Someone in some scribble in a matter-of-fact way made this assertion. Is it based on fact?

Here's the original quote (in Russian) and its googletrans + my light fixing:

Фридрих Энгельс упоминал о необходимости истребить наиболее отсталые европейские народы (басков, сербов), дабы те не задерживали развитие общественного прогресса. Ему вторили другие влиятельные социалисты – такие, например, как писатель-фантаст Герберт Уэллс.

Friedrich Engels referred to the need to destroy the most backward nations of Europe (Basque, Serbs), so they do not delay the development of social progress. He was echoed by other influential socialists - such, for example, as science fiction writer HG Wells.

  • 1
    Could you add some information on the context in which you found this? Where there any references?
    – Jeroen K
    Apr 13, 2014 at 12:14
  • No references were provided. The context is some sort of "beware of liberal fascism" screed. Apr 13, 2014 at 12:24
  • So they want us to beware of liberal Fascism and so they discredit Friedrich Engels, a Marxist thinker?
    – Jeroen K
    Apr 13, 2014 at 13:53
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    @JeroenK Don't look for logic there. Still, the person who wrote this is not likely to make things up - rather to pass on drivel he has read somewhere. Thus, I wonder if the alleged factoid can be tracked down. Apr 13, 2014 at 14:00
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    This is not Engels at his best, but it is "The Engels". The link to the English translation is given in Comintern's answer. If you do not trust the translation you can check the original here: mlwerke.de/me/me06/me06_165.htm
    – fdb
    Apr 16, 2014 at 18:42

2 Answers 2


This may be referring to The Magyar Struggle, from Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 194, January 13, 1849 (emphasis mine):

There is no country in Europe which does not have in some corner or other one or several ruined fragments of peoples, the remnant of a former population that was suppressed and held in bondage by the nation which later became the main vehicle of historical development. These relics of a nation mercilessly trampled under foot in the course of history, as Hegel says, these residual fragments of peoples always become fanatical standard-bearers of counter-revolution and remain so until their complete extirpation or loss of their national character, just as their whole existence in general is itself a protest against a great historical revolution.

Such, in Scotland, are the Gaels, the supporters of the Stuarts from 1640 to 1745.

Such, in France, are the Bretons, the supporters of the Bourbons from 1792 to 1800.

Such, in Spain, are the Basques, the supporters of Don Carlos.

Such, in Austria, are the pan-Slavist Southern Slavs, who are nothing but the residual fragment of peoples, resulting from an extremely confused thousand years of development.

Engels wrote quite a bit about Pan-Slavism following the First Pan-Slav Congress (much of it in this same vein), but this is the only explicit reference that I can find in some casual searching that mentions extermination.

As far as Wells goes, I'm guessing the someone from your scribble may have been referring to this line from A Modern Utopia:

There is only one sane and logical thing to be done with a really inferior race, and that is to exterminate it.

Based on some of the dialog on the talk page for Wells on Wikiquotes...

This quote mine originated with creationist scholar Richard Weikart in his cunning and dishonest book "From Darwin to Hitler" in which he attempts to blame Christians mass-murdering Jews on Charles Darwin. Because Weikart's hoax was popular with creationists, it has been copied onto many creationist websites. Weikart wrote as follows:

'Ideas about racial extermination were not unique to Germany, but became very influential elsewhere also. H. G. Wells epitomized an influential Anglo-American social Darwinist attitude when he stated that "there is only one sane and logical thing to be done with a really inferior race, and that is to exterminate it."'

...it seems like this has been repeated in quite a few other secondary sources in a context of advocating genocide. I'll defer judgment of whether this was taken out of context to the reader.

  • 2
    Good job tracking down this disgusting drivel.
    – Mike
    Apr 14, 2014 at 1:21
  • Wikipedia article: Völkerabfälle
    – cipricus
    Jun 29, 2020 at 17:19

This is part of the movie "The Soviet story", title is "Marks and Engels about Serbs". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZS4xOYFHMGw According to this movie the answer to question is yes, Engels did call for the extermination of Basques and Serbs.

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    The movie appears to refer to the same passage that @Comintern has provided in his answer. In my opinion (and I am no fan of Marx-Engels, btw) it's one that grates on modern ears but is not an incitement to genocide. I think it is descriptive rather than prescriptive - as in, "see, that's how the laws of history operate and that's how things are bound to turn out" rather than as in "that's what I propose to do". If you wish to argue the opposite, perhaps more evidence is required. Apr 19, 2014 at 16:16
  • Anyway, +1 for bringing a source and welcome to the site! Apr 19, 2014 at 16:18

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