Letter to the National Council of the French Workers' Party

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Engels wrote this letter as a reply to the message he received from the National Council of the French Workers' Party on the occasion of his 70th birthday. The message appeared in Le Socialiste, No. 14 , December 25 , 1890 , signed by Paul Lafargue, and read : “Dear citizen ! We wish you, a man who together with Marx has developed the theory of the international social movement , which will soon attain its goals , a man who has retained the warmth of his heart and his youthful enthusiasm , a long life , so that you , like a new Moses , could watch the proletariat enter the promised land of communism. “

Apart from Le Socialiste, Engels’ letter was published, in German, in the Berliner Volksblatt, No. 303, December 30, 1890, and in Italian, in La Giustizia, January 4, 1891, and in the Arbeiterpresse (Budapest), No . 20, January 9, 1891 (in German).

First published in English in: F. Engels, P. and L. Lafargue, Correspondence, Vol. 2, 1887-1890, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1960, pp. 423-24 .


I thank you with all my heart for the congratulations which you were kind enough to send me on the occasion of my seventieth birthday.

Rest assured that what remains of my life and my strength will be spent in fighting for the proletarian cause. The moment I am no longer of any use to the struggle, may it be granted to me to die.

But the battles won by you, by our brothers in Germany, England, Austria-Hungary, Russia, in fact everywhere, form a series of sparkling victories enough to rejuvenate a man older and more exhausted than I am. And what gladdens me more than anything is the sincere brotherhood, which has been, I hope , established forever, between the French and German proletarians, despite the chauvinistic cries of our corrupt bourgeoisies .

It was your great countryman Saint-Simon who was the first to predict that the alliance of the three great Western nations—France, England and Germany—is the prime international requisite for the political and social emancipation of the whole of Europe.[1] I hope to see this alliance—the kernel of the European alliance which will put an end for all time to the wars between governments and races—achieved by the proletarians of the three nations. Long live the international social Revolution .

London, December 2, 1890

Frederick Engels

  1. ↑ See H. Saint-Simon and A . Thierry, De la rĂ©organisation de la sociĂ©tĂ© europĂ©enne, ou de la nĂ©cessitĂ© et des moyens de rassembler les peuples de l'Europe en un seul corps politique, en conservant Ă  chacun son indĂ©pendance nationale; Idem. , Opinion sur les mesures Ă  prendre contre la coalition de 1815.— Ed