Transnationalism PDF Print E-mail




II D 1

The Weekly Zgoda, Jan, 29, 1931.



An unusual opportunity for our children as well as for ourselves is presented in the excursion to Poland, on July 2nd, from New York directly to Gdynia, via the Gdynia‑America steamship line, under the auspices of the Polish National Alliance, Educational Department,

That excursion will prove to be of invaluable benefit to our maturing youth, as well as to parents; in fact, to the entire Polish‑American community.  It affords the best means for presenting to our children that great country of our forefathers, its glorious past, its monuments testifying to its great culture, and its inestimable memorials of our most recent battles for freedom.  It will be the true sight of that glorious Republic of Poland in all her splendor.

We cannot demand or expect of a child that it love parents whom it has never seen; neither can we request an unconditional love for Poland of those who do not know her.

Therefore, with the knowledge and understanding of its true national and educational mission toward Polish immigrants, the Polish Nation National Alliance Educational Department desire's to sent to Poland the largest possible number of our native youth, and to show that youth why Poland should be glorified, loved and esteemed; why a Pole is proud of his native country; and why a child born in this country should not forget the country of its parents and forefathers.

For parents, too, it is an unheard of opportunity to instill in the minds of their children a general view of the world. In schools of this country children are impregnated with the belief that only America is the sum of all perfection.  It is, therefore, not surprising that the child disdains its parents who came from some part of Europe.

Poland, they visualize as a country of poverty and misery, of ignorance and disorder; and it is with a feeling of shame that they admit their Polish descent.

If, then, the child be sent to Poland, it will enrich its knowledge with a store of facts gleaned from the various spheres of life and science, and will return with an unquestionably different attitude.

To begin with, these children will be cultured, and have higher, more idealistic and cleaner views; they will learn to appreciate and honor great things; and will have awakened in them higher thoughts and ambitions.

Such an excursion is of paramount value, as it lends prestige to the Polish community of America. It makes the young Polish people more ambitious, more far‑sighted and broadminded; it makes them embrace the Polish cause with greater enthusiasm. And it is from such a young generation that the Polish‑American community will select its future leaders, intercessors and directors.


II D 10
II B 2 d (1)
I C c

Saloniki, Jan 29, 1916.

A Few Illuminating Comparisons


All the Greeks in America who have decided to send money to Greece, in order to help the suffering women and children of the soldiers, are doing a very praiseworthy thing.

The women and children in that part of Greece which has been liberated, are starving by the thousands, and so are those who haven been conquered by the Turks.  Anyone who does these people a kindness is worthy of being called a Christian.

We agree that these conquered and suffering brothers must be helped, but we wish to give a word of advice to those who are in a position to aid them materially.   If you heed this advice, you will have clear consciences, knowing that you have done your job well.  If, however, this advice is...ignored, you will become that instrument by which the Greeks in America will be divide into “liberated” and “conquered” factions.

It is bad enough that Greece [itself] is divided; here in America, division and factions should not exist.  What is the difference between a conquered and a free Greek?  How can such a division, or classification be made?  We are all Greeks and are, therefore, all brothers [figuratively speaking].

What is the difference between a starving conquered Greek and a starving free Greek?  Is there any division or favoritism [shown] in starvation?

It is a disgrace that there should be any distinction made in the meting out of pity and aid.  He who endeavors to create factions, in order to exploit hunger and human suffering, is not worthy of being called a human being.

The men who, in the name of hunger, seek to create opposing parties or that they may be in the limelight, are inhuman beasts.

We must not let ourselves become weapons in the hands of these men, to be used against our suffering, free and conquered brothers.

At various times in the past, the Greek papers in America have started campaigns for philanthropic purposes.  Or they have sponsored drives for funds to be used for patriotic activities.  For those worthy and unselfish deeds, they should receive the appreciation and applause of the American Greeks.

Today, a different situation as arisen—a situation that is not only different but is also difficult.  Two Greek newspapers have started campaigns to raise funds for the relief of the starving Greeks.  And we see, with regret and shame, that a bitter distinction is being made between the conquered and the liberated Greeks.

...and Christian pleas for charity are being used as instruments of division.  One was written by the Patriarch of Constantinople, ... and the other was a letter sent by Metroplite Theoklitos.

Newspapers are causing dissension by printing poisonous editorials, which cause the readers to become prejudiced against either the free or the conquered Greeks.  This is the basis and foundation for the beginning of two philanthropic drives.  The results are not difficult to foresee.

In every district where there is a Greek church, the priest of the parish will be instructed by the church trustees to start a campaign for funds.  If the president or the priest is in the liberated faction, the drive will be conducted for the relief of the starving women and children of free Greece.  If the powers in the church are on the opposite side, the funds will be sent to the starving women and children in conquered Greece.

Such a course of events must naturally result in antagonism and factionalism among the various church parishes.  This will be followed by arguments and even fights, and will probably cause a scandal that will bring shame to the Greek name.  The same will happen in little communities that have been harmonious and peaceful, previously.

Therefore, it is evident that we must exercise due caution in the conduct of our relief drive, and we recommend the following course of action. In each community of five thousand or even one thousand Greeks, committees should be formed to carry on a drive for funds.  Each individual who makes a contribution should designate how much of it should be given to the Metropolite [free Greeks] or to the Patriarch [conquered Greeks].

When the drive is completed the money should be divided into two parts; according to the desires of the contributors.  The funds should then be sent directly to the Metroplite or the Patriarch by the Greek consulate.

It should not be given into the hand of the greedy, dishonest newspapers, who are doing their best to create dissension and argument among the Greek people.  This evil must be stopped once and for all.

The papers guilty of such treacherous conduct must be made to feel the lash of public scorn.

If, however, some individuals want to make a contribution simply because they want to see their names in the newspapers, we can only quote from the Bible:  “Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.”

Such exhibitionists are not interested in philanthropy.  They are merely seekers after false glory...

However, it is necessary that the names of the contributors and the amounts contributed be published, for the sake of informing the public as to the results of drive.  The newspapers can do their share by publishing the list of every parish, free of charge.

Through such a procedure, the drive will be carried on without division or antagonism.  The spiritual centers at Constantinople and Athens will also receive more money than they would receive from a campaign directed and collected by the newspapers.


Questions And Activity

Anticipatory Set: Have students imagine they are going off to college or moving out on their own.  What would stay the same in their lives and what would be different?  How would they keep in touch with friends and relatives?  Would they call, write letters, email, come back to visit, etc.  How often would they visit? Would they attend every family function/event? If not, how would that make them feel?  Would they feel left out?

Use this discussion to introduce the idea of “Transnationalism” because it illustrates having a “foot in 2 worlds.”  The anticipatory set will help students understand how one feels to be caught between 2 separate spheres and how one struggles to maintain their identity while forming a new one.

Have students read the newspaper articles and answer the following questions:  (Or the students could be divided into groups and each group could read one article and answer the questions)

  1. In what ways did people attempt to “keep a foot” in both worlds? (cite examples from the readings)
  2. Would it be relatively easy or difficult to keep a foot in the old country, while planting a foot in the new country?  What might be some challenges?


Find other ways your community attempts to help new immigrants keep a foot in the old world, adjust to the community, or both.

“Becoming Americans in Chicago Reader” –Introduction

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