Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung May 1849

The Third Party in the Alliance

Source: MECW Volume 9, p. 394;
Written: by Engels on May 3, 1849;
First published: in the supplement to the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 289, May 4, 1849.

Cologne, May 3. We have pointed out a hundred times that in the coalition of Russia and Austria Herr von Hohenzollern and his Ministry are the “third party in the alliance”. A hundred times the honest German citizen has indignantly rejected such an assertion.

Very well then: it is now firmly established that one of the secret reasons for the dissolution of the Chambers was that, by a secret agreement with the Olmütz knyaz and the orthodox supreme Tsar in St. Petersburg, the Russians’ subordinate knyaz in Sans-Souci[312] has pledged his word to put 40,000 Prussians into Bohemia to keep the people there in subjection and as reserves against the Hungarians. This was spoken of openly even in the St. Paul’s Church. It was impossible to persuade even the deputies of the Centre and part of those of the Right in Berlin to keep silent about it. They were therefore dispersed.

But that is not all: the Berlin National-Zeitung reported from Berlin on May 1:

We have just learned from a very reliable source: “Yesterday morning the Management Board of the Upper Silesian Railway received a telegram from the Minister of the Interior that 30,000 Russian soldiers would be transferred from Cracow by means of the Upper Silesian Railway (consequently, from Cracow via Mislowitz, Kosel, Ratibor, Oderberg) to Austria. The Board of the Upper Silesian Railway is informed that the royal Prussian Government has no objection to this and it trusts that the Railway Board will not hinder this transport in any way."
The telegram was signed: von Manteuffel.

That then is what we have come to: The Government of the imperial Russian subordinate knyaz in Potsdam not only issues warrants for the arrest of Kossuth, Bem and Görgey, it even allows 30,000 Russian police agents to be sent by rail through Prussian territory to Hungary — and what is more, it sends 40,000 Prussian soldiers to Bohemia in order to hold down a people which has been contemptuously trampled under foot and which is thirsting for revenge!

Hear that, Rhinelanders! It is for this, therefore, that we are being subjected to the Russo-Prussian rule of violence, so that our sons and brothers, Rhinelanders like ourselves, shall be sent to Bohemia and perhaps to Hungary, in order that in the service of the Russian Tsar they will help to suppress the last people that is defending the revolution of 1848 arms in hand!

It is for this we were betrayed to Prussia in 1815, so that the disgrace would fall on us, too, for having allowed the Russians, with bands playing and banners flying, to be marched against the Magyar revolutionary army through our territory, through a country joined with us into a single state.

It was only by force that we became Prussian subjects and have remained Prussian subjects. We were never Prussians. But now, when we are being led against Hungary, when Russian robber bands are setting foot on Prussian territory, now we feel that we are Prussians, indeed we feel what a disgrace it is to bear the name of Prussian!