Works of Karl Marx

To the Editors of the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung

Source: MECW, Volume 17, p. 16;
First published: in Russian in: K. Marx and F. Engels, Works, Moscow, 1934.

February 21, 1860
6 Thorncliffe Grove, Oxford Road, Manchester


In one of the two letters dated October 16, 1859 which I have received from the editors of the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung, it says literally:

“You may rest assured of our particular gratitude whenever the occasion should present itself for us, highly esteemed Sir, to express to you our thanks.”

That I neither desired nor expected either “thanks” or particular gratitude” from the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung is made perfectly plain in my reply of October 19. What I did expect, however, in this particular matter, was at least the common fairness which no English paper, regardless of its shade of opinion, ever ventures to refuse.

The “particular gratitude” and the “thanks” are actually expressed in the following manner:

1. My first declaration was not printed at all. There appeared instead Blind’s impertinent statements together with two false pieces of evidence obtained by conspiracy. Die Reform in Hamburg published my declaration without delay.

2. In the case of my reply to Blind I had to resort to douce violence [gentle pressure] to secure its insertion. And even then it did not appear, as I had demanded in all fairness, in the same place as Blind’s attack, namely in the main portion of the paper.

3. The Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung then printed a second declaration by Blind a in which he had the effrontery to speak of barefaced lies and to appeal yet again to the criminally liable testimony of Wiehe and Hollinger. The paper then declared the correspondence closed and so denied me the right to reply.

4. On February 6 I sent my final declaration together with the English circular’ to the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung. The highly esteemed editorial board pushed it to one side and instead published Blind’s declaration which had only come into being as the consequence of my circular. They naturally took good care not to publish the billet doux this great diplomat had enclosed. They also published Biscamp’s declaration,’ dated three days later than mine (viz., London, February 9). Finally, having convinced themselves of the fact that my declaration had long since been printed by the Kölnische Zeitung, the Volks-Zeitung, etc., they resolve on publication, but-they also take upon themselves the endearing liberty of censoring me and making arbitrary alterations. In Cologne in 1842-43 I suffered from the twofold Royal Prussian censorship,’ but never imagined that in the year 1860 I would in addition fall victim to the censorship of Herr Dr. Kolb & Co.

I consider that more specific characterisation of these methods is utterly pointless.

K. Marx