Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung May 1849

The Worthy Schwanbeck

Source: MECW Volume 9, p. 450;
Written: by Engels on May 16,1849;
First published: in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 300 (second edition), May 17, 1849

One of the editors of the Kölnische Zeitung, worthy Schwanbeck, has issued a statement about his misfortunes in Elberfeld, in which he also alleges that an “editor of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung” acted as an informer against him. All that the editor of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung referred to knows about the affair is as follows. Whilst holding an official appointment in Elberfeld, he was asked by a member of the Committee of Public Safety to identify two gentlemen who claimed to have come from Cologne and who were being detained in the cells at the town hall; one of these gentlemen was none other than worthy Schwanbeck. He declared in the presence of the latter that he would make it his business to see that that gentleman was to be expelled from the town the next morning, which was indeed done. He also recounted to his friend, the member of the Committee of Public Safety, an episode concerning Herr Schwanbeck’s connection with Police Inspector Brendamour, which had already been made public by Herr C. Cramer in the Wächter am Rhein. That was the extent of the “informing”.

Incidentally whether, as worthy Schwanbeck maintains, “there is nothing to spy on in Elberfeld”, no one is in a better position to say than the Prussian officer who is still detained as a spy in Elberfeld and who was promptly arrested whilst roaming around there under a false name.