Friedrich Engels: Racist and German nationalist

By John J. Ray (M.A.;Ph.D.)

The reason why the Soviet version of Communism was always known as "Marxism-Leninism" is of course that Lenin "developed" Marxist doctrine in various ways. One of those developments, however, is almost never mentioned -- though it can hardly be unknown to any serious student of Marx and Engels: Although Marx and Engels were great advocates for the working class, they were also antisemitic German nationalists who took a very dim view of Russians. Lenin concentrated on the first part of Marxism and, understandably, largely ignored the latter. There was however considerable devotion to the original Marxian writings among the Bolsheviks so when Lenin said: "it is not the Jews who are the enemies of the working people" but "the capitalists of all countries", it was to a degree Marx himself whom he was critcizing.

It is customary to treat Marx and Engels as a unit, failing to take any note of the individuals concerned. As they were such close collaborators, that is not unreasonable but there were nonetheless differences of emphasis between them. Marx was the most antisemitic and it was Engels who was the fervent German nationalist. I reproduce initially below the most famous antisemitic utterance by Marx (more in the archives here) by way of context but, after that, I simply reproduce a host of statements by Engels. I think they speak for themselves.

"Let us consider the actual, worldly Jew -- not the Sabbath Jew, as Bauer does, but the everyday Jew. Let us not look for the secret of the Jew in his religion, but let us look for the secret of his religion in the real Jew. What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from practical, real Jewry, would be the self-emancipation of our time.... We recognize in Jewry, therefore, a general present-time-oriented anti-social element, an element which through historical development -- to which in this harmful respect the Jews have zealously contributed -- has been brought to its present high level, at which it must necessarily dissolve itself. In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Jewry".


Karl Marx, "A Contribution to the Critique of Political economy" (Review by Frederick Engels), Das Volk, 30 No. 14, August 6, 1859: "The Germans have long since shown that in all spheres of science they are equal, and in most of them superior, to other civilised nations. Only one branch of science, political economy, had no German name among its foremost scholars."
Context here

The German

Engels: Karl Marx' "Zur Kritik der politischen Oekonomie", 1859

"Auf allen wissenschaftlichen Gebieten haben die Deutschen laengst ihre Ebenbuertigkeit, auf den meisten ihre Ueberlegenheit gegenueber den uebrigen zivilisierten Nationen bewiesen. (...)"

MEW a.a.O. 13, 476.


"True, it is a fixed idea with the French that the Rhine is their property, but to this arrogant demand the only reply worthy of the German nation is Arndt's: "Give back Alsace and Lorraine". For I am of the opinion, perhaps in contrast to many whose standpoint I share in other respects, that the reconquest of the German-speaking left bank of the Rhine is a matter of national honour, and that the Germanisation of a disloyal Holland and of Belgium is a political necessity for us. Shall we let the German nationality be completely suppressed in these countries, while the Slavs are rising ever more powerfully in the East?"
Written by Engels in 1841

The German

"...Allerdings ist es eine fixe Idee bei den Franzosen, dass der Rhein ihr Eigentum sei, aber die einzige des deutschen Volkes wuerdige Antwort auf diese anmassende Forderung ist das Arndtsche 'Heraus mit dem Elsass und Lothringen!' Denn ich bin - vielleicht im Gegensatz zu vielen, deren Standpunkt ich sonst teile - allerdings der Ansicht, dass die Wiedereroberung der deutschsprechenden linken Rheinseite eine nationale Ehrensache, die Germanisierung des abtruennig gewordenen Hollands und Belgiens eine politische Notwendigkeit fuer uns ist. Sollen wir in jenen Laendern die deutsche Nationalitaet vollends unterdruecken lassen, waehrend im Osten sich das Slawentum immer maechtiger erhebt?"

Engels liked the idea of a "Thousand year Reich" too

This is our calling, that we shall become the templars of this Grail, gird the sword round our loins for its sake and stake our lives joyfully in the last, holy war which will be followed by the thousand-year reign of freedom.


And dismissed justice and morality from consideration in the matter. And he didn't think much of brotherhood either

(...)Justice and other moral considerations may be damaged here and there; but what does that matter to such facts of world-historic significance? (...)

Following that, Bohemia and Moravia passed definitely to Germany and the Slovak regions remained with Hungary. And this historically absolutely non-existent "nation" puts forward claims to independence? (...)

