Karl Marx House

Brückenstraße 10, 54290 Trier
Karl Marx House, 1
Karl Marx House, 2

In the house at Brückenstraße 10 in Trier, Karl Marx was born on 5 May 1818. His parents, the Jewish Marx family, had rented six rooms here, and he was the only one of his eight siblings to be born here, as the family had already moved to their own house in Simeonstraße in the autumn of 1819. His father converted to Christianity for political and professional reasons, and his children and wife Henriette also converted to Protestantism in 1824 and 1825 respectively.

In the decades after the Marx family moved out, the house was rebuilt and extended several times. In 1928, the SPD bought the building to set up a museum for the history of the workers' movement and a memorial to Karl Marx. However, this only came about after the Second World War, as the Nazis occupied the house in 1933 and expropriated the SPD. Since 1947, the house has served as a museum, and in 1968 it was handed over to the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, which is close to the SPD and has established an internationally visited place of learning and information here.

In the current exhibition, which opened in 2018 to mark the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx's birth, the building itself is the largest exhibit. Karl Marx is shown here as a family man, as a thinker and revolutionary, as a philosopher, journalist, economist and social scientist - and against the backdrop of the scientific, technical and, above all, political upheavals of the 19th century. The importance of this Jewish lawyer's son, who was born in Trier, can still be seen today all over the world, as can be seen from the number of visitors to the museum, who come from over 100 countries and all continents of the world.

Marx's critique of the state and constitution of his time and his sharp analyses of the mechanisms of the capitalist economic and social system inspire many. Intellectuals and political activists, social and political movements made him great in the 20th century. They used him for their purposes - in both a positive and negative sense. He is regarded as a political symbol, as a saviour, as the grimace of communism, as an icon, but also as an impulse for critical reflection on our society. His claim to want to change the world and his questions about the causes of poverty and prosperity make him still relevant today.

Author: Elisabeth Neu
Editorial staff: Prof. Dr. Frank G. Hirschmann


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