation of brute force and exploitation of the majority by the minority. It is a political conspiracy of the Germans and Magyars against our own as well as the other Slav and Latin nations of the monarchy.

“The world knows the justice of our claims, which the Habsburgs themselves dare not deny. Francis Joseph in the most solemn manner repeatedly recognised the sovereign rights of our nation. The Germans and Magyars opposed this recognition, and Austria-Hungary, bowing before the Pan-Germans, became a colony of Germany and as her vanguard to the East provoked the last Balkan conflict as well as the present world war, which was begun by the Habsburgs alone without the consent of the representatives of the people.

“We cannot and will not continue to live under the direct or indirect rule of the violators of Belgium, France and Serbia, the would-be murderers of Russia and Rumania, the murderers of tens of thousands of civilians and soldiers of our blood, and the accomplices in numberless unspeakable crimes committed in this war against humanity by the two degenerate and irresponsible dynasties of Habsburgs and Hohenzollerns. We will not remain a part of a state which has no justification for existence and which, refusing to accept the fundamental principles of modern world organisation, remains only an artificial and immoral political structure, hindering every movement towards democratic and social progress. The Habsburg dynasty, weighed down by a huge inheritance of error and crime, is a perpetual menace to the peace of the world, and we deem it our duty towards humanity and civilisation to aid in bringing about its downfall and destruction.

“We reject the sacrilegious assertion that the power of the Habsburg and Hohenzollern dynasties is of divine origin. We refuse to recognise the divine right of kings. Our nation elected the Habsburgs to the throne of Bohemia of its own free will and by the same right deposes them. We hereby declare the Habsburg dynasty unworthy of leading our nation and deny all their claims to rule in the Czecho-Slovak land, which we here and now declare shall henceforth be a free and independent people and nation.

“We accept and shall adhere to the ideals of modern democracy as they have been ideals of our nation for centuries. We accept the American principles as laid down by President Wilson, the principles of liberated mankind of the actual equality of nations and of governments, deriving all their just power from the consent of the governed. We, the nation of Comenius, cannot but accept those principles expressed in the American Declaration of Independence, the principles of Lincoln and of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. For these principles our nation shed its blood in the memorable Hussite wars five hundred years ago. For these same principles beside her Allies our nation is shedding its blood to-day in Russia, Italy and France.

“We shall outline only the main principles of the constitution of the Czecho-Slovak nation. The final decision as to the constitution itself falls to the legally chosen representatives of the liberated and united people. The Czecho-Slovak State shall be a republic in constant endeavour for progress. It will guarantee complete freedom of conscience, religion and science, literature and art, speech, the press and the right of assembly and petition. The Church shall be separated from the State. Our democracy shall rest on universal suffrage; women shall be placed on an equal footing with men politically, socially and culturally, while the right of the minority shall be safeguarded by proportional representation. National minorities shall enjoy equal rights. The government shall be parliamentary in form and shall recognise the principles of initiative and referendum. The standing army will be replaced by militia. The Czecho-Slovak nation will carry out far-reaching social and economic reforms. The large estates will be redeemed for home colonisation, and patents of nobility will be abolished. Our nation will assume responsibility for its part of the Austro-Hungarian pre-war public debt. The debts for this war we leave to those who incurred them.

“In its foreign policy the Czecho-Slovak nation will accept its full share of responsibility in the reorganisation of Eastern Europe. It accepts fully the democratic and social principle of nationality and subscribes to the doctrine that all covenants and treaties shall be entered into openly and frankly without secret diplomacy. Our constitution shall provide an efficient, national and just government which will exclude all special privileges and prohibit class legislation.

“Democracy has defeated theocratic autocracy, militarism is overcome, democracy is victorious. On the basis of democracy mankind will be reorganised. The forces of darkness have served the victory of light, the longed-for age of humanity is dawning. We believe in democracy, we believe in liberty and liberty for evermore.

“Given in Paris on the 18th October, 1918.


Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.


Minister of National Defence.


Minister for Foreign Affairs and of the Interior.”



CHÉRADAME, A.: _The Pan-German Plot Unmasked_. John Murray, London, 1916.

NAUMANN, F.: _Central Europe_. King & Son, London, 1916.

For complete survey of Pan-Germanism and Pan-German literature, see Prof. Masaryk’s articles in the first volume of the _New Europe_, as well as various articles in _La Nation Tchèque_.


BAILEY, V.F.: _The Slavs of the War Zone_. Chapman & Hall, London, 1917.

LEGER, Louis: _Etudes slaves_. Leroux, Paris, 1875, 1880 and 1886.

—-_Le monde slave_. Hachette, Paris, 1910.

MASARYK, T.G.: _The Slavs amongst Nations_. London, 1915.

