Articles by Frederick Engels for The Northern Star

News from Germany

Source: MECW Volume 3, p. 517;
Written: in the first half of May 1844;
First published: in The Northern Star No. 340, May 18, 1844, with an editorial note: “From our own Correspondent”

In the Chamber of Deputies of the Grand Duchy of Baden, Mr. Welcker, a liberal member and the Lord John Russell of that country, implored the government to do something in order to satisfy the discontented feelings of the people:

“for”, said he, “I have been travelling much in all parts of Germany, and have been visited there by a great number of men of all ranks and from all parts of the country; and I should lie, I should fail in my duty as a representative of the people, if I did not state that everywhere the principle of monarchical government is daily losing its ground more and more in the minds of all classes of the German nation. I therefore implore the ministers to oppose no longer the current of public opinion; for if something is not done soon; if the breach between the governments of our fatherland and the people is allowed to become wider, then nobody can doubt for a moment what the consequence will be.”

And Mr. Weicker’s evidence, as to the spread of Republicanism in Germany, may be admitted as the most unquestionable that can be given, because this progress frightens him even more than it does the government; and because it is quite contrary to his own expectations.

M. Frederic Steinmann who has for some time been under prosecution for a book he published, in which he assailed the Austrian government [F. A. Steinmann, Caricaturen und Silhouetten des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts], has been condemned to eight months imprisonment in a fortress, though he lives in Prussia, and published his book there. He was not prosecuted by the Austrian, but by the Prussian government, and in a Prussian court of law.

Dr. Strauss, the author of the Life of Jesus [D. F. Strauss, Das Leben Jesu], is occupied with a similar work, on the Acts of the Apostles [226] which book he, of course, will treat in the same manner as he did the gospels in his former work.

The Russian Diplomacy is very active at present at the different courts of Germany, in order to effect some measures against the violence with which the German press treats the policy of the Czar. The anti-Russian feeling, which is now quite universal in Germany, has vented itself for some time past in all newspapers, and in a great many pamphlets, which makes the autocrat uneasy. But, fortunately, he will not be able to stop these publications.

Serious riots at Munich. — There were riots at Munich on the 3rd inst., on account of a rise in the price of beer. The tumult was serious, and was not quelled without a somewhat sanguinary use of the soldiery, who by express orders of the King [Ludwig I of Bavaria], fired on the unarmed people, killing several, and wounding others. The following later particulars show the people have triumphed, and the King succumbed; the cause being that the royal man-slayer feared that his own tools, the troops, would turn against him!

Munich, May 5. — Tranquillity has been re-established in our town, but it cannot be denied that the royal authority has suffered a good deal in the transaction. The King, after having shown himself greatly opposed to any sort of conciliation or compromise, after having himself ordered the soldiery to charge the people, and that in his own presence, ended by requiring of the brewers that they should yield to the popular demands. This morning notice was stuck up at the corners of all the streets, that the increase in the price of beer would not take place, and the people appeared satisfied, but they at the same time retain a secret animosity against the King for having ordered them to he fired upon — an order which cost the lives of several of the people of this town. It appears that the King yielded principally on account of the small degree of devotion shown towards him by the troops, who did not appear at all willing to fire upon the people.”