Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung May 1849

The Prussian Army and the Revolutionary Uprising of the People

Source: MECW Volume 9, p. 411;
Written: by Engels on May 7, 1849;
First published: in the special supplement to the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 292, May 8, 1849.

Cologne, May 7. The elements now in ferment in Germany are daily becoming more distinct; the situation is becoming more firmly defined.

While one of the centres of the German counter-revolution, Austria, has its hands more than full in dealing with Hungary, the other centre, Prussia, is sending its armed hordes in all directions against the revolutionary uprising of the people.

In Dresden, that patient town of art and luxury, the people are taking up arms and replying with barricades and musket-fire to the traitorous proclamations of the royal Government.[319] The greater part of the troops are coming over to the side of the people; the struggle is as good as decided; but suddenly Prussian battalions appear and side with the royal traitor against the people.

In the Palatinate, too, the people are taking up arms against the daily more insolent Bavarian counter-revolution; here, too, Prussian battalions stand ready in order to invade at a suitable moment and put an end both to the Frankfurt Assembly and to the uprising in the Palatinate.

In whatever direction one looks in North and South-West Germany, everywhere there are Prussian battalions ready to carry through the counter-revolution by force of arms.

And so that there should be no lack of Prussian battalions, whether in our country or in neighbouring states, recruiting into the army reserve is taking place everywhere in accordance with our glorious military organisation.

Thus the centres of the counter-revolution are in one place the Austrian army, in another the Prussian army. Day by day the new revolution opposes an increasingly vigorous and universal resistance to the counter-revolution.

The Dresden Provisional Government is still in existence and rallies the forces of the people in the whole country.

The Palatinate Defence Council[320] is still in existence and every day more and more people of the Palatinate gather around the banner of the revolution.

Finally, in Rhenish Prussia, the army reserve is refusing to march. Even in Elberfeld, in black-and-white Wuppertal, the army reserve is refusing to move beyond its place of assembly.

And lastly, in Austria the most important occurrence is the Hungarian revolution which is irresistibly advancing. The post from Vienna has not arrived — perhaps because the Magyars have torn up the Moravian railway line. That they have broken into Moravia is definitely established. Reports in writing from Ratibor inform us that already eight days ago bombardments from whole batteries were heard in Golkowitz on the Austrian frontier, and on May 3 in Loslau, and likewise in Prussian Upper Silesia. At all events, the battles must have taken place on this side of the Jablunka.

Incidentally, the victory of the Hungarians is more certain than ever before. It is quite definite that the Russians will not come. A few more days, therefore, and the Hungarians will be in Vienna, the Hungarian revolution will have been accomplished and the second German revolution will be ushered in in the most magnificent way.