Works of Marx and Engels 1850


Source: MECW Volume 10, p. 349-351;
Written: London, April 20, 1850;
First published: the Neue Deutsche Zeitung No. 102, April 28, 1850.

The Berlin Abend-Post of April 14 contains the following report, date-lined Stettin, April 11.

"With reference to the London refugees it has been arranged that contributions should be sent to Bucher, who will contact Schramm (of Striegau), since the other two committees live in dissension and share our contributions in a partial way."

In actual fact there is only one refugee committee here in London, the undersigned, which was established in September last year with the commencement of emigration to London. Subsequently attempts have been made to set up other refugee committees; they have remained unsuccessful. The undersigned committee has hitherto been able--at least to prevent them dying from hunger--to aid the refugees arriving here in need of help--who all, except four or five, applied to us. The masses of refugees pouring in here now as a result of the Swiss expulsions have at last, it is true, almost exhausted the funds of this committee too. These funds have been shared out absolutely equally to all those who have been able to show that they participated in the revolutionary movements in Germany and were in need of help, regardless of whichever party faction they belonged to. If the undersigned committee has adopted the title "social-democratic", it is not because it has only supported refugees of this party, but because it has principally had recourse to the money available from this party--as was also made clear already in its Appeal of November last year.

The rumour that heaps of money lay waiting for the refugees here in London--a rumour evidently provoked by the refugee lottery suggested in Switzerland--led to demands being made on our committee which could not be fulfilled. On the other hand the simultaneous deliberate spreading of rumours in the newspapers about dissensions between competing committees has hindered the sending of sufficient contributions to London. The undersigned committee, in order to obtain information about the existence of other means and other committees for the support of the refugees, invited the refugees to send deputations to Citizens Struve, Rudolf Schramm, and Louis Bauer (from Stolpe). This was done. The refugees brought back the following answers:

Citizen Schramm (Striegau) declared that he belonged to no refugee committee, but had received a number of lottery tickets from Galeer in Geneva with instructions to send the money to Geneva. The other committee only figures as such.

Citizen Struve declared that he had no money, but only a number of lottery tickets, which he had not yet sold. Citizen Bauer made the following written statement:

"Upon the request of refugee Kleiner it is hereby attested that the Refugee Committee of the Democratic Association in this country is not in a position to support even a single political refugee, and that the funds of the society, after having donated L2.15.0 for this purpose, are similarly incapable of providing such assistance in future.

London, April 8, 1850

Dr. Bauer, President of the Support Committee of the Democratic Association"

Messrs. Struve and Schramm had advised the refugees to form a refugee committee from among themselves or from politically neutral persons. The undersigned committee left it to the discretion of the refugees to take a decision on this themselves. The answer was the following statement by the refugees:

"To the Social-Democratic Refugee Committee.

"London, April 7, 1850.--The undersigned refugees find cause, after the negotiations which have taken place on delegating the task of providing for us to a committee which might perhaps be formed from among ourselves, to express on the basis of the firm conviction of both the earlier and the more recently arrived refugees our deepest gratitude to the members of the presently existing committee for their activities and their painstaking assiduity in connection with this responsibility, since these have constantly shared out to our satisfaction the moneys to be administered. It only remains for us to wish that only these members may take care of us until the imminent revolution we all desire relieves them of this responsibility.

"Greetings and fraternity!"

(The signatures follow.)

This document, drawn up by the refugees themselves, is the best answer to the above article and to other similar insinuations in the press. Incidentally, we should not have replied were it not necessary in the interests of the refugees themselves, in need of support as they are, to enlighten the public concerning such statements.

London, April 20, 1850

The Social-Democratic Refugee Committee:

K. Marx, Chairman
Fr. Engels, August Willich, K. Pfander, H. Bauer