Of course, matters of this kind cannot be accomplished without many a tender national blossom being forcibly broken. But in history nothing is achieved without power and implacable ruthlessness, (...)

To the sentimental phrases about brotherhood which we are being offered here on behalf of the most counter-revolutionary nations of Europe, we reply that hatred of Russians was and still is the primary revolutionary passion among Germans; that since the revolution hatred of Czechs and Croats has been added, and that only by the most determined use of terror against these Slav peoples can we, jointly with the Poles and Magyars, safeguard the revolution. (...)

Then there will be a struggle, an "unrelenting life-and-death struggle" against those Slavs who betray the revolution; an annihilating fight and most determined terrorism -- not in the interests of Germany, but in the interests of the revolution!
Context here

The German

Engels, NRZ 15. Feb. 1849

,... die 'Gerechtigkeit' und andere moralische Grundsaetze moegen hier und da verletzt sein; aber was gilt das gegen solche weltgeschichtlichen Tatsachen? (....)

Dann kommt Boehmen und Maehren definitiv zu Deutschland, und die slowakischen Gegenden bleiben bei Ungarn. Und diese geschichtlich gar nicht existiende 'Nation' macht Ansprueche auf Unabhaengigkeit? (...)

Freilich, dergleichen lae t sich nicht durchsetzen ohne manch sanftes Nationenbluemlein gewaltsam zu zerknicken. Aber ohne Gewalt und ohne eherne Ruecksichtslosigkeit wird nichts durchgesetzt in der Geschichte, (...)

Auf die sentimentalen Bruederschaftsphrasen, die uns hier im Namen der kontrevolutionaersten Nationen Europas dargeboten werden, antworten wir, da  der Russenha  die erste revolutionaere Leidenschaft bei den Deutschen war und noch ist; da  seit der Revolution der Tschechen- und Kroatenha  hinzugekommen ist und da  wir, in Gemeinschaft mit Polen und Magyaren, nur durch den entschiedensten Terrorismus gegen diese slawischen Voelker die Revolution sicherstellen koennen (....)

Dann Kampf, 'unerbittlicher Kampf auf Leben und Tod' mit dem revolutionsverraeterischen Slawentum; Vernichtungskampf und ruecksichtslosen Terrorismus - nicht im Interesse Deutschlands, sondern im Interesse der Revolution!"

MEW a.a.O. 6, 286.


He thought the Yugoslavs in particular deserved to be wiped out .... Hmmmm

"Among all the nations and sub-nations of Austria, only three standard-bearers of progress took an active part in history, and are still capable of life -- the Germans, the Poles and the Magyars. Hence they are now revolutionary. All the other large and small nationalities and peoples are destined to perish before long in the revolutionary world storm. (...)

This remnant of a nation that was, as Hegel says, suppressed and held in bondage in the course of history, this human trash, becomes every time -- and remains so until their complete obliteration or loss of national identity -- the fanatical carriers of counter-revolution, just as their whole existence in general is itself a protest against a great historical revolution. (...)

Such, in Austria, are the pan-Slavist Southern Slavs, who are nothing but the human trash of peoples, resulting from an extremely confused thousand years of development. (...)

The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is progress.
A source in English

The German

Friedrich Engels, NRZ 13. Jan. 1849

,Unter all den Nationen und Natioenchen OEsterreichs sind nur drei, die die Traeger des Fortschritts waren, die aktiv in die Geschichte eingegriffen haben, die jetzt noch lebensfaehig sind - die Deutschen, die Polen, die Magyaren. Daher sind sie jetzt revolutionaer. Alle anderen gro en und kleinen Staemme und Voelker haben zunaechst die Mission, im revolutionaeren Weltsturm unterzugehen. (...)

Diese Reste einer von dem Gang der Geschichte, wie Hegel sagt, unbarmherzig zertretenen Nationen, diese Voelkerabfaelle werden jedesmal und bleiben bis zu ihrer gaenzlichen Vertilgung oder Entnationalisierung die fanatischen Traeger der Kontrerevolution, wie ihre ganze Existenz ueberhaupt schon ein Protest gegen eine gro e geschichtliche Revolution ist (...)

