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The artistic ability of the Bohemian is noticeable. The race receives too little recognition in this connection, for it has produced a composer of first rank, Dvorak; a soprano of the purest type, Emmy Destinn; and a violinist of world fame, Kubelik. How many Dvoraks, Destinns, and Kubeliks are lost to America and the world because we allow the Bohemian's abilities to go undiscovered in our free land, no one realizes.
The Moravians who live in the province that borders Bohemia on the east are closely similar to the Bohemians, but not as highly developed. Still further east, in Hungary, lies that undefined Slovakland where the meagre hill country is occupied by the Slovaks. The natural resources are scant and the political pressure rigorous by the Hungarian rulers. When less than two score years ago, the Slovaks learned of the possibilities of America, migration became the rule. A low economic status and Hungarian restrictive measures held the movement of population in check.
The Serbo-Croatians include the Servians, Croatians, Slovenians, Slavonians, Dalmatians, Bosnians, Herzegovinians, and Montenegrins. The different names indicate territorial rather than racial divisions. The currently used term, Jugo-Slavs, or South Slavs, includes practically these same sub-groups.
Some of the finest specimens of physical manhood that have come to the United States in the past fifty years are found among Serbo-Croatian immigrants. The Dalmatians, for example, are often six feet in
height, well built, and possessed of an enduring physique.
The Serbo-Croatians profess various religious faiths, including the Roman Catholic, the Greek Catholic, the Mohammedan. The religious divisions explain in part the sub-group feuds and dissensions which exist among the Serbo-Croatians in the homeland and which in America easily burst into flames. Superstition abounds among them. Wife-beating is a custom. The women are engaged continually in bearing or nursing children." Rugged strength and crude morality are the outstanding characteristics.
The Magyars, Mongolian in origin, live on an island, as it were, surrounded by Slavs. They number 10,000,000 and are described as "astute politicians and dashing military leaders," but careless in business as the Slavs who surround them. The Jews, on the other hand, have acquired the positions of business control; no other country has turned over its financial life to the Jews as largely as Hungary. At the time that the Mongolian Magyars were imposing their political leadership and their language upon the subject races, they in turn had been gradually adopting the social customs and manners of their Slavic environment. They are less stolid and more high-strung than the Slav. Their best-known leader and exponent of democracy was Louis Kossuth.
The Lithuanians, belonging to the Aryan stock, have lived for centuries north of Russian Poland in the territory bordering on the Baltic Sea. They
'Cf. E. A. Steiner, On the Trail of the Immigrant, pp. 187ff. 'J. R. Commons, Races and Immigrants in America, p. 81; cf. Reports of the Immigration Commission, V:94ff.
number about 4,000,000. Courland is their chief city. Their political history became at one time a part of the history of Poland through intermarriage of the royal houses. Racially, however, the Lithuanians and Poles are quite different. The Lithuanians have suffered from Russian tyranny, but by virtue of living in a region partly covered by forests and swamps, they have been able to maintain their ancient customs and racial traits. Upon learning of America, they migrated hither in large numbers. More than 700,000 Lithuanians are in the United States.
The Finns, another of our important immigrant groups, are historically Mongolian. Centering at Helsingfors, they have served as a buffer between Russia and Sweden, and in 1918 they were being used as a catspaw by Germany. Wrested from Sweden in 1809 by Russia, governed by Russia in a remarkably democratic manner during the nineteenth century, the Finns in 1901 suddenly found themselves stripped of all self-government privileges. The Russian language was substituted for the Finnish and the Swedish languages. The Finnish army was abolished and its members scattered throughout the Russian army divisions. With this imposition of autocratic measures, the Finns began to migrate, large numbers coming to the United States. The Finns are democratically inclined. Equal suffrage was established long ago in Finnland and socialism was extensively received.
The Rumanians are descendants of Roman soldiers who were stationed on the Danube. They are
of more nervous temperament than the Slav, whom they closely resemble in other particulars. The Bulgarians, although of Mongolian stock, likewise have become Slavic in type and customs.
The Slav, in conclusion, is humanity in the rough. The Slavic immigrant comes to America from one of the youngest races politically in Europe. He has scorned business activities as being undignified. He is unaccustomed to and unconvinced by Western ideas and appliances. He has struggled long and blindly toward the light of political freedom and industrial democracy. In America, we know him in the mass and far from his best. He learns of America's way, oftentimes and first, through the foreman's curses and the populace's epithets. Between Slavism in America and Americanism at its best is a broad, deep chasm which must be bridged by Americanization efforts.
THE HEBREW IMMIGRANT
Of the 12,000,000 Hebrews in the world,1 approximately 2,000,000 live in the United States, 2,000,000 in Austria-Hungary, and 5,000,000 in Russia. The Hebrew population of New York City is estimated at 1,000,000, the largest congregation of Jews in one place in the world. New York City has a Jewish population today equal to that of ten Palestines. When one person of every five people in New York City's population of five million is a Jew and when the race is prominently represented in every community in the United States, it becomes necessary for Americans to study the history of the race, the reactions of the individual Jew to American life, and his potential genius.
Heber, or Eber, is a term which signifies the farther bank of a river. The Hebrews were named, perhaps, from the fact that they came from the farther bank of the Euphrates. The popular designation, Jew, is derived from the Hebrew word Jehudah, or Judah, son of Jacob. The name has had a religious significance. The Hebrew language is read and written by many Jewish men and some Jewish women, but it is rarely spoken. Yiddish is
"In this chapter, the terms Hebrew and Jew will be used interchangeably.