Karl Marx House – Trier, Germany - Atlas Obscura

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Karl Marx House

The birthplace of Karl Marx is now a museum dedicated to the communist revolutionary's life and work. 


Here is where it all began for Karl Marx: his family house in Trier, Germany, which is now a fantastically interesting museum dedicated to the communist revolutionary’s life and writings.

The house museum touches on Marx’s humble origins and family life, his numerous career paths and fluctuating fortunes, and finally it details the decades that he spent in exile in London where he eventually died. It paints a picture of Marx’s social relevance with a well-researched exhibition on his impact and influence on the world. 

To give a little background, Marx was born in this house in May 1818. The original property was built in 1727, and it is believed Marx lived in No. 10. However, this building was rebuilt and extended under a number of later owners of the property.

Interestingly, the building was not recognized as the birthplace of Karl Marx until 1904. It was then that the Socialist Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) began trying to buy the property. They eventually succeeded on 26 April 1928, and got to work restoring the building.

The party hired a Jewish architect, Gustav Kasel, