Appeal for Support of the Representatives of the Proletariat Sentenced in Cologne, and Their Families

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Among the obligations which political parties implicitly assume towards themselves and their members is above all that of support for those who fall into the hands of the enemy while occupying outposts which they have defended with the utmost courage and tenacity.— For the proletarian or workers’ party, those sentenced in Cologne in Germany fall into this category; they were not sentenced on account of the crime of which they stood accused—ridiculous revolutionary machinations—but because they had helped to organise the workers’ party, and they were sentenced by judges who were members of the moneyed and feudal aristocracy, whose verdict was for that reason bound to be unjust, and to cap it all the Prussian government resorted to the basest forgeries to eliminate any possible stirrings of scrupulousness in these judges.

As workers and writers having no private resources, who had earned their daily bread by their hands and their writing, the convicted men have by their imprisonment been robbed of any means of further supporting their families, and as a result of the sufferings and deprivations to which they are subject in prison they themselves risk losing that freshness and elasticity of mind which previously gave them their pre-eminent positions in the party, unless every effort is made to alleviate their situation and relieve them of the burden of anxiety about the maintenance of their families.

A committee was immediately set up in London which elected Ferd. Freiligrath, the poet of the proletariat, to be its treasurer and includes the leader of the English Chartists, Ernest Jones, among its members. It has addressed the following appeal to the German workers in America, to which we have hastened to respond:

“The workers’ party has a duty to alleviate the plight of those in the vanguard of the struggle who were sentenced in Cologne and in particular to take care of their families who are bereft of support. We expect that the workers of the United States will also wish to be associated with this debt the party owes.”

The treasurer appointed to receive the sums intended for the prisoners and their families is: Ferdinand Freiligrath, No. 3 Sutton Place, Hackney, London.

Signed: Joh. Baer, E.Dronke,Joh. Georg Eccarius,

Joh. Fried. Eccarius, Fr. Engels, F. Freiligrath,

Imandt, Ernest Jones, W. Liebknecht, G. Lochner,

F. Mßnks, Mßnks II, K. Marx, K. Pfänder,

W. Pieper, W. Rings, E. Rumpf, J. Ulmer,

Ferd. Wolff, Wilh. Wolff

The Socialist Gymnastic Association has requested its administrative council to organise this support; the undersigned are members of the latter who have constituted a special committee and now request all Germans in New York who still have feelings for the cause of freedom and for those who espouse it back in the home country to send their contributions to them; the Gymnastic Association will in due course render a full account of their use.—We take it for granted that associations of like persuasion will gladly and enthusiastically take up this opportunity for offering support.

An appeal has already been sent out by the Executive Committee to all gymnastic societies in the United States.

In conclusion we would further mention that it has been decided the socialist gymnastic societies are to hold a general lottery on the first Monday in March, and we are convinced it will prove highly productive thanks to the generosity which the German women young and old have frequently demonstrated on similar occasions, as an expression of their sympathy for liberty and those in the vanguard of the struggle for it.

Lists for the subscription of contributions, whether they consist of money or other gifts, bear the seal of the Socialist Gymnastic Association and are to be found at the latter’s premises, No. 38 Canal Street; at the house of Reicherzer and Hein, No. 12 North William Street; and with V. Keck, at the house of Jos. Müller, No. 24 Allen Street.

New York, January 16, 1853

The administrative council

of the Socialist Gymnastic Society,

in the name of the latter: the Relief Committee:

K. Reicherzer, J. L. Schuler, B. Becker,

V. Keck, E. Reistle