So in OEsterreich die panslawistischen Suedslawen, die weiter nichts sind als der Voelkerabfall einer hoechst verworrenen tausendjaehrigen Entwicklung. (...)

Der naechste Weltkrieg wird nicht nur reaktionaere Klassen und Dynastien, er wird auch ganze reaktionaere Voelker vom Erdboden verschwinden machen. Und das ist auch ein Fortschritt."

MEW a.a.O. 6, 176.


Because Germany was more "civilized"!

"By the same right under which France took Flanders, Lorraine and Alsace, and will sooner or later take Belgium -- by that same right Germany takes over Schleswig; it is the right of civilization as against barbarism, of progress as against stability. Even if the agreements were in Denmark's favor -- which is very doubtful-this right carries more weight than all the agreements, for it is the right of historical evolution"

The German:

Friedrich Engels, NRZ 10. Sep. 1848 (NRZ = Neue Rheinische Zeitung)

,Mit demselben Recht, mit dem die Franzosen Flandern, Lothringen und Elsa  genommen haben und Belgien frueher oder spaeter nehmen werden, mit demselben Recht nimmt Deutschland Schleswig: mit dem Recht der Zivilisation gegen die Barbarei, des Fortschritts gegen die Stabilitaet."

MEW a.a.O. 5, 395.

I note that the Marxists I link to above have translated the "Stabilitaet" that Engels referred to as "static stability" rather than just "stability". I wonder why? Let me guess: Stability is good once the Marxists are in charge. That is "progressive" stability, not "static stability". So the enforced inertia and uniformity of the old USSR was "progressive stability". Too bad they made such little progress that they eventually collapsed! But how sad it is that the Marxists have to mistranslate their own founding fathers to justify themselves! I can't say I am surprised, though.


"The plentiful meat and milk diet among the Aryans and the Semites, and particularly the beneficial effects of these foods on the development of children, may, perhaps, explain the superior development of these two races."
No Marxist has dared to put this online yet so I cannot provide a link for context. The quotation is from Engels, "Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State", Fourth revised edition, 1891, in Marx & Engels, Selected Works In One Volume, Lawrence & Wishart: London, 1980, p 464.


Engels to August Bebel In Berlin, 19 September, 1891: "In any case we must declare that since 1871 we have always been ready for a peaceful understanding with France, that as soon as our Party comes to power it will be unable to exercise that power unless Alsace-Lorraine freely determines its own future, but that if war is forced upon us, and moreover a war in alliance with Russia, we must regard this as an attack on our existence and defend ourselves by every method, utilising all positions at our disposal and therefore Metz and Strasbourg also..... so our army will have to lead and sustain the main push.... So much seems certain to me: if we are beaten, every barrier to chauvinism and a war of revenge in Europe will be thrown down for years hence. If we are victorious our Party will come into power. The victory of Germany is therefore the victory of the revolution, and if it comes to war we must not only desire victory but further it by every means...."
Context here


Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 42, July 12, 1848: "Only a war against Russia would be a war of revolutionary Germany, a war by which she could cleanse herself of her past sins, could take courage, defeat her own autocrats, spread civilisation by the sacrifice of her own sons as becomes a people that is shaking off the chains of long, indolent slavery"
It is not clear whether it was Marx or Engels that wrote this. Context here


Marx's second daughter, Laura, married Paul Lafargue who, Engels said, had "one eighth or one twelfth Nigger blood". In 1887, Paul was a candidate for the Paris Municipal Council, in a district which contained the Jardin des Plantes and the Zoo. In a letter to Laura (April 26, 1887), Engels referred to:

"Paul, the candidate of the Jardin des Plantes - and the animals" and added: "Being in his quality as a nigger a degree nearer to the rest of the animal kingdom than the rest of us, he is undoubtedly the most appropriate representative of that district."

This letter (in German translation) is in Marx & Engels Werke vol. 36, 1967, p. 645. It is not online but is mentioned here


Letter from Engels to Marx, October 2, 1866: "I have arrived at the conviction that there is nothing to his [Tremaux's] theory if for no other reason than because he neither understands geology nor is capable of the most ordinary literary historical criticism. One could laugh oneself sick about his stories of the nigger Santa Maria and of the transmutations of the whites into Negroes. Especially, that the traditions of the Senegal niggers deserve absolute credulity, just because the rascals cannot write! . . . Perhaps this man will prove in the second volume, how he explains the fact, that we Rhinelanders have not long ago turned into idiots and niggers on our own Devonian Transition rocks . . . Or perhaps he will maintain that we are real niggers."
(Not fully online. Source: Quoted by Diane Paul, "'In the Interests of Civilization': Marxist Views of Race and Culture in the Nineteenth Century", Journal of the History of Ideas, Jan-March 1981, p 123. [Werke, Vol. 31, p 256.])

