A Traitor in Circassia
The following letter, is extracted from the Pester Lloyd.
"Circassian Head-quarters, Tuabs, Feb. 26.
"By means of the British steamer Kangaroo you will receive this letter, which will perhaps convey to Europe the first information of an event that may have very great influence on the future fate of the Circassian nations. It is known to you that Mehemed Bey (Bangya), to whose person I am attached, has acceded to the wishes of the chiefs and deputies of the Circassian tribes, and has accepted the post of commander-in-chief. On Monday the 23rd of February, we landed at Tuabs, where we have our head-quarters. Before our departure, Mehemed Bey engaged a couple of hundred excellent military instructors for the different arms, and they accompanied us hither. Mehemed Bey, has already been solemnly proclaimed General-in-chief of the Circassian forces. The princes, nobles, and deputies of the people have sworn on the Koran to obey him, and a deputation of the Circassian diet has to-day sent in the flag of the prophet, which is the symbol of the highest power. The enthusiasm was very great when the new commander swore fidelity to the sacred standard. (The flag itself is green, and on it is a white sword with the crescent and the star.) The excitement is great, and the Circassians have resolved to obtain their complete independence or to perish in the struggle for it. It is expected that 150,000 (?) men will be in the field by the month of May. 'Russia,' said Mehemed Bey to me just now, 'will soon have an opportunity of convincing herself that a new spirit prevails.' I know the materials which are placed at my disposal (Mehemed Bey was with the Circassians during the late war), and am of opinion that a nation, which, without a military organization, could resist its enemy during thirty years, will, when properly organized, be able to achieve its complete independence. You may expect to receive some important news from these mountains in the coming spring. You shall have from me as early information of what happens as our means of communication will permit."
Bangya was a Hungarian chief, attached first to Kossuth, and afterwards to Szemere; was a refugee in England in 1851 and 1852, was employed by the Prussians and by the French Government as a spy, and of course must have an understanding with their common master; now he goes under English auspices to Circassia, where a new spirit is to prevail. The old spirit was anti-Russia, the new must be Russia—Circassia is to achieve an independence which she has never lost, and to crown the whole, a Parliament is invented which has yet to he created.
Written on about March 25, 1857
First published in The Free Press, No. 34, April 1, 1857
Source: Marx and Engels Collected Works, Volume 15
(pp.236-237), Progress Publishers, Moscow 1980