The birthplace of Karl Marx, a baroque residence built around 1727, acquired by the German Social Democratic Party in 1928, has been operated by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) as a museum since 1968. A new permanent exhibition opened in this historical and political place of learning on the occasion of Marx’s 200th birthday on May 5, 2018.
The new permanent exhibition in the house of his birth – the largest exhibit – is devoted to the person of Karl Marx as well as to the 19thcentury critic of society and capitalism. His ideas still have an impact on people today.
The exhibition unit Biography shows Marx as an oppositional activist marked by the upheavals of the 19th century, a man forced into a life of exile in different European cities. In the Works unit, Marx’s ideas are illustrated in the four main Works categories philosophy, journalism, social sciences, and economics.
The exhibition unit Impact traces Marx’s effect from the 19th century to the present. When Marx died in London in 1883, he did not leave behind a unified teaching, a task left to successive generations to form. Socialist and communist regimes worldwide in particular exploited Marx, who became a political figure of controversy. The financial crisis of 2007/2008 triggered the current “Marx Renaissance.” The crisis again focuses on an analysis of the capitalistic economic system and its demand for emancipation for all of humanity. Highlights of the exhibition are new original objects, a draft of a letter by Marx, and his London arm chair, where he did his reading.