Gottfried Kinkel: “Humanity”

Excerpt, “The Poetry of Germany, Consisting from Upwards of Seventy of the Most Celebrated Poets.”  Translated into English Verse by Alfred Baskerville.  1853.

Johann Gottfried Kinkel (1815-1882)  was born at Obercassel near Bonn. In 1846 he was appointed extraordinary professor of the history of art at the University of Bonn. In 1848, with his wife and Carl Schurz, he started a newspaper, the Bonner Zeitung, mostly devoted to following revolutionary activities, but also providing the traditional material like musical and theatrical reviews which people expected then from a full-service newspaper.

In 1849, Kinkel joined the armed rebellion in the Palatinate, believing himself to be acting legally in obedience to the directives of the Frankfurt rump parliament.  Wounded in battle, he was arrested and later sentenced to perpetual  imprisonment.  Yet in 1850, Kinkel achieved a daring and remarkable escape, descending by a rope from Spandau Prison’s wall.