Trier is the oldest city in Germany. With a walk through the old town you will come across many Roman remains. But there is another thing that should not be missed: the Museum Karl-Marx-House, or the birthplace of Karl Marx.
Karl Marx is known as the founder of Marxism and Communism, a political ideology that originated in the 19th century. Who was Karl Marx and what was his life like in Trier? And why not skip this house when visiting this historic city?
Today, this birthplace of Karl Marx serves as a museum. For those who want to learn more about his life and ideas, this is the place to be…
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Who was Karl Marx?
Karl Marx was born on 5 May 1818 in Trier. His parents were the German Heinrich Marx and the Dutch Henriëtte Presburg from Nijmegen. Together they had 9 children and Karl was the third. The family had a reasonable degree of prosperity.
Until he was twelve years old he received private education at home and at the age of 17 he went to study law at the University of Bonn. After a year he switched to the University of Berlin to study philosophy.
Not much is known about the life of the young Marx in Trier. He received private education here, went to the gymnasium and left home when he went to study in Bonn.
The student Karl Marx
Karl Marx learned very quickly, but regularly neglected to give lectures in coffee houses in order to enter into discussions with philosophers. At the age of 22 he obtained his doctorate with a philosophical dissertation at the University of Jena. He had not made himself popular in Berlin by drawing other political and philosophical conclusions from the ideas of Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel (1770-1831).
“A ghost haunts Europe – the ghost of communism.”Karl Marx
Expulsion from Prussia and the Communist Manifesto
In 1943 Karl Marx married his childhood sweetheart Jenny von Westphalen (1814-1881. Marx became a journalist for the radical social-democratic newspaper Rheinische Zeitung, but after a year he left to work for Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher. Here he met Friedrich Engels (1820-1895).
Marx was exiled by France in 1845, after he had spoken positively about an attack on the Prussian king Frederick William IV. Prussia asked France to expel him and it did.
Marx and Engels fled to Brussels. Together they wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848, a year of revolution in European history with many uprisings. Marx and Engels returned to France, but decided to leave for London in 1850.
“Proletarians of all countries, unite!”Karl marx
London and Das Kapital
Marx lived in London until his death on 14 March 1883. It was not a pleasant time, Marx and his family regularly lived in poverty. His bosom friend Engels regularly supported him with money. Marx wrote his best-known work in England, Das Kapital.
In Das Kapital, Marx denounces the ever-increasing role of capitalism. It would only lead to a small group of rich people who would exploit the ordinary workers. He predicted a class struggle in which the ever-increasing working class would take over power in the country.
This would lead to a fairer distribution of wealth and prosperity. In the 20th century, communist and socialist political parties were largely inspired by the ideas of Marx.
“Get out of here! Last words are for idiots who haven’t said enough!”The last words of Karl Marx before his death
The current Museum Karl-Marx-House
The house at 10 Brückenstraße has only recently been inhabited by the Marx family. Shortly after the birth of Karl Marx, the family moved to a building on Simeonstraße 8. Nowadays there is an optician there and not to be admired from the inside (unless you need glasses!).
It was not until 1904 that it was discovered that this was the original house of Karl Marx. It came into the hands of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in 1928. They wanted to make it a memorial for Marx, but the Nazis occupied the building in 1933 and turned it into a party building.
After the Second World War, the SPD got the building back as a memorial. In 1968 the building opened as a library, museum and research institute for those interested.
Visit the Museum Karl-Marx-House in Trier?
The birthplace of Karl Marx is interesting to learn more about his life and ideas. It is not for nothing that he is seen as one of the most important ideologues in history. Depending on your interests, a visit takes about a few hours.
How do you get there?
The Karl-Marx House is located in the old town of Trier. From the train station it is a 20-minute walk to the museum.
Adres: Brückenstraße 10, 54290 Trier, Germany
Google Maps: Museum Karl-Marx-House
The Karl-Marx House Museum is open every day from 9am to 6pm. Admission to the museum costs € 5 p.p.
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