From the Banal (1849)

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Author(s) Friedrich Engels
Written 3 February 1849


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Source: Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 8, p. 298;
First published: in the second supplement to Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 213, February 4, 1849.
Collection(s): Neue Rheinische Zeitung

From the Banat. Hardly have the Serbs, Austrians, Banat Germans, Croats, Gipsies and Turkish Serbs succeeded in pushing the Magyars back a little when the bitterest quarrels are breaking out in the newly-manufactured Banat-Serbian nation. Stratimirovich stood on his own initiative as candidate for the dignity of voivode and thereby incurred such enmity from Patriarch Rajachich that the latter issued an order to arrest and deliver the most popular Serbian leader wherever he might be found.

Up to now the Turkish Serbs have supplied 20,000 auxiliary troops to the Banat Serbs. How many Russians are among them it is difficult to say. As recently as on January 19, 700 Serbs and 400 armed Gipsies crossed the Danube at Boljevcze and Pancsova to help the Banatians. That is how the Austrian united monarchy [Gesamtmonarchie] is keeping alive!

The power of the Hungarian insurrection is by no means destroyed, but at present is still very considerable, for numerous volunteers flock to the Magyar detachments from all parts of the country. The Magyars still have four strong army corps in the field: in Upper Hungary under Görgey, on the Theiss under Kossuth, in the Banat against the Serbs and in Transylvania under Bem; these can still fight for several months if they carefully avoid any major blow. The fighting has already lasted six whole weeks, and yet the number of Hungarian fighters has increased rather than decreased.

If they succeed, as is their intention, in prolonging hostilities until war breaks out in Upper Italy, the cause is by no means lost. Even in the Ödenburg comitat right on the Austrian border, one finds the liveliest sympathy for Kossuth among the country people; quite recently in a village, after a black-and-yellow [colours of the Austrian flag] sermon, the peasants cheered the dictator [1] whereupon a detachment of troops came, arrested the seven most respected persons in the place and marched them off; to this hour nobody knows what has become of them.

  1. On September 22, 1848, after the Croatian Ban Jellachich started intervention against revolutionary Hungary, the Hungarian Sejm formed the National Defence Committee headed by Kossuth to exercise control over Count Batthyány’s liberal Government. After Jellachich had been defeated and Batthyány’s Government had resigned the National Defence Committee took over the Government’s functions on October 8 and Kossuth was vested with extensive powers corresponding to a wartime situation