Josef Martinek, Czech Heritage Papers
Title: Josef Martinek, Czech
Creator: Martinek, Josef, 1889-1980
boxes (1.5 linear feet)
Collection Number: MS
Languages: Czech, English, Spanish
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Preferred Citation: Josef Martinek, Czech Heritage Papers (MS 0121). Archives & Special Collections,
University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries.
Josef Martinek was born March 23, 1889 in Podebrady, Bohemia, the son of John and Anna
(Borecka) Martinek. After grammar school and high school he entered the Industrial School in
Podebrady from 1903 to 1906. Martinek emigrated to the U.S. in 1909 and settled in Cleveland,
Ohio. He became an instructor at the Workers Gymnastic Union, a socialist gymnastic and Czech
compatriotic organization. From 1916 until 1934 Martinek edited the Czech labor newspaper Americke Delnicke Listy (American Workers' Papers). During World War I
Martinek participated in the Czechoslovak liberation movement and signed the Pittsburgh
Agreement in 1918, which supported autonomy for Slovakia. The document had no legal authority
and the Slovaks gained self-government with the Zilina Agreement in 1938.
After World War I Martinek was involved in the Cooperative League of America, the Socialist
Party, and from 1918 to 1934 he served as President of the Workingman's Cooperative (co-op
grocery stores). As a member of the Socialist Party he ran unsuccessfully for county
commissioner in 1926, state representative in 1928, and city council member in 1929 and 1933.
Between 1934-1939, Martinek lived in Czechoslovakia and edited Delnicke
listy (Workers' Papers) and Pravo lidu (The Right of the
People). Martinek returned to the U.S. in 1939 as the Executive Secretary of the
Czechoslovak National Council in Chicago.
Martinek moved to Tucson, Arizona, in 1947 where he wrote scripts for Radio Free Europe and
Voice of America. He published several collections of poetry and a history of the Czechoslovak
Society of America. Josef Martinek died in Tucson, Arizona, on March 21, 1980.
Scope and Content:
The collection consists of Martinek's papers, including correspondence, manuscripts,
publications, newspaper clippings, photographs, and audiocassettes. The materials relate to his
career as an author and journalist.
Martinek, Josef, 1889-1980 -- Archives
Czechoslovak-Americans -- Archives
Series 1: Correspondence, Box 1
The correspondence in this series consists of letters between Martinek and his family and
friends in the United States and Czechoslovakia and with various editors and publishers. These
letters discuss manuscripts Martinek submitted for publication.
Series 2: Manuscripts, Boxs 1-2
This series consists of manuscripts for articles and poetry written by Martinek and a folder
of manuscripts by unknown authors.
Series 3: General Materials, Boxes 2-3
Contains an assortment of materials including oral history tapes made by Martinek,
photographs, publications and research notes, biographical materials, and newspaper
Series 1: CorrespondenceBox 1. Folder 1. Family postcards
Contains postcards to family and friends mainly from Czechoslovakia, the U.S., France, and
Italy. Some postcards are blank.
Box 1. Folder 2. Personal
Contains correspondence with Martinek's daughter, family, friends from Czechoslovakia, and
other emigrants and Czech organizations.
Box 1. Folder 3-4. Editors
Contains correspondence with editors and publishing houses across the U.S. concerning
potential publishing of Martinek's poems.
Series 2: ManuscriptsBox 1. Folder 5. Articles, poemsItem 1. "Czechoslovak Ingredient in the Melting Pot," and
"One Hundred Years of American Influence in
Czechoslovakia," and American Czech Flashes
Item 2.Election campaign leaflet, "Why will I vote for
Item 3. Russia Today, 1917
Item 4. Article, Journal of the Czechoslovak Society of
Item 5. Manuscript, "Fraternalism– A Vehicle of
Item 6. Articles from Denni Hlasatel
Item 7. Poem, on the death of President Benes
Item 8. Article, Boletín Católico Checoslovaco
Item 9. Article "Not the Choice between Capitalism and Socialism, but between Freedom and
Tyrany in Socialism–That Is the Question!"
Item 10. Article, "Russia and Central Europe"
Box 1. Folder 6. Poetry and proseItem 1. Notebooks, book excerpts, poems by famous Czech and foreign authors
Item 2. Poem news clippings, "Dear Friend,""Step by Step,""Many, Many Poets,""Speech to Visiting Martians,""They Don't Nest Here,""Vigilant Stars," etc., typed and handwritten
Box 2. Folder 1. Manuscripts, by others
Contains memoirs of Otto Boruvka, a memorandum to the 10th anniversary of the Communist
coup in Czechoslovakia, a memorandum to the 40th Anniversary of President Masaryk's arrival
in the U.S., and some smaller articles.
Series 3: General MaterialsBox 2. Folder 2. Books and brochures, by MartinekItem 1. "Jiskry a Oharky (Sparks and Stubs)," Americke delnicke listy (American Workers' Papers), 1945
Item 2. "Amerika v krisi (America in Crisis),""Volne myslenky (Free thoughts)," 1936
Item 3. Na prelomu (On the Edge), 1945
Item 4. O holoubkovi, ktery se na vsechno ptal (About a Small
Pigeon, Which Was Asking About Everything), Universum Press, 1966
Item 5. Lecture, "K historii pomocne akce ceske v Americe (About
the History of the Czech Helping Action in America)," 1946
Item 6. "Masarykova smrt a novy protektorat (Masaryk's Death and
the New Protectorate), Cleveland," 1946
Item 7. "Napric Ruskem a Sibiri (Across Russia and
Siberia)," Americke delnicke listy (American Worker's Papers), 1946
Item 8. Booklets on the activities of the labor movement
Box 2. Folder 3. Research notes
Contains political and philosophical notes and citations, poems, Martinek's speech in Czech
and English called "New Czechoslovakia," and notes from his university studies.
Box 3. Folder 1. Biography and Awards
Biography in English, memories of Arizona, articles on Communism in the Arizona Daily Star
from July 10, 1953, and a diploma received from the Association of Czechoslovak Workers'
Box 3. Folder 2. Guest books
Contains two guest books with signatures and wishes from Martinek's friends and visitors.
Box 3. Folder 3. Newspaper clippings
Articles in Czech and English written by Martinek and others covering political events and
Martinek's stay in Prague in 1946.
Box 3. Folder 4. Czechoslovak Socialist DemocracyItem 1. Brochures and other materials regarding the Czechoslovak Social Democratic
Item 2. "Democracy in Czechoslovakia," Czechoslovak Sources and Documents, No. 3, Czechoslovak
Information Service, 1943, June
Item 3. "What Does the Left Want?" Czechoslovak Social
Item 4. Report, convention pass, Czechoslovak Social Democratic Party, 1937-1938
Item 5. Speech, "I Preach Upon," by Dr. Soukup,
International Socialist Movement, 1938
Box 3. Folder 5. Photographs
Contains photographs of Martinek with his wife, their house in Tucson, Arizona, in 1979,
and a series of unidentified ruins of houses.
Box 3. Folder 6. Oral history audiocassette tapes (6), 1978, Sept.
Josef Martinek: Reminiscences, interviewer, Dr. Zdenek Hruban, Taped at Tuscon, Arizona
Related Material and Resources: Please see other Czech Heritage Collections under the Ethnic American Collections