Welcome back to 1934 and the story we have been translating of one Czech, his life and times in 1800s Bohemia, and now we move across the ocean with he and his family as they decide to avoid the war and head to the United States.
This is one of the most detailed of all the stories we have encountered in the pages of Amerikan Národní Kalenar and it is a fabulous look at life for Czechs in Bohemia and then in the United States.
We know you will enjoy today’s installment!
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Volume: LVII, Year: 1934, Pages: 187-213
FROM THE MEMORIES OF OLD CZECH SETTLERS IN AMERICA
Translated by Layne Pierce and Dr. Mila Saskova-Pierce
©Onward To Our Past®
John Zajíc, Sr. Edgerton, Alberta, Canada. (Continued)
“I gave demonstrations on this machine another time during the exposition season, and once again I received great praise. The photos of this machine are in the National Land Museum. I had a patent for this machine in Austria-Hungary. I had received an honorary diploma of world discoverers from Paris and the right to use an imperial mark from the Austrian government, and from the Hungarian government the right to use the land mark, and from the administration of the Jubilee Exposition in Prague I got a silver medal (the Second Exposition Prize) and from the business chamber 40 guilders as a small business bonus. I received the medal during a great glorious event in the district of the town of Kouřim. The military band played a concert in the garden of Mr. Ros, where it was said in my praise that I was the only exhibitor from a village within the whole Czech kingdom and the only person who received such a high recognition, since from our trade there were only 140 exhibitors and only 11 of us received 2nd Prize. There was only one 1st Prize. It was received by Mrs. Mašnerová, the widow of Mr. Mašner, who was an imperial and royal supplier.
At the exhibit in Dobruška I received an honorary diploma for the exhibited shoes. In Poděbrady I got 1st Prize for the exhibited footwear (bronze medal). I also received many letters of thanks from private clients who were suffering from all kinds of foot irregularities.
After the year 1891, the prosperity started to decrease rapidly. The causes of that were higher taxes, cheaper sugar beets, and then finally strong manufacturing competition. Our family was growing.
Austria was preparing for war. My two boys, at the time when they were supposed to be called into the Army, went to the United States. I still had a third one, a fourteen-year-old. My wife was lamenting every day that her family was broken apart and that perhaps she would never see her boys again; the state offices were pursuing me. That was what pushed me to abandon my irreplaceable mother country that I loved so much.
I asked my dear wife if she would go into the unknown to be with her sons, so that the whole family could be together. She gladly agreed. I immediately sent questions to the Austrian consulates in the United States and in Canada asking accurate information, which I nicely received.
Through the intermediation of the government offices I received a very positive answer, and before a month went by my family and I were on the sea. I chose the best ship that was completely new at that time, “Kaiser Wilhelm II.” It was its second voyage across the sea. We boarded in Bremerhaven on the day of the 28th of June 1905 and on the 4th of July in the afternoon we were already in New York. Therefore the journey lasted five and a half days. At that time it was the fastest way. The voyage was completely peaceful. My beloved wife, however, was more sick than well.”
Stay with Onward To Our Past® as we continue this amazing story and find out where in the United States our Czech family is headed!
Onward To Our Past®