Note that Engels uses both the neutral term "negroes" and the derogatory "nigger". So he clearly knew what the different implications of the two terms were. "Nigger" was not as verboten in the 19th century as it is now but it was still derogatory -- and it is presumably because of that aspect of the word that both Marx and Engels used what is after all an English word in their German writings.

To understand what Engels was talking about, one needs to realize that both Marx and Engels were Lamarckians -- they believed that acquired characteristics could be inherited. That fact is no doubt part of the reason why Stalin so heavily sponsored the ideas of the Lamarckian Trofim Lysenko right into the 20th century -- long after Lamarckian theories had been generally discredited in the West. And the particular strand of Lamarckian thinking that appealed most strongly to both Marx and Engels was that the type of soil and landscape in which a nation grew up could influence their national character. Just what the relationship between geology and national characteristics was, however, they did not fully agree. The following commentary on the matter may also be helpful:

To cite one final anecdote, the scholarly literature frequently cites Marx's great enthusiasm (until the more scientifically savvy Engels set him straight) for a curious book, published in 1865 by the now (and deservedly) unknown French explorer and ethnologist Pierre Tremaux, Origine et transformations de l'homme et des autres etres (Origin and transformation of man and other beings). Marx professed ardent admiration for this work, proclaiming it "einen Fortschritt uber Darwin" (an advance over Darwin). The more sober Engels bought the book at Marx's urging, but then dampened his friend's ardor by writing: "I have arrived at the conclusion that there is nothing to his theory if for no other reason than because he neither understands geology nor is capable of the most ordinary literary historical criticism."

I had long been curious about Tremaux and sought a copy of his book for many years. I finally purchased one a few years ago--and I must say that I have never read a more absurd or more poorly documented thesis. Basically, Tremaux argues that the nature of the soil determines national characteristics and that higher civilizations tend to arise on more complex soils formed in later geological periods. If Marx really believed that such unsupported nonsense could exceed the Origin of Species in importance, then he could not have properly understood or appreciated the power of Darwin's facts and ideas.

More here


Engels to Paul Lafargue, July 22, 1892: "I begin to understand French anti-Semitism when I see how many Jews of Polish origin and with German names intrude themselves everywhere, arrogate everything to themselves and push themselves forward to the point of creating public opinion in the ville lumiere [Paris], of which the Paris philistine is so proud and which he believes to be the supreme power in the universe."
(Not online but found in Frederick Engels, Paul and Laura Lafargue, Correspondence, Vol iii, Moscow. p 184.)


Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1886 Appendix to the American Edition: "The pettifogging business-tricks of the Polish Jew, the representative in Europe of commerce in its lowest stage, those tricks that serve him so well in his own country, and are generally practiced there, he finds to be out of date and out of place when he comes to Hamburg or Berlin"
Context here


Engels in The Northern Star January 22, 1848: "Upon the whole it is, in our opinion, very fortunate that the Arabian chief has been taken. The struggle of the Bedouins was a hopeless one, and though the manner in which brutal soldiers, like Bugeaud, have carried on the war is highly blamable, the conquest of Algeria is an important and fortunate fact for the progress of civilisation. The piracies of the Barbaresque states, never interfered with by the English government as long as they did not disturb their ships, could not be put down but by the conquest of one of these states. And the conquest of Algeria has already forced the Beys of Tunis and Tripoli, and even the Emperor of Morocco, to enter upon the road of civilisation. They were obliged to find other employment for their people than piracy, and other means of filling their exchequer than tributes paid to them by the smaller states of Europe. And if we may regret that the liberty of the Bedouins of the desert has been destroyed, we must not forget that these same Bedouins were a nation of robbers, - whose principal means of living consisted of making excursions either upon each other, or upon the settled villagers, taking what they found, slaughtering all those who resisted, and selling the remaining prisoners as slaves. All these nations of free barbarians look very proud, noble and glorious at a distance, but only come near them and you will find that they, as well as the more civilised nations, are ruled by the lust of gain"
Context here


