Marx and Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung September 1848

Public Prosecutor Hecker Questions People who had attended the Worringen Meeting

Source: MECW Volume 7, p. 451;
Written: on September 24, 1848, or later;
First published: in the supplement to the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 112, September 26, 1848.

Cologne, September 24. The Public Prosecutor, Herr Hecker, is the most harassed man in Cologne. For several days now he has been personally questioning witnesses in an attempt to find out what sort of sins against the Holy Spirit of penal law were committed at the public meeting at Worringen.[293] Up to now the results of his inquiries are said to have been extremely meagre, 1) because nothing illegal happened and 2) because it is unlikely that witnesses still remember what each individual said and especially in what context he said it. As regards 2), we think it better to refer Herr Hecker to the band of disguised policemen and mouchards who were wandering around the meadow taking notes in shorthand. But there again, if some of these pillars of the state are unable to give any evidence, we should not be surprised. One of them in particular was so drunk even at midday that he made his way in tears from one bar to the next gratefully accepting the drinks offered him and telling people “in confidence” that it is true he was here as a spy, but apart from this he was a decent fellow.