Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung April 1849

The Call-Up of the Army Reserve in Prussia [180]

Source: MECW Volume 9, p. 195;
Written: by Engels on April 3, 1849;
First published: (in Russian) in the Journal Voprosy istorii KPSS No. 12, 1970.

Cologne, April 3. In Posen the whole army reserve of the Grand Duchy has been called up and has already been marched off to Schleswig-Holstein.[181]

In the area of Cleves the army reserve has similarly been called up and sent to Schleswig-Holstein.

And now — we hear — the whole Eighth (Rhenish) Army Corps is to be mobilised and all army reserves in the Rhine Province are to be called up. It is reported that the Eighth Army Corps is to move to the French border. It is quite impossible to understand what purpose it will serve there.

However, the reason for the army reserve on the Rhine being called up at all can most certainly be understood. In all those provinces whose loyalty to the House of Hohenzollern and to the Royal Prussian Monarchy by God’s Grace is suspect they intend to render harmless all young men capable of bearing arms by placing them in rank and file under the command of Prussian officers and throwing them amongst troops of the line in an army corps. They then intend to send these suspect army reserves, which are thus being kept in check by martial law and other royal Prussian measures, together with other more reliable troops into foreign provinces in order to use them as need arises for suppressing the spirit of recalcitrance, which has recently been gaining ground.

By law the army reserve is only to be used against external enemies. To make this very law provide the excuse for the Government to trample it into the dirt, the Danish war has been expressly invented. Once the army reserve has been transported to Schleswig-Holstein, then the means will very soon be found to transport it even further, to East Prussia or to Silesia. Our Rhenish young men are to perform the same honourable services there for which the Silesian army reserves were used in Posen last April and May.[182]

The same ethnic baiting, which the royal imperial Austrian Government is pursuing on a grand scale by....