Letter to Daniel Fenner von Fenneberg, March 1, 1849

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Author(s) Friedrich Engels
Written 1 March 1849

Source: Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 38, p. 191;
First published: in Marx and Engels, Works, Second Russian Edition, 1962.
Keywords : Letter, Arrest, Refugees

To Daniel Fenner von Fenneberg in Frankfurt Am Main

Cologne, 1 March 1849[edit source]

Dear Sir,

I would have replied to you before now had I not first had to consult various other people about your matter. I do not think it advisable for you to make any sort of public appearance here; out of craving for advancement, the chief of police here is capable de tout as we have experienced only today in the unjustified expulsion of a local Polish refugee. I would further advise you, should your passport not be absolutely impeccable, to choose any route to Paris other than via Cologne and Brussels. You would get through Cologne well enough, but you would undoubtedly he arrested at the Belgian border and transported by prison van to the French border, after having, perhaps, spent several days in prison. I myself experienced this 5 months ago,[1] and every day fresh reports reach us of these infamies perpetrated against the refugees by the Belgians. You even run the risk of having all your money taken from you by the scoundrels and not getting a farthing back, as happened to the refugee, von Hochstetter.

If I can be of service to you in any other way, it would be a pleasure.

Yours faithfully
F. Engels

  1. On 26 September 1848 the Prussian authorities, fearing the growing revolutionary-democratic movement, declared a state of siege in Cologne (it was lifted on 2 October). By order of the military command political organisations and associations were banned, the civic militia disbanded, democratic newspapers, including the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, suspended, and an order issued for the arrest of Engels and a few other editors. Engels and Dronke had to leave Cologne. For a time Engels lived in hiding in Barmen. On 5 October Engels and Dronke arrived in Paris after a short stay in Belgium whence they were expelled by the police. Dronke remained in the French capital and wrote to the Neue Rheinische Zeitung from there, while Engels started on foot for Switzerland via the south-west of France. About 24 October he arrived in Genoa and at the beginning of November moved to Lausanne (these facts served as a basis for establishing the date of this letter and those by Marx which followed and were not dated); Engels arrived in Neuchâtel on 7 November and in Berne on 9 November. He stayed there until mid-January 1849 when it was possible for him to return to Germany.

    Engels’ letter written to Marx from Geneva has not been found.