Letter to the Editor of the Stuttgart Beobachter

Submitted by libcom on July 25, 2005

The First International Working Men's Association


First published in the Nordstern, No. 287, December 10, 1864 Printed according to the copy in Mrs. Marx's hand, corrected by the author and collated with the newspaper


Through his man-of-straw in Bradford, Dr. Bronner, Herr Karl Blind has sent you a long epistle by, for, and about Herr Blind, into which, among other curiosities, the following passage slips:

"I do not wish in this connection to return to that old dispute" in respect of the leaflet "Zur Warnung" against Vogt "which was settled by statements from all concerned and which the editorial office has brought up anew."

He "does not wish to return"! What magnanimity!

As evidence that the pompous vanity of Herr Karl Blind occasionally propels Herr Karl Blind beyond the bounds of pure comedy, you make mention of my work against Vogt. From Blind's reply you and your readers must draw the conclusion that the accusations made in that work against Herr Karl Blind have been settled by "statements from all concerned". In actual fact since the appearance of my work, that is for four years, the otherwise so prolific Herr Karl Blind has never once dared to "return to the old dispute" with so much as a word, much less with "statements from all concerned".

On the contrary, Herr Karl Blind has been content to remain branded an "infamous liar" (see pp. 66, 67 of my work). Herr Karl Blind has repeatedly declared in public that he did not know by whom the leaflet against Vogt had been cast into the world, that "he had absolutely no part in the affair", etc. In addition, Herr Karl Blind published a statement by the printer Fidelio Hollinger, flanked by another statement by the compositor Wiehe, to the effect that the leaflet had neither been printed in Hollinger's printing-shop nor had it emanated from Herr Karl Blind. In my work against Vogt may be found the affidavits (statements made under oath) of the compositor Vögele and of Wiehe himself made before the Bow Street Magistrates Court, London, proving that the same Herr Karl Blind wrote the manuscript of the leaflet, had it printed by Hollinger, personally corrected the proofs, fabricated a false certificate to refute these facts, and deviously obtained the signature of the compositor Wiehe for this false certificate by proffering promises of money from Hollinger, and future gratitude on his own part, and finally sent this false document fabricated by himself, along with the signature he himself had dishonestly obtained, to the Augsburg Allgemeine and other German newspapers as morally outraged evidence of my "malicious invention".

Thus publicly pilloried, Herr Karl Blind kept silent. Why? Because (see p. 69 of my work) he could only refute the affidavits by me by means of counter-affidavits, but he found himself "under the grave jurisdiction of England", where "felony is no joining matter".

In the aforementioned letter to your newspaper there are also some strange statements about Herr Karl Blind's American industriousness. In order to clear up this point allow me to cite an extract from a letter from J. Weydemeyer that arrived here a few days ago. You will recall that J. Weydemeyer used to edit the Neue Deutsche Zeitung in Frankfurt along with O. Luning, and was always one of the most stalwart champions of the German workers' party. Shortly after the outbreak of the American Civil War he entered the ranks of the Federals. Summoned by Fremont to St. Louis, he served initially as a captain in the Engineer Corps there, then as lieutenant-colonel in an artillery regiment, and when Missouri was again recently threatened with enemy invasion, he was suddenly given the task of organising the 41st Missouri Volunteer Regiment, which he now commands with the rank of colonel. Weydemeyer writes from St. Louis, the capital of Missouri, where his regiment is stationed, as follows:

"You will find enclosed a cutting from a newspaper here, the Westliche Post, in which the literary pirate Karl Blind is again strutting and swaggering with all his might at the expense of the 'German republicans'. Of course here it is rather irrelevant how he distorts Lassalle's aspirations and agitations; anyone who has read the works of the latter knows what to think of Blind's harlequinades; anyone who has not taken the trouble of becoming somewhat better acquainted with that agitation, may gullibly admire the wisdom and 'staunchness of spirit' of the great man of Baden, conspirator par excellence and member of every secret society and future provisional government; such a judgment is of no consequence. Also people have other things to do here at present than to concern themselves with Blind's protests. But it would surely be appropriate to rap this pompous ass strongly over the knuckles at home, and so I am sending you the article, which is only a small specimen of similar earlier products."

The cutting from the Westliche Post sent by J. Weydemeyer is headed: "A Republican Protest, London, September 17, 1864", and is the American edition of the "Republican Protest" which the same unavoidable Herr Karl Blind simultaneously sent under the same title to the Neue Frankfurter Zeitung, and then with his customary, assiduous ant-like industriousness forwarded to the London Hermann as a reproduction from the Neue Frankfurter Zeitung.

A comparison of the two versions of Blind's clumsy handiwork would show how the same Herr Karl Blind, while protesting in Frankfurt and London with a respectable, republican, Cato-like woeful countenance, simultaneously gives free rein in far-off St. Louis to the most malicious idiocy and the vilest impudence. A comparison of the two versions of the "Protest", for which there is no space here, would also result in a new amusing contribution to the method of fabricating letters, circulars, leaflets, protests, provisos, defences, proclamations, appeals, and other similar head-shakingly solemn Blindian political recipes, from which there is as little chance of escaping as from Mr. Holloway's pills or Mr. Hoff's malt extract.

Nothing could be further from my mind than to seek to explain a man such as Lassalle and the real tendency of his agitation to a grotesque Mazzini-Scapin with nothing behind him but his own shadow. On the contrary, I am convinced that Herr Karl Blind is only fulfilling the calling imposed on him by nature and by Aesop in stepping behind the dead lion.

London, November 28, 1864

Karl Marx 1, Modena Villas Maitland Park



November 28, 1864 1, Modena Villas, Maitland Park, Haverstock Hill, London

Dear Sir,

I beg you to accept for publication the enclosed letter concerning Herr Karl Blind.

I have sent the same statement in the same form -- as a letter to the Stuttgart Beobachter -- to some Prussian newspapers for publication, and will also arrange for it to be reproduced in a German newspaper here so that responsibility for it rests solely with me.

Yours faithfully,

K. Marx