In the sixties of the 19th century the Lassallean current within the labor movement came to the fore, and, for the first time, a downright pederasm and homosexualism as well. Ferdinand Lassalle promoted a person in the organisation who had been sentenced because of pederasty, who later became his successor, and was resolutely fought by Marx and Engels: Johann Baptist v. Schweitzer. In connection with this person also a certain Karl Heinz Ulrichs appeared, who is regarded as the first propagandist of homosexualism and today is being fêted by the so-called homosexuals‘ movement. This Ulrichs sent his book also to Marx and Engels, apparently hoping to find support (already then they tried to use the labor movement for their own ends). Marx apparently refused to essentially take note of this book at all, and gave it to Engels, who in general was more familiar with these cultural questions, and the latter expressed himself unequivocally.
"That is really a very odd ‚Urning‘ you just sent me. Those are just unveilings being extremely against nature. The pederasts begin counting themselves and find that they are forming a power within the state. Only an organisation was missing, but according to this it seems to be already existing in the secret. And as they are counting so important men within all the old parties and even in the new ones, from Rösing to Schweitzer, their victory is inevitable. ‚Guerre aux cons, paix aux trous de cul‘, (1) it will go now. It is only a luck, that we personally are too old to have to fear, this party gaining victory, to have to pay bodily tribute to the victors. But the young generation! By the way, only possible in Germany that a guy like that appears, translates the dirt into a theory and invites: introite (2), and so on. Unfortunately he was not yet as courageous as to confess openly being ‚That‘, and still has to operate coram publico ‚from the front‘ even though not ‚from the front into‘ as he once says by mistake. But first wait until the new north-german penal law has acknowledged the droits de cul (3) then it will turn out quite differently. As for poor people from the front like us, with our childish favour for women, things will be going badly enough. If one could make use of that Schweitzer, it was to elicit from this strange man of honour the personal details of the high and the highest ranging pederasts, what surely would not be difficult for him as a congenial person...."Acting behind the back of Marx and Engels, Wilhelm Liebknecht in connection with the leaders of the Lassalleanians initiated the notorious "Gotha program" which is a strange collection of phrases, by which a reactionary body of thought is carried into the labor movement through the backdoor. About this program Marx wrote a devastating critique which belongs to the most fundamental documents of communism at all ("Critique of the Gotha Program"). There are several further documents dealing with it. The Gotha program is an opportunistic and arch-reactionary program, and those responsible for it had for a long time blocked the publication of this critique. In the beginning of the nineties Engels, who thus incurred the anger of Liebknecht and others, pushed through the publication of the "Critique of the Gotha Program". The reactions were corresponding. It is absolutely interesting that Engels, describing Liebknecht‘s activities, does so in connection with expressions about the homosexuality among Lassalleanians, as the decisive Lassalleanian, Hasselmann, again was one of the "guild", and Engels was suspicious against several Lassalleanians to be of this nature.
(Marx Engels Werke vol.32 -German edition - p. 324/5. Engels to Marx, June 22, 1869)
He writes in a letter to F.A. Sorge of Febr. 11, 1891:
"......Liebknecht, naturally, is angry as the whole criticism especially was aimed at him and he is the father who has begetted the rotten program together with the ass-fucker Hasselmann. ..."These two quotations already make it clear in the most drastic fashion how Engels looked at the matter. But Engels thought also about questions of the descent and the origin of homosexuality. This is to be seen very clearly by the fact that he worked a passage into "The Origin of the Familiy, Private Property and the State".
(Marx Engels Werke vol.38, German edition - p. 30/31) ( remark4 )
"The latter [the Greek men], who would have been ashamed to evince any love for their own wives, amused themselves with hetaerae in all kinds of amours. But the degradation of the women recoiled on the men themselves and degraded them too, until they sank into the loathsomeness of boy-love, degrading both themselves and their gods by the myth of Ganymede." ( remark5 )This book and its whole body of thought also corresponded to what Marx thought. Thus the position of Marx and Engels in this question is completely unequivocal. And all the more it is blatant, and aims at murdering the thinking, if a majority of the homosexualists simply wipes out the fact that this cannot have anything to do with Marxism, and wants to imprint their total mental and physical filthiness upon this movement. To everybody, however, who uncovers these things, the reaction from their part is a verbal running down, which cannot be limited by any means, with a subliminal threat also to all the others never to touch upon these things.
( remark5 ): The translation by Progress Publishers, Moscow, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works in three volumes, III, p. 239, was checked over by us. Their translation of the German "Widerwärtigkeit der Knabenliebe" by "perversion of boy-love" is not correct, so we had to replace it by the direct counterpart "loathsomeness" back to text