Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial evidence book. People's Exhibit 98.
Arbeiter-Zeitung (Newspaper) article, editorial, 1885 Jan. 2

4 p.
Introduced into evidence during testimony of E. F. L. Gauss (Vol. K p. 721-732), 1886 July 31.
Transcript of translation of article.

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The Arbeiter Zeitung of Friday, January 2, 1885, contained on the second page the following editorial:

"Behind us the past, before us the new year. That what lies behind us shows off in sharp contours, and is easily discernible. Our glances sweep over endless shores of human misery. The black column points to the interrupted and monotonous pictures of idle factories and mines, and the cold and empty huts of starving laborers with their freezing women and children. We take our glance away from this cheerless picture then it falls upon surging flames. What is that? It is not perhaps the hand of feelingless, incendaries or even of comunists bent upon destruction. Yes and no. It is the hand of the incendiary who has the flames devour the proves of his cheating and his swindles. The incendiary is an esteemed modern business, a tradesman with whom we have a deep compassion, he destroys the worthless blunder to divide with the insurance company after the manner of "communists". His incendiarism is no crime. It is on the contrary, a smart trick, for whilst they drag a poor devil to the penetentiary on account of his destroying property, the watchmen of order take off their hats reverentially to the rich incendiary, we turn away from the scene with the words of Shakespere "What fools these mortals be," to be occupied by another picture. A man whose face

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shaves the stamp of poverty, whose body is stopped evidently by reason of hard work, ascends with bent head the steps of the scaffold. Terrible was his crime, he shot down his employer, because the latter wanted to cheat him out of his earnings, and terrible is the punishment. Nothing can save the poor wretch."

"The priest, judge and money-bag surround the picture and nod to each other understandingly. It is true they are sorry for it---this is read in their criminal physiognomies, but justice must be and "He who sheds human blood his blood shall be shed again." The unpleasant picture disappears, we behold a palace like structure of stone, the habitation of (The Goddess of Justice) the picture becomes more distinct, we become aware of the goddess and before Her a murderer over whom she sits in judgment. The latter killed a working amn because he demanded his wages."

"We are reminded of the last picture, the picture of the gallows, the judge, the priest and the money bag with a shudder, we think of a repitition of the terrible drama but know our fear is unfounded (the Goddess of) Justice takes off her veil, throws an affectionate glance towards the murderer, reaches out her hand to him and says: "He who kills his servant is no criminal, the servant who dared to be disobedient towards his master has forfeited his life, thou art free". The trio falls around the neck of the hero, praise his manly deed, he takes money from his purse and a banquet forms the

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close of the victory." Yet justice holds sway, indignation wakes up in us; the world which is playing around us in numberless and ever-changing scenes becomes to us a horror (nauseating).

"Order and Justice truly meet us in various forms and coverings, but only as harliquins given to treason, phariseeism and lying; and blood, devastation and destruction mark their course. Pity takes possession of us. There, deep in the background appears a group of men which attracts our eye. The picture is so wholly different from the other. The men have serious faces which express courage, fearlessness, character and power of action. They carry spades, little cases and weapons. They cannot have any good intentions; it is night so that their forms and movements can scarcely be seen. Are they robbers, thieves or perhaps murderers? But no, that cannot be--these men are not criminals, the higher radiance which surrounds their ideal features. The frank, firy eyes, the proud self-possession--no, criminals do not look like that. Now, they come to a halt, the red flag becomes visible and in plain letters that motto shines forth, death to the tyrants, d ath to all deception and lies."

Our chest expands, our confidence in humanity returns again, for upon the faces of these men it is written that they not only have the will but also the power to act, to

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free the human race from the marsh of deadly rottenness and from the chains of despotism and tyranny. They dig a mine in the dark furrows of the earth; there another one, and there again another; (The representative of)? order hastens to the place; the men are locked in chains, and they are dragged to the place of execution where they joyfully sacrifice their lifeblood with a curse for their executioners, and a pathetic oath that the avengers will arise from their bones."

We turn our back upon the past, before us lies the new year, everything is indistinct, at least nothing is clear, nothing decernible. We are at the point to descend from our birds-eye view, when the first beams of Sol which arises fiery from his clouded bed in the North, falling upon the eastern horizon with a milder light it strikes the western heavens blood-red swims before our eyes; it rumbles and thunders. In that back-ground the same men appear whom we have seen upon the other side, but no more in such few numbers. They have become numberless. A cloud hides the picture from our vision. But one thing we have observed---the prophecies of the dead martyrs are fulfilled; their avengers have arisen.

Signed "A. S."

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