Frederick Engels, 1820-1895



Friedrich Engels in 1856




Friedrich Engels was born November 28, 1820 in Barmen Germany and went on to be a Writer/Philosopher  best known as Karl Marx’s collaborator and editor. He moved from Germany to England in 1842, where he worked as a manager in a factory in Manchester. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, which suggested that the poor working class would only benefit if they fought for socialism. Engels had met Karl Marx in 1844 and together they wrote the Communist Manifesto, predicting ultimate victory for the proletariat. After 1848 Engels returned to England and financially supported Marx, whose works he also edited and translated. He died in August 5, 1895



1. Taken from “Friedrich Engels” at


This is how Frederick Engels spoke over thirty years in advance of the future World War I in a preface to a pamphlet by Sigismund Borkheim, In Memory of the German Arch-Patriots of 1806-1807 (Zur Erinnerung für die deutschen Mordspatrioten 1806-1807 ). (This pamphlet is No. XXIV of the Social-Democratic Library published in Göttingen-Zürich in 1888.):


“No war is any longer possible for Prussia-Germany except a world war and a world war indeed of an extent and violence hitherto undreamt of. Eight to ten millions of soldiers will massacre one another and in doing so devour the whole of Eurepe until they have stripped it barer than any swarm of locusts has ever done. The devastations of the Thirty Years’ War compressed into three or four years, and spread over the whole Continent; famine, pestilence, general demoralisation both of the armies and of the mass of the people produced by acute distress; hopeless confusion of our artificial machinery in trade, industry and credit, ending in general bankruptcy; collapse of the old states and their traditional state wisdom to such an extent that crowns will roll by dozens on the pavement and there will be no body to pick them up; absolute impossibility of foreseeing how it will all end and who will come out of the struggle as victor; only one result is absolutely certain: general exhaustion and the establishment of the conditions for the ultimate victory of the working class….This is the prospect when the system of mutual outbidding in armaments, taken to the final extreme, at last bears its inevitable fruits. This, my lords, princes and statesmen, is where in your wisdom you have brought old Europe. And when nothing more remains to you but to open the last great war dance—that will suit us all right (uns kann es recht sein ). The war may perhaps push us temporarily into the background, may wrench from us many a position already conquered. But when you have unfettered forces which you will then no longer be able again to control, things may go as they will: at the end of the tragedy you will be ruined and the victory of the proletariat will either be already achieved or at any rate (doch ) inevitable.” 2


2. Taken from Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 27, pages 494-499 and also online in V.I. Lenin “Prophetic Words” at