Immigrant and Other Publications Among the Slovenesin Western Europe until 1940
The paper deals with the scope and role of the Slovene immigrant, pro-Yugoslav and communist newspapers and periodicals in Western Europe until the outbreak of World War 11. The latter two groups of publications are dealt with as far as they included contributions by Slovene economic and political em igrants or met w ith response in emigration milieus. The author's findfings are based on the study of the newspapers and periodicals available in Ljubljana (Slovenia) and the periodicals department of the National Library in Paris. The fact that the nespapers and periodicals have not been preserved in complete files renders analytical study more difficult. The most incomplete are the communist publications which were issued in underground or sem i-underground conditions, some of them having no more than one issue. Still more scarce are data abouth the plans on the launching of newspapers and periodicals by emigrants themselves. The paper represents a basis for further research into the role and im portance of Slovene-language publications in the Slovene immigrant circles in Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, the Soviet Union and other European states until the year 1940.
Slovene emigrants sought their daily bread and better life in many European countries - in the German parts of Austria, Rheinland and Westphalia before World War I (1914), in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the Soviet Union and elsewhere after the United States closed its golden door" in 1924. They worked mainly in the mining and other industries, or as seasonal Workers at farms (mostly Women), especially in France and Germany. With the economic crisis of the early thirties, largescale migrations stopped and even began subsiding (repatriation, return, giving Way to seasonal migration which intensified in the post-crisis period. The estimates of the number of emigrants largely differ because of non-uniform statistics which, moreover, was kept according to the citizenship and not according to the ethnic criteria. In 1940, there were 10 000 Slovenes Working in Germany (by way of comparison - before 1914 there were 70 000 Yugoslavs in the Ruhr region and Westphalia, most of them Slovenes, 34 000 in France, 2500 in Belgium, 2000 in the Netherlands and a smaller number in other European countries.
Smaller in number in comparison with, say, Polish or Italian immigrants, Slovene immigrants were nevertheless associated through benefit Societies, cultural clubs, confraternities etc., and united as much as disunited by the Slovene and Yugoslav immigrant literature which can be divided into three groups:
- Pro-Yugoslav newspapers and periodicals, which advocated the policy of the unitarian Yugoslav state. The range from the extremely staunch and uncompromising supporters of Belgrade policy, to the moderate ones which show understanding for specific ethnic concerns. They were for the most part published in Paris. Among the major newspapers and periodicals of this group иe can list Yugopress (1927-40). Paris, Jugoslovenske pariske novine (1931-39) Paris, Glas jugoslovenskih iseljenika (1933-39), Angeville, France.
- Catholic press and periodicals which, besides their main role as religious publications, strove to preserve the Slovene national consciousness, language and culture among the immigrants This group includes Naš zvon (1925-27) as the only Slovene immigrant publication in Germany, and Rafael, published in Heerlen, the Netherlands. The Izseljenski vestnik (1932-40) published in Slovenia, Was Widely popular among the Slovenes in diaspora.
- Communist publications, which performed their internationalist mission by strengthening the communist movement among the immigrants and at home. In terms of the support of class struggle as the fundamental maxim of the communist movement, they range from those which advocated revolution in Yugoslavia (after the Soviet model) to those of a broader scope which aimed at expressing the interests of all immigrants, e. g. the Glas izseljencev (1936-39) Paris. Communist publications were for the most part printed in Brussels, although their editorial staff were based in Paris.
The paper draws on the press and periodicals kept in LjubIjana (Slovenia) and the periodicals department of the National Library, Paris.