Articles by Frederick Engels in The Northern Star

Persecution and Expulsion of Communists

Source: MECW Volume 4, 654;
Written in the middle of October 1845;
Published: in The Northern Star No. 415, October 25, 1845 with an editorial note: “From our own correspondent”

Germany. — On the 11th instant, the authorities of the Grand Dukedom of Hesse, seized at Darmstadt, at the publisher’s premises, the first number of a Communist Magazine, the Rheinische JahrbŁcher zur gesellschaftlichen Reform, edited by PŁttmann. There were, however, only fifty-five copies found, the remainder of the edition having been previously sold. The publisher, Mr. Leske, was at the same time informed that the Magazine was placed under the control of the police, he having to produce every number before it was issued, to the police, and to procure a license for issuing the same, under a penalty, in case of non-compliance, of 500 florins (forty-five pounds sterling), or, according to the merits of the case, imprisonment. This blow aimed at the Communists, and at the same time at that little bit of a free press we have in Germany, will, however, prove useless. There are hundreds of means to elude this unconstitutional interference, which, no doubt, has been proceeded to at the instigation of the hated Prussian Government. This same Prussian Government has procured from the Saxon authorities the expulsion of several public authors from Leipsic, among whom is Mr. W. Marr, one of the heads of that Young German Conspiracy in Switzerland mentioned in my last. In his case, as well as that of Weitling last year, [235] the authorities were afraid of imprisoning and bringing to judgment the party, although they had every legal pretence; they were satisfied with driving them away.

Switzerland. — The Democratic Government of the Pays de Vaud has expelled from the canton Mr. A. Becker, a talented German Communist writer, as well as Mr. S. Schmidt and Dr. Kuhlmann, belonging to the same party, and dissolved the German Communist Club at Lausanne. The Radical Government of Zurich has likewise expelled Dr. PŁttmann, editor of the above-named Rhenish Annals, and belonging, too, to the Communist party. [A German friend informs us that the above announcement, as regards the expulsion of Mr. S. Schmidt, is premature. That, as yet, Mr. Schmidt has not been expelled from the Pays de Vaud. — Ed. N. S.]