Marx and Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung July 1848


Source: MECW Volume 7, p. 177;
Written: on July 4, 1848;
First published: in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 35, July 5, 1848.

Cologne, July 4. We promised our readers yesterday that we would come back to the arrest of Dr. Gottschalk and Anneke. Up to now we have only been able to obtain greater details about Anneke’s arrest.

Six to seven policemen entered Anneke’s residence between six and seven in the morning, immediately maltreated the maid in the hall and then silently sneaked up the stairs. Three of them remained in the anteroom while four invaded the bedroom where Anneke and his wife, who is in an advanced state of pregnancy, were asleep. One of these four pillars of justice was already at this early hour somewhat unsteady, being filled with “spirit”, the true fluid of life: firewater.

Anneke asked what they wanted. He should go along with them! was the laconic answer. Anneke asked that at least his sick wife should be spared and asked the gentlemen to go into the anteroom. The gentlemen of the Holy Hermandad [137] declared that they would not leave the bedroom. They urged Anneke to dress quickly and did not even permit him to speak to his wife. Once they found themselves in the anteroom, the urging turned into assault during which one of the policemen smashed a glass door. Anneke was pushed down the stairs. Four policemen led him off to the new gaol. Three of them remained with Frau Anneke to guard her until the arrival of the Public Prosecutor.

According to the law, there must be at least one official of the court police (a police inspector or similar person) present during an arrest. Why such formalities, however, since the people possess two assemblies, one in Berlin and one in Frankfurt, to represent their rights?

Half an hour later, Public Prosecutor Hecker and Examining Magistrate Geiger came to search the house.

Frau Anneke complained that the Public Prosecutor had left the arrest to police whose brutality was unconstrained by the presence of any member of the municipal authorities. Herr Hecker declared that he had given no orders to commit brutalities. As if Herr Hecker could order brutalities!

Frau Anneke: It seems that the police were sent ahead alone so that the authorities would not have to assume the responsibility for their brutality. Besides, the arrest was not carried out according to legal procedure since none of the police produced a warrant. One of them merely pulled a scrap of paper out of his pocket which Anneke was not allowed to read.

Herr Hecker “The police were judicially commanded to proceed with the arrest.” Does not the command of a judge also fall under the command of the law? The Public Prosecutor and the Examining Magistrate confiscated a mass of papers and pamphlets, including Frau Anneke’s whole briefcase, etc. Incidentally, Examining Magistrate Geiger has been designated as Police Superintendent.

Anneke was interrogated for half an hour in the evening. A supposedly seditious speech that he made during the last popular assembly at the Gürzenich Hall[138]. was given as the reason for his arrest. Article 102 of the Code pénal[139] speaks of public orations which directly incite to conspiracy against the Emperor and his family or which aim at disturbing the public peace by civil war, the illegal use of armed force or open vandalism and looting. The Code does not contain the Prussian “excitement of dissatisfaction”. For lack of the Prussian law, Article 102 will be employed for the time being wherever its employment is a judicial impossibility.

A great show of military force accompanied the arrest. From four o'clock onwards the troops were confined to barracks. Bakers and artisans were allowed in but not let out again. Towards six o'clock the hussars moved from Deutz to Cologne and rode through the whole city. The new gaol was occupied by 300 men. For today, four new arrests have been announced, those of Jansen, Kalker, Esser and a fourth one. Eyewitnesses assure us that Jansen’s posters, in which he urged the workers to remain calm, were torn down from the walls by the’ police yesterday evening. Was that done in the interest of order? Or was someone looking for a pretext to carry out carefully prepared plans in the good old city of Cologne?

Chief Public Prosecutor Zweiffel is supposed to have inquired earlier at the Provincial Court of Appeal at Arnsberg whether he should arrest Anneke on the basis of his former conviction[140] and have him transported to Jülich. The royal amnesty seems to have stood in the way of this well-meaning intention. The matter was referred to the Ministry.

Chief Public Prosecutor Zweiffel, moreover, is supposed to have declared that he would within a week put an end to March 19, the clubs, freedom of the press and other outrages that the evil year 1848 had brought to Cologne on the Rhine. Herr Zweiffel is not among the sceptics.

Is Herr Zweiffel perhaps combining the executive with the legislative power? Are the laurels of Chief Public Prosecutor supposed to cover the weak points of the people’s representative? Once again we will scrutinise our much beloved stenographic reports and give the public a true picture of the work of the people’s representative and Chief Public Prosecutor Zweiffel.

Those are the actions of the Government of Action, the Government of the Left Centre, the Government of transition to an old aristocratic, old bureaucratic and old Prussian Government. As soon as Herr Hansemann has fulfilled his transitory function, he will be dismissed.

The Berlin Left, however, must realise that the old regime is willing to let it keep its small parliamentary victories and large constitutional designs as long as the old regime in the meantime is able to seize all the really important positions. It can confidently recognise the revolution of March 19 inside the Chamber provided the revolution can be disarmed outside of it.

Some fine day the Left may find that its parliamentary victory coincides with its real defeat. Perhaps German development needs such contrasts.

The Government of Action recognises the revolution in principle in order to carry out the counter-revolution in practice.