Marx, Engels and Hitler were all favourably disposed towards their "racial brethren" in Britain and the USA. It was Slavs whom they really despised. So it is a considerable irony that a Slavic nation was the first to take up Marxism in a big way and that it was primarily the same Slavic nation that defeated Hitler

Engels in Deutsche-Bruesseler-Zeitung 1848: "In America we have witnessed the conquest of Mexico and have rejoiced at it. It is also an advance when a country which has hitherto been exclusively wrapped up in its own affairs, perpetually rent with civil wars, and completely hindered in its development, a country whose best prospect had been to become industrially subject to Britain - when such a country is forcibly drawn into the historical process. It is to the interest of its own development that Mexico will in future be placed under the tutelage of the United States. The evolution of the whole of America will profit by the fact that the United States, by the possession of California, obtains command of the Pacific"
Context here


Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 222, February 1849: "We repeat: apart from the Poles, the Russians, and at most the Turkish Slavs, no Slav people has a future, for the simple reason that all the other Slavs lack the primary historical, geographical, political and industrial conditions for independence and viability. Peoples which have never had a history of their own, which from the time when they achieved the first, most elementary stage of civilization already came under foreign sway, or which were forced to attain the first stage of civilization only by means of a foreign yoke, are not viable and will never be able to achieve any kind of independence. And that has been the fate of the Austrian Slavs. The Czechs, among whom we would include the Moravians and Slovaks, although they differ in respect of language and history, have never had a history of their own"
Context here


I guess Chairman Mao did not read these bits!

Marx, "Revolution in China and in Europe" (May 20, 1853): "It is almost needless to observe that, in the same measure in which opium has obtained the sovereignty over the Chinese, the Emperor and his staff of pedantic mandarins have become dispossessed of their own sovereignty. It would seem as though history had first to make this whole people drunk before it could rouse them out of their hereditary stupidity".

Engels, "Persia and China" (June 5,1857): "... China, the rotting semi-civilization of the oldest State in the world . . . In short, instead of moralizing on the horrible atrocities of the Chinese, as the chivalrous English press does, we had better recognize that this is a war pro aris et focis, a popular war for the maintenance of Chinese nationality, with all its overbearing prejudice, stupidity, learned ignorance and pedantic barbarism . . .
Context for the quote from Marx is here

The latter part of the quote from Engels is online here but the rest is not freely online. See Marx & Engels On Colonialism, 6th printing, Moscow, 1976, pp. 120 & 124.


(At least Engels had TWO master races in his thinking: Germans and Hungarians ("Magyars"))

Engels: The condition of the working class in England, 1892 "The southern facile character of the Irishman, his crudity, which places him but little above the savage, his contempt for all humane enjoyments, in which his very crudeness makes him incapable of sharing, his filth and poverty, all favour drunkeness. . . . the pressure of this race has done much to depress wages and lower the working-class. . . . That poverty manifests itself in Ireland thus and not otherwise, is owing to the character of the people, and to their historical development. The Irish are a people related in their whole character to the Latin nations, to the French, and especially to the Italians.... With the Irish, feeling and passion predominate; reason must bow before them. Their sensuous, excitable nature prevents reflection and quiet, persevering activity from reaching development -- such a nation is utterly unfit for manufacture as now conducted. . . . Irish distress cannot be removed by any Act of Repeal. Such an Act would, however, at once lay bare the fact that the cause of Irish misery, which now seems to come from abroad is really to be found at home"
Context here


Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung September 1848; "Scandinavianism is enthusiasm for the brutal, sordid, piratical, Old Norse national traits, for that profound inner life which is unable to express its exuberant ideas and sentiments in words, but can express them only in deeds, namely, in rudeness towards women, perpetual drunkenness and the wild frenzy of the Berserker alternating with tearful sentimentality".
Context here


Engels to August Bebel, November 17, 1885. "These wretched, ruined fragments of one-time nations, the Serbs, Bulgars, Greeks, and other robber bands, or, behalf of which the liberal philistine waxes enthusiastic in the interests of Russia, are unwilling to grant each other the air they breathe, and feel obliged to cut each other's greedy throats... the lousy Balkan peoples . . . ".
(Not online. From Marx-Engels, Briefe an A. Bebel, W. Liebknecht, K. Kautsky und Andere, Moscow, 1933, pp 411, 412; translation by Bertram D. Wolfe, Marxism, 1967, p 68.)


