Bekanntgabe betreffend die Amnestie politisch Verurteilter - Maueranschlag
- Friedrich Wilhelm IV.; Preußen; König (Autor); Deckersche Geheime Ober-Hofbuchdruckerei Berlin (Druck)
- Berlin (Stadt)
of 20 March 1848 by King Frederick William IV
Like the king’s first proclamation of 19 March, on the day after the barricade battles of 18 March, this decree one day latter is another tactical move by Frederick William IV to ensure his own survival.
Frederick William IV was aware of the fate of Louis-Phillippe, the “citizen king” whom Parisians had forced to abdicate and flee, as well as Prince Metternich, the powerful Austrian chancellor who had to flee Vienna. Presumably prompted by his advisors, he makes further concessions and announces an amnesty for political prisoners. This especially benefits the Polish freedom fighters led by Ludwik Mierosławski, who were sentenced to death or lengthy terms for “high treason” and held in the new cell prison in Berlin-Moabit. Their 1846 uprising against Prussian rule in the majority Polish province of Posen had failed. Berliners cheered their triumphant march into the city centre.
Frederick William views the amnesty as a generous gesture of “forgive and forget”. This promotes the idea that those involved in the revolution are in his debt. The king wants them to have a guilty conscience.