Declaration (November 17, 1871)

From Marxists-en
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Declaration was intended for the defence of Wilhelm Bracke and other members of the Committee (administrative board) of the German Social Democratic Workers’ Party (Eisenach) at the trial which took place in Brunswick on November 23-25, 1871. The Committee members were arrested in September 1870 as a result of the internationalist position taken by the Party during the Franco-Prussian war; they were accused of “infringement upon public order”. The main accusation was their involvement with the International Working Men’s Association. But the Social-Democratic Workers’ Party at its inaugural congress in Eisenach in 1869 took into account the German legislation on the workers’ unions and, while supporting the International’s programme, did not join it officially; the legislation, however, did not prohibit German citizens’ individual membership of foreign societies. The accused were sentenced to a few months’ imprisonment.

I Karl Marx of 1 Maitland park Road Haverstock Hill in the County of Middlesex, Secretary for Germany of the General Council of the International Working Men’s Association, do solemnly and sincerely declare as follows

1) That the German Social Democratic Working Men’s Party whose Committee in the beginning of September One thousand eight hundred and seventy was still seated at Brunswick[1] has never demanded to be enrolled as part and parcel or as a Section of the International Working Men’s Association.

2) That for this reason such an enrolment has never taken place.

3) That many members of the aforesaid German Social Democratic Working Men’s Party have on their demand been individually admitted as Members of the International Working Men’s Association.

4) That this Declaration is made at the request of Wilhelm Bracke a Merchant at Brunswick and himself a Member of the International Working Men’s Association.

And I make this solemn Declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of an Act made and passed in the Session of Parliament of the fifth and sixth years of the reign of His late Majesty King William the Fourth, intituled “An Act to Repeal an Act of the present Session of Parliament intituled An Act for the more effectuell abolition of Oaths and Affirmations taken and made in various departments of the State, and to substitute Declarations in lieu thereof, and for the more entire suppression of voluntary and extra judicial Oaths and Affidavits and to make other provisions for the abolition of unnecessary Oaths.”

Subscribed and Declared at the Mansions House in the City of London this seventeenth day of November 1871.

Karl Marx

Before me Sills John Gibbons, Lord Mayor

  1. In accordance with the organisational structure of the Eisenach Party, the seat of the Committee was named at its annual meeting, it being in turn one of the main German cities; the Council was elected from the members of the local organisation. Brunswick was the first seat of the Committee. At the time the Declaration was written the newly elected Council had been based in Hamburg (since August 1871).