Works Frederick Engels 1872

On the Police Persecution of the Member of the International
Theodore Cuno

Source: The Eastern Post, April 27, 1872;
Transcribed: by Tony Brown.

It has been known for some time that a conspiracy had been entered into by the Governments of Germany, Austria, and Italy, for the purpose of hunting down the Internationals. How this conspiracy works may he seen from the following facts: — A prominent member of the International at Milan, Citizen Theodore Cuno, a native of Prussia and an engineer, having lost his place in a large machine shop, was, on the 25th February, arrested, and all his papers, and all photographs in his possession (including that of his father, &c.) were seized. He was transported, in chains, to Verona, where he was kept in prison for nearly a month amongst thieves and murderers, and treated exactly as they were, while his papers were sent to Rome to be examined. On the 29th March, chained to a common criminal, he was transported to the frontier, and handed over to the Austrian authorities. Here, for the first time, he was allowed to learn the reason which had caused all this. What was his astonishment when he read that he had been arrested because

“he was in Milan idle, a vagabond, and without means of existence, and, moreover, a dangerous agent of the International Socialist party, and for all these reasons expelled from the kingdom of Italy"!

Now, so far from being idle, he was, on the 1st of March, to have entered upon a very lucrative place at Como as manager of a factory, and so far from being without means of existence, the Italian authorities on parting with him, had to hand him over 111 francs of his own money! The Austrians could not make out this contradiction, but, instead of letting him free gave him in charge of a policeman who had to see him, at Cuno’s expense, to the Bavarian frontier; and thus, Cuno had not only to pass another seven nights in prison, but to spend the greater part of his money too. At the Bavarian frontier, thanks, no doubt, to the want of proper instructions, as also to the homely stupidity of the Bavarian police, he obtained intelligence that a telegram was sent to his relatives and on receipt of a satisfactory reply, he was at last set at liberty. Thus, it appears, that the European police league against the International is a reality. Cuno could have been sent to the Swiss frontier, and there set at liberty; but instead, he must be handed over to the Austrians, and by them to the Bavarians, to be sent from prison to prison as a common criminal. There is the liberalism of “free” Constitutional monarchies.