Neue Rheinische Zeitung February 1849: "And if during eight centuries the "eight million Slavs" have had to suffer the yoke imposed on them by the four million Magyars, that alone sufficiently proves which was the more viable and vigorous, the many Slavs or the few Magyars! .... what a "crime" it is, what a "damnable policy" that at a time when, in Europe in general, big monarchies had become a "historical necessity", the Germans and Magyars untied all these small, stunted and impotent little nations into a single big state and thereby enabled them to take part in a historical development from which, left to themselves, they would have remained completely aloof! Of course, matters of this kind cannot be accomplished without many a tender national blossom being forcibly broken. But in history nothing is achieved without violence and implacable ruthlessness... In short, it turns out these "crimes" of the Germans and Magyars against the said Slavs are among the best and most praiseworthy deeds which our and the Magyar people can boast in their history".
Context here


Engels. "Democratic Pan-Slavism" (NRZ February 16. 1849), Collected Works, Vol. 8 p 378. ". . . hatred of Russia was and still is the primary revolutionary passion among Germans; that since the revolution, hatred of Czechs and Croats has been added, and that only by the most determined use of terror against these Slav peoples can we, jointly with the Poles and Magyars, safeguard the revolution."
(No Marxist seems to have put this online. I can't imagine why!)


Engels: (Marx and Engels, Selected Works, Vol. 3, p. 502.): "We regard economic conditions as the factor which ultimately determines historical development. But race is itself an economic factor".
Context here

German reference: "Brief an W. Borgius" 25.1.1894. MEW, Bd. 39, S. 205. Not apparently online.


Engels. "Notes to Anti-Duehring": "On the other hand, modern natural science has extended the principle of the origin of all thought content from experience in a way that breaks down its old metaphysical limitation and formulation. By recognising the inheritance of acquired characters, it extends the subject of experience from the individual to the genus; the single individual that must have experienced is no longer necessary, its individual experience can be replaced to a certain extent by the results of the experiences of a number of its ancestors. If, for instance, among us the mathematical axioms seem self-evident to every eight-year-old child, and in no need of proof from experience, this is solely the result of "accumulated inheritance." It would be difficult to teach them by a proof to a bushman or Australian negro".
Context here


Engels, The Armies of Europe: "But up to the present time, the Russians of all classes are too fundamentally barbarous to find any enjoyment in scientific or intellectual pursuits of any kind (except intrigues), and, therefore, almost all their distinguished men in the military service are either foreigners, or, what nearly amounts to the same, "ostze Context here

Some of the German

Engels, ,Die Armeen Europas", Putnam's Monthly, No. XXXIII, September 1855

"Aber bis zum heutigen Tage sind die Russen aller Klassen viel zu barbarisch, um an wissenschaftlicher oder geistiger Taetigkeit irgendwelcher Art (ausser Intrigen) Gefallen zu finden (...)"

MEW a.a.O. 11, 452.


Engels, "Germany and Pan-Slavism", 1855: "The Slavic race, long divided by inner struggles, pushed back to the east by the Germans, subjugated in part by Germans, Turks and Hungarians, silently re-uniting its branches after 1815 by the gradual growth of Pan-Slavism, it now makes sure of its unity for the first time, and with that declares war to-the-death on the Roman-Celtic and German races, who have ruled Europe until now."
Listed, but with no translation here

The German

Engels, "Deutschland und der Panslawismus", 1855

"Die slawische Race, lang geteilt durch innere Zwiste, nach dem Osten zurueckgetrieben durch die Deutschen, unterjocht, zum Teil von Deutschen, Tuerken und Ungarn, still ihre Zweige wiedervereinend, nach 1815, durch das allmaehliche Wachstum des Panslawismus, sie versichert nun zum ersten Mal ihre Einheit und erklaert damit Krieg auf den Tod den roemisch-keltischen und deutschen Racen, die bisher in Europa geherrscht haben."

MEW a.a.O. 11, 198,f.


