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Marx-Engels Correspondence 1852

Marx To Adolf Cluss
In Washington

Source: MECW Volume 39, p. 265;
First published: in Marx and Engels, Works, First Russian Edition, 1934.

[London,] 14 December 1852

... No more than a few lines today. Brüningk has written to me. I replied in writing, telling him that Kinkel and Willich were the instigators of the rumour and that I had alluded to, but not named them, in my letter to you.

Should Kinkel issue a public denial in the American Press, I shall publish the whole correspondence and/or the record of what happened between him, myself and J. Huzel, as proof of his veracity and his courageous vindication of the imputations he had made.

Should Brüningk demand that you recant or publicly attack you for ‘deliberate distortion of the material with which I provided you’, confine yourself to the following points: 1. You could perfectly well have concluded that Mrs von Brüningk was an agent whom even her friends suspected her of being one, the more so since she was an agent for the notorious Russian agent, Princess von Lieven.

2. You had all the less reason to stand on ceremony since Schimmelpfennig — Mrs von Brüningk’s crony — had established the principle that Marx and Co. were to be calumniated.

3. You might have issued a statement yourself had Brüningk approached the Wecher direct, and then yourself instead of dragging in the miserable Ruge-Ronges. Ça suffira.

Ad vocem E. Jones. Jones is now rising rapidly. Harney’s paper — and J.’s rival — The Star of Freedom, set some 3 weeks ago.

Ad vocem Kinkel-Willich, The effrontery of these two fellows’ anti-Reichenbach statement surpasses all bounds.

1. Reichenbach acted too leniently in respect of these fellows in concealing the real reason which above all motivated his action. For in America Loan Notes bearing Reichenbach’s signature still continue to circulate. Kinkel and Willich got their agents in America to convert them into silver, even at a discount, and send the proceeds direct to them, long after they had been disowned qua financial committee by the London guarantors; similarly, they hawked these notes round London. At no time have they accounted for the sums thus received. It was downright escroquerie and Reichenbach deemed a statement necessary in order to clear himself of all responsibility for it.

2. The German papers applauded the resolution to return the money to America, Kinkel coming in for especial praise. The rascal received these bourgeois plaudits in silence — nor, in Bradford and Manchester, did he show any inclination whatever to confess his opposition to the said resolution. He seeks to appear respectable to bourgeoisie in Germany in order to make money, and poses as a believer in revolution before the revolutionary philistines in America in order to wrest from the clutches of the Cerberus Reichenbach the money he has swindled from them.

3. Willich pins his faith to the distance between America and London. Over here the fellow is regarded by all the refugees as a proven spy and a rogue unmasked. He believes that in America he will still be able to play the treasurer of the revolution.

Hirsch has told a working men’s club in Blamich Street that Willich is his accomplice. He himself, the sly Hirsch (!!!) says, is a spy in the interests of democracy, but Willich in the interests of the police, no less. Willich’s society heard about this. Questions were asked, etc. (you may have read about it already in my Revelations). He could think of nothing better than to remove with a minute nucleus of his society to another establishment where visitors were not admitted, and to shift his own domicile to a remote corner of London. These two blackguards must now be unmasked in America as well. Here they are completely done for.

Ad vocem.Goegg. Goegg, who for months was telling everyone that he attended the Wheeling Congress, was in Strassburg at the time, getting together what remained of his fortune, £300.

Now, in company with Ronge, he is setting up kindergartens and similar German-Catholic educational establishments.

K. M.