NIEDERLE, L.: _La race slave_. Hachette, Paris, 1910.

TUCIC, S.: _The Slav Nations. Daily Telegraph_ War Books, London, 1914.

See also _Le Monde Slave_, a monthly review published in Paris by Prof. Ernest Denis at 19-21 rue Cassette.


BENES, EDWARD: _Le problème autrichien et la question tchèque_. Girard-Brière, Paris, 1908.

—-_Détruisez l’Autriche-Hongrie._ Delagrave, Paris, 1915.

COLQUHOUN, A.R.: _The Whirlpool of Europe_. Harpers, London, 1907.

CHÉRADAME, A.: _L’Europe et la question d’Autriche-Hongrie_. Paris, 1900.

DRAGE, GEOFFREY: _Austria-Hungary._ John Murray, London, 1909.

EISENMANN, L.: _Le compromis austro-hongrois._ Paris, 1904.

FOURNOL, E.: _Sur la succession de l’Autriche-Hongrie._ Paris, 1917.

GAYDA, V.: _Modern Austria_. Fisher Unwin, London, 1914.

GRIBBLE, F.J.: _The Emperor Francis Joseph_. Eveleigh Nash, London, 1914.

LEGER, Louis: _Histoire de l’Autriche-Hongrie._ Hachette, Paris, 1888.

—-_La liquidation de l’Autriche-Hongrie._

MITTON, G.E.: _Austria-Hungary._ A. & C. Black, London, 1915.

McCURDY, C.A., M.P.: _The Terms of the Coming Peace_. W.H. Smith & Son, 1918.

STEED, HENRY WICKHAM: _The Habsburg Monarchy_. Constable, 1914 and 1916.

SETON-WATSON, R.W.: _The Future of Austria-Hungary._ Constable, London, 1907.

SETON-WATSON, R.W., and others: _War and Democracy._ Macmillan & Co., 1914.

TOYNBEE, A.: _Nationality and the War._ Dent & Sons, London, 1915.

—-_The New Europe._ Dent & Sons.


CAPEK, THOMAS: _The Slovaks of Hungary._ Knickerbocker Press, New York, 1906.

DENIS, ERNEST: _Les Slovaques._ Delagrave, Paris, 1917.

SCOTUS-VIATOR: _Racial Problems in Hungary._ Constable, 1908.

SETON-WATSON, R.W.: _German, Slav and Magyar._ Williams & Norgate, London, 1916.


DENIS, ERNEST: _Huss et la Guerre des Hussites._ Leroux, Paris, 1878.

—-_Les origines de l’unité des frères bohèmes._ Angers, Burdin, 1881.

—-_Fin de l’indépendance bohème._ Colin, Paris, 1890.

—-_La Bohème depuis la Montagne Blanche._ Leroux, Paris, 1903.

FRICZ: _Table de l’histoire de la Bohème._

GINDELY, A.: _History of the Thirty Years’ War._ Translation from Czech. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1884.

GREGOR, F.: _Story of Bohemia._ Hunt & Eaton, New York, 1895.

HANTICH, H.: _La révolution de_ 1848 _en Bohème._ Schneider, Lyon, 1910.

—-_Le droit historique de la Bohème._ Chevalier, Paris, 1910.

LEGER, LOUIS: _La renaissance tchèque en_ XIXe _siècle._ Paris, 1911.

LÜTZOW, COUNT FRANCIS: _Bohemia._ A historical sketch. Everyman’s Library. Dent & Sons, London, 1907.

—-_The Story of Prague._ Dent & Sons, London, 1902.

—-_Life and Times of John Hus._ Dent & Sons, 1909.

MAURICE, C.E.: _The Story of Bohemia._ Fisher Unwin, 1896.

SCHWARZE, REV. J.: _John Hus._ The Revel Co., New York, 1915.

SCHAFF, DAVID: _John Huss._ George Allen & Unwin, London, 1915.

WRATISLAW, A.H.: _John Hus._ Young & Co., London, 1882.


BOWRING, SIR JOHN: _Cheskian Anthology._ Rowland Hunter, London, 1832.

BAUDIS, PROF. JOSEPH: _Czech Folk Tales._ George Allen & Unwin, London, 1917.

FRICZ: _L’idée nationale dans la poésie et la tradition_ bohème.

GAMBERT, E.: _Poésie tchèque contemporaine._ Paris, 1903.

JELINEK, H.: _La littérature tchèque contemporaine_. Paris, 1912.

KOMENSKY, J.A.: _Labyrinth of the World_. Translated from Czech by Count Lützow. Dent & Sons, London, 1900.

LÜTZOW, COUNT FRANCIS: _Bohemian Literature_. Heinemann, London, 1907.