Engels: "This miserable debris of former nations, Serbs, Bulgarians, Greeks and other thieving rabble, whom the liberal Philistine raves about in the interest of the Russians, deny each other the very air they are breathing, and have to slit each others' greedy throats."
The German

Engels: "Diese elenden Truemmerstuecke ehemaliger Nationen, Serben, Bulgaren, Griechen und andres Raeubergesindel, fuer die der liberale Philister im Interessen der Russen schwaermt, goennen also einander die Luft nicht, die sie einatmen, und muessen sich untereinander die gierigen Haelse abschneiden."

MEW a.a.O. 36, 390.

Source (German only)


Engels to Marx: "The Lasalle manoeuvres have amused me greatly, the frizzy Jew-head now has to very charmingly distinguish himself in the red nightshirt and Marquis garb -- from which at every movement the Polish kike looks out. Seeing it must give the impression of louse-like repulsiveness."
(No other English translation available online)

The German

Engels an Marx, 14.April 1856

"Die Lassalliaden haben mich sehr erheitert, der krause Juddekopp mu  sich ueber dem roten Schlafrock und in der Marquisen-Draperie, wo bei jeder Bewegung der polnische Schmuhl durchguckt, sehr reizend ausnehmen. Gesehen, mu  der Kerl einen hoechst lausig-widerwaertigen Eindruck machen."

MEW a.a.O. 29, 43.



Engels: "We discovered that in connection with these figures the German national simpletons and money-grubbers of the Frankfurt parliamentary swamp always counted as Germans the Polish Jews as well, although this dirtiest of all races, neither by its jargon nor by its descent, but at most only through its lust for profit, could have any relation of kinship with Frankfurt".
Context here

The German

Engels, NRZ 29. Apr. 1849

,... da  die deutschen Nationalgimpel und Geldmacher des Frankfurter Sumpfparlaments bei diesen Zaehlungen immer noch die polnischen Juden zu Deutschen gerechnet, obwohl diese schmutzigste aller Rassen weder in ihrem Jargon, noch ihrer Abstammung nach, sondern hoechstens durch ihre Profitwuetigkeit mit Frankfurt im Verwandtschaftsverhaeltnis stehen kann (...)"

MEW a.a.O. 6, 448 f.


Although I am no fan of Engels, I might say that to me Engels seems a much more human and likable figure than Marx. Engels had enthusiasms. Marx had only hatreds -- he hated even the workers whose cause he claimed to espouse. Even the kindly Heinrich Marx -- Karl's father -- thought Karl was not much of a human being. The letter from Heinrich to Karl below was written when Karl was still only 19. Heinrich seems to have been a decent and generous guy. It must have pained him greatly to see how his son turned out.

Letter from Heinrich Marx to son Karl, written in Trier, March 2, 1837: "It is remarkable that I, who am by nature a lazy writer, become quite inexhaustible when I have to write to you. I will not and cannot conceal my weakness for you. At times my heart delights in thinking of you and your future. And yet at times I cannot rid myself of ideas which arouse in me sad forebodings and fear when I am struck as if by lightning by the thought: is your heart in accord with your head, your talents? Has it room for the earthly but gentler sentiments which in this vale of sorrow are so essentially consoling for a man of feeling? And since that heart is obviously animated and governed by a demon not granted to all men, is that demon heavenly or Faustian? Will you ever -- and that is not the least painful doubt of my heart -- will you ever be capable of truly human, domestic happiness? Will -- and this doubt has no less tortured me recently since I have come to love a certain person [Jenny von Westfalen] like my own child -- will you ever be capable of imparting happiness to those immediately around you?

What has evoked this train of ideas in me, you will ask ? Often before, anxious thoughts of this kind have come into my mind, but I easily chased them away, for I always felt the need to surround you with all the love and care of which my heart is capable, and I always like to forget. But I note a striking phenomenon in Jenny. She, who is so wholly devoted to you with her childlike, pure disposition, betrays at times, involuntarily and against her will, a kind of fear, a fear laden with foreboding, which does not escape me, which I do not know how to explain, and all trace of which she tried to erase from my heart, as soon as I pointed it out to her. What does that mean, what can it be? I cannot explain it to myself, but unfortunately my experience does not allow me to be easily led astray.
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