Works of Frederick Engels

Progress of Communism in Germany.
Persecution of the Communists in Switzerland [168]

Source: MECW Volume 3, 409;
First published: in The Northern Star No. 317, December 9, 1843 and in The New Moral World, December 16, 1843;

Frankfort, November 26. The associations of the working classes for the purpose of introducing practically the ideas of socialism, or rather communism, by means of revolutionary reform, become daily more frequent and more dangerous. The governments are daily issuing decrees against the wandering customs of artisans and apprentices; they especially prohibited their visiting Switzerland, which is considered as the home of these revolutionary ideas. Several apostles of socialism have been arrested. [In The New Moral World the following paragraph was added: “Several apostles of Socialism have been arrested; but a better means than those of compulsion has been thought of; it consists in the organisation of a great association for the purpose of bestowing sound instruction to the working classes by propagating useful lectures among them. A reading company (Leseverein) has been established here in Frankfort, and several hundreds of the working classes are already enrolled in it."]

The Basle Gazette of the 29th states the Supreme Tribunal of Zurich has passed judgment on the appeal of M. Weitling, who was found guilty in the first instance of disaffection, and sentenced to several months’ imprisonment and five years’ banishment; first, for having excited the people to revolt; and, secondly, for having entered into secret associations [169] notwithstanding the laws of the country concerning refugees. He was acquitted of the charges brought against him of bringing religion into contempt.