Letter by von Kühlwetter, Minister of the Interior, to Karl Marx

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Author(s) Karl Marx
Written 27 June 1913


First published in the Frankfurter Zeitung und Handelsblatt No. 176, June 27, 1913
Printed according to the manuscript
Published in English for the first time in Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 7

A copy of this letter sent to the Cologne regional administration is extant. The postscript runs as follows: “The copy of the above-mentioned instruction is sent to the royal regional administration for information, being at the same time a reply to the notice of the 20th of last month on remission of the application.”

To Dr. Marx, Esquire, in Cologne

In reply to your submission of the 23rd of last month,[1] I have to inform you that I cannot consider it illegal that for the time being the Royal Government in Cologne has rejected your request to be accorded the status of Prussian, since you do not possess a right to naturalisation; for your status of Prussian became extinct under Paragraph 20 of the law of December 31, 1842, Statute Book 1843, p. 17, by your acceptance of the Deed of Release which you requested for the purpose of emigrating to North America in the year 1845,[2] of which you also availed yourself when you settled abroad. A claim to readmission, however, is neither conferred on the emigrant by that law nor can it be derived from the decision of the Prussian Assembly of March 30 of this year nor from general legal principles.

Berlin, September 12, 1848

Minister of the Interior

von Kühlwetter

  1. See The Conflict Between Marx and Prussian Citizenship.— Ed.
  2. In his letters to Görtz, the Chief Burgomaster of Trier, of October 17 and November 10, 1845 (see MECW, Vol. 4), Marx supported his request to be released from Prussian citizenship by stating his intention to emigrate to the United States of America (no other documents testifying to this intention are available). In accordance with this, the letter of Regierungspräsident of Trier von Auerswald to Oberpräsident of the Rhine Province and the Minister of the Interior of November 6, 1845, concerning Marx’s release from citizenship mentions the same motive. Officially Marx was released from Prussian citizenship on December 1, 1845.