Today we continue with our 1850s look at Czech (Moravian) immigrants to America thanks to Czech-American author, Hugo Chotek, the annual Czech-American journal, Amerikán Národní Kalendář, our terrific translation team partners of Layne Pierce and Mila Saskova-Pierce, and Onward To Our Past®!
We know you will continue to enjoy this unique, exclusive, and amazing story!
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Volume: XLIV, Year: 1921, Pages 154-168
A Page from the Lives of American Czechs from the Fifties
Written by Hugo Chotek
Translated by Layne Pierce and Mila Saskova-Pierce
©Onward To Our Past®
“Coming across the bridge at that moment was a man about 50 years old with a well-built and strong body, shining eyes and expressive face. He was followed by about a 19-year old young girl, with a beautiful, symmetrical body with large shining eyes and a very delicate and attractive face; behind her was walking a young man about 25 years old, tall as a fir tree, but strongly built and exuding an uncommon physical strength. His visible resemblance to the young girl denoted that he was her brother, which he really was. With his hand he was leading another
, no less strong , woman and the attention that he devoted to her as well as the resemblance, revealed the mother of the two of them. It was the family Bláha and following it were the other Moravians, seven families with grown up, or even small children, coming to 42 individuals.
When Bláha heard the calling he immediately turned his head in that direction, and then he told his group: “Look, our friends are waiting for us there. Stick with me, so that we can embrace them as soon as possible!” And not even waiting for an answer, with his powerful arms he was pushing his way to the place where his friends were awaiting, followed closely by his wife and children and the other Moravians.—
Josef Bláha was an affluent farmer, originally from one of the cozy little villages lying beneath the hallowed hill Radhošt in which in spite of the German-Jewish pressure and the national renegades, the pure Czech spirit was maintained, the spirit of the Hussites from the past, the yearning for freedom, personal as well as spiritual.
In the Bláha family writers had been born since time immemorial, perhaps even from the Hussite times, sons and daughters learned reading and writing and they knew how to give their ideas expression in flowing language understandable, and earthy, which in those times was a very rare occurrence. Even the cruelest persecution, not even prosecution and spying by fanatic priests, could destroy the spiritual zest of the members of this purely Czech family or steal from it books which, as a sanctified inheritance, were passed from generation to generation. The fathers taught their sons and the mothers taught their daughters and during the long winter evenings, or under the spreading apple tree during the summer, they would talk about famous and heroic acts of our ancestors and about the beautiful and glorious times during the reign of the Přemyslids, Charles the IV, and George of Poděbrady, as well as about the way of the cross that the Czech nation was driven onto after the cursed day of the Battle of White Mountain. The sons and daughters of this clan were suckling this history practically along with their mother’s milk and so it is not surprising that they were so little open to the sweet but premeditated words of the fanatic Roman priests, or the threats of the “Empire and Kingdom governors” and the “German administrators from their castle.” The books and the family notes were always carefully hidden and no constable or sacrilegious thief could ever find a trace of them.”
Tomorrow we continue with this wonderful story from the great Czech-American newspaperman and author, Hugo Chotek. Not miss a thing here as we continue this story of life of Czech immigrants in 1850s America!
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