Marx in Neue Rheinische Zeitung May 1849

The Sanguinary Law in Düsseldorf

Source: MECW Volume 9, p. 432;
Written: by Marx on May 12, 1849;
First published: in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 297, May 13, 1849.

Cologne, May 12. The “new Constitution”, the abolition of ordinary laws and law-courts, together with the announcement of murderous privileges conferred by the sovereign on “My glorious army”, already came into force in Düsseldorf yesterday.

After the defeat and massacre of the people, the commander immediately asked Berlin for instructions. From Herr von Hohenzollern’s accomplices, Brandenburg-Manteuffel, an order was received by telegraph to proclaim the sanguinary law and to set up murderous military courts.

By Articles 1 and 6 of the army orders the right of association is abolished, and Articles 5, 6, 7, 24, 25, 26, 27, and 28, of the imposed “Schnaps” Charter [352] are made invalid.

Last year, under the rule of “citizen and communist” Drigalski,[353] when a state of siege was proclaimed the Düsseldorf press was put under censorship, a measure which gave rise to loud protests and great indignation even among the majority of the feeble Agreers’ company. Today, after the new Hohenzollern achievements, when at the side of the subordinate knyaz in Potsdam there are no Chambers, but instead snub-nosed Cossack kinsmen, today the powers that be are not content with censorship, but proceed simply to suppression of the press.

According to Article 7, Düsseldorf newspapers, and the Neue Rheinische Zeitung as well, are prohibited in the Düsseldorf area. According to Article 8, nothing but official “information” may be published.

Under “citizen and communist” Drigalski’s rule by the sabre, the victims of arbitrary arrests were at least not removed from the jurisdiction of the ordinary law and its regular judges. Today the law and the courts have been suspended and murderous special military courts have been set up.

Article 9. Anyone who by word of mouth, in writing, in the press, or in representational form, incites resistance to the legal (!) orders of the authorities will come before a court martial.

Article 10. Anyone who is caught in open or armed resistance to the measures of the legal authorities, or who by traitorous action exposes the, troops to danger or harm, will be summarily shot in accordance with martial law.

The laurels of the murderer Windischgrätz allow no rest to the reinvigorated Hohenzollern!