Vladimír Nosek.

Independent Bohemia An Account of the Czecho-Slovak Struggle for Liberty online

. (page 13 of 13)
Online LibraryVladimír NosekIndependent Bohemia An Account of the Czecho-Slovak Struggle for Liberty → online text (page 13 of 13)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

"'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

"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

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

"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

"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

"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

"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,

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

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

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,

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,


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,

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,

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,


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,

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

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,

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.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13

Online LibraryVladimír NosekIndependent Bohemia An Account of the Czecho-Slovak Struggle for Liberty → online text (page 13 of 13)