Banquet of February 24

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Cologne, February 27. The day before yesterday a banquet was given in the Eiser Hall to celebrate the anniversary of the French February revolution. The great hall, which holds between 2,000 and 3,000 people, was filled to capacity.

Karl Marx, elected President by acclamation, had to decline since he was otherwise engaged. At general request, Karl Schapper took the chair and opened the meeting with a toast to the memory of the victims fallen in February and June in Paris and in all other revolutionary struggles of 1848.

Schneider, the lawyer and Cologne deputy, then took leave of his electors. Deputy Gladbach soon afterwards also said a few words on the causes of success of the recent counter-revolution and invited the people of Cologne to rise for the protection of their representatives in the event of new acts of violence against the Chamber. (This in reply to the denunciation in today’s Kölnische Zeitung.[1])

The following toasts were also proposed: Dr. Rittinghausen to the democratic social republic. F. Engels, editor of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung: to the fighting Italians, above all the Rome republic. C. Cramer: to the memory of Robert Blum. Deputy Wähler of the Frankfurt National Assembly: to German democracy. Guffanti, merchant: to Ledru-Rollin and the French democrats. Exbombardier Funk: damnation to tyrants. Dr. Weyll: to the women present. Dr. Becker: to the democrats of all nations. Kurth, carpenter: to Kossuth and the Magyars. Schapper: to the political prisoners and refugees, in particular the Germans in Besançon.[2] Carstens,[3] worker: to the future social revolution. Ferd. Wolff, editor of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung: to the right to work. Hausmann, worker: to unity. C. Cramer: to Mieroslawski and the Polish fighters of 1848. Kamp, publican of Bonn: to the fraternity of all nations. Blum, student: to the Wuppertal democrats. Müller, worker: to Mellinet, Tedesco and the other 15 Risquons-Tout defendants in Antwerp.[4] Röser, worker: to the memory of Robespierre, SaintJust, Marat and the other heroes of 1793.

The celebration, which was from time to time enlivened by music, the singing of the Marseillaise, the song of the Girondistsa etc. and performances of the Workers’ Choral Society under the direction of Herr Herx, concluded with a cheer for the “general democratic social republic”.

A collection for the German refugees in Besançon was taken during the meeting and yielded a not inconsiderable sum.

During the whole evening troops were in the district and strong patrols passed through the streets; this was, however, occasioned rather by the repeated scuffles of the soldiers among tfiemselves than by the banquet.

  1. On February 27, 1849, the Kölnische Zeitung carried a report on the banquet of February 24. The item said in particular: “Deputy Gladbach especially distinguished himself among the orators by his thunderous speeches against the House of Hohenzollern, Count Brandenburg and others.”
  2. The reference is to the group of participants in the Baden uprising of April 1848 who emigrated to Besan�on (France); later, under the name of the Besan�on company and headed by Willich, they took part in the Baden-Palatinate uprising of 1849.
  3. Friedrich Lessner.— Ed.
  4. See Note 178.