First printing of the demands of a not yet existing party

Marx, Karl / Engels, Friedrich. Forderungen der kommunistischen Parthei in Deutschland.

[Paris, end of March 1848].

Leaflet, 140 x 223 mm.


The "Demands of the Communist Party in Germany": extremely rare first printing, signed in letterpress by the committee of the "Communist League": Karl Marx, Karl Schapper, Andreas Heinrich Bauer, Friedrich Engels, Joseph Moll, and Wilhelm Wolff.

Threatened with deportation from France, Marx and Engels had relocated to Brussels in 1845, where they founded the "Communist Correspondence Committee", ultimately instigating the transformation of Schapper's "League of the Just", founded by Weitling in 1836 and based in London since 1840, into the "Communist League". In early 1848 Marx and Engels completed their "Communist Manifesto", which was printed in London in February. At the end of March they formulated the central demands of their not yet existing party. "They shaped the political programme of the 'Communist League' in the nascent German Revolution. The 'Demands of the Communist Party in Germany' were printed in late March 1848 as a leaflet, then published in early April in the democratic newspapers 'Berliner Zeitungshalle', 'Mannheimer Abendzeitung', 'Trier'sche Zeitung', and 'Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung'; they were also handed out as a directive to members of the 'Communist League' who were returning home. In the course of the revolution, Marx and Engels as well as their supporters endeavoured to familiarize the masses with this programmatic document. The 'Demands' were therefore reprinted as a new leaflet in Cologne before 10 September [this second version is the one published in MEGA] …" (cf. MEGA V, p. 505).

"The 'Demands of the Communist Party in Germany' constitute the first classic example of the Communist Manifesto's general principles applied specifically to a country, to the specific conditions of the German Revolution of 1848/49" (cf. MEGA V, p. VI).


MEGA V, p. 3. Compare illustration at: DHM D1_00141.