MARCHANT, F.P.: _Outline of Bohemian Literature_. London, 1911.

MORFILL, W.R.: _A Grammar of the Bohemian (Cech) Language._ With translations from Bohemian literature. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1899.

—-_Slavonic Literature_. London, 1883.

NEMCOVÁ, B.: _The Grandmother_. A novel translated from Czech. McClurg, Chicago, 1892.

SELVER, PAUL: _Anthology of Modern Bohemian Poetry._ Drane, London, 1912.


BAKER, JAMES: _Pictures from Bohemia_. Chapman & Hall, London, 1904.

HANTICH, H.: _La musique tchèque_. Nilsson, Paris, 1910.

MONROE, W.S.: _Bohemia and the Cechs_. Bell & Sons, London, 1910.

PROCHAZKA, J.: _Bohemia’s Claim for Freedom_. Chatto & Windus, London, 1915.

TYRSOVA, R., and HANTICH, H.: _Le paysan tchèque_. Nilsson, Paris.

ZMRHAL, J.J., and BENES, V.: _Bohemia_. Bohemian National Alliance, Chicago, 1917.

—-_Les pays tchèques_, published by the Ligue Franco-Tchèque, Paris, 1917.


BENES, EDWARD: _Bohemia’s Case for Independence_. George Allen & Unwin, London, 1917.

BOURLIER, JEAN: _Les Tchèques et la Bohème_. F. Alcan, Paris, 1897.

CAPEK, THOMAS: _Bohemia under Habsburg Misrule_. Chicago, 1915.

For reference _re_ the Czecho-Slovak movement, see its official organ _La Nation Tchèque_, published at 18, rue Bonaparte, Paris. First two volumes edited by E. Denis, the following by Dr. E. Benes.

Numerous useful articles on Bohemia and the Austrian problem from the pen of H.W. Steed, R.W. Seton-Watson, L.B. Namier, Professor Masaryk, Dr. Benes, V. Nosek and others will be found in the weekly review of foreign politics, the _New Europe_, published by Messrs. Constable & Co., 10, Orange Street, London, W.C.2.

The following list of some recent articles in the English (not American) monthly and quarterly reviews is also recommended:

BARRY, The Very Rev. Canon WILLIAM: _Break Austria. Nineteenth Century_, September, 1917.

—-_How to Break Austria. Nineteenth Century_, November, 1917.

—-_Shall England save Austria? Nineteenth Century_, June, 1918.

CHÉRADAME, A.: _How to Destroy Pan-Germany. National Review_, January, 1918.

—-_The Western Front and Political Strategy_. _National Review_, July, 1918.

FORMAN, JOSEPH: _The Liberation of the Czecho-Slovaks. Nineteenth Century_, March, 1917.

GRIBBLE, FRANCIS: _Czech Claims and Magyar Intrigues. Nineteenth Century_, March, 1918.

—-_The Passing of a Legend. Nineteenth Century_, October, 1917.

LANDA, M.J.: _Bohemia and the War. Contemporary_, July, 1915.

AN OLD MAZZINIAN: _Italy and the Nationalities of Austria-Hungary. Contemporary_, June, 1918.

NOSEK, VLADIMIR: _The New Spirit in Austria_. A Reply to Mr. Brailsford. _Contemporary_, October, 1917.

—-_Bohemia as a Bulwark against Pan-Germanism. National Review_, July, 1918.

POLITICUS: _Austria’s Hour of Destiny. Fortnightly_, August, 1917.

_Round Table_, Quarterly Review of the Politics of the Empire: No. 16 (September, 1914): _Origins of the War._

—-No. 17 (December, 1914): _Racial Problems in Austria-Hungary._

—-No. 26 (March, 1917): _Methods of Ascendancy: Bohemia_.

SELVER, PAUL: _Brezina’s Poetry. The Quest_, January, 1916.

—-_Modern Czech Poetry. Poetry Review_, May, 1918.

SETON-WATSON, R.W.: _Pan-Slavism. Contemporary_, October, 1916.

—-_Austria-Hungary and the Federal System. Contemporary_, March, 1918.

STEED, HENRY WICKHAM: _The Quintessence of Austria. Edinburgh Review_, October, 1915.

—-_The Programme for Peace. Edinburgh Review_, April, 1916.

—-_What is Austria? Edinburgh Review_, October, 1917.

TAYLOR, A.H.E.: _The Entente and Austria. Fortnightly_, May, 1918.

For a detailed and exhaustive list of all writings in the English language on Bohemia and the Czecho-Slovaks, see _Bohemian Bibliography_, by Thomas Capek and Anna Vostrovsky Capek, published by the Fleming H. Revell Co., Chicago, New York, Edinburgh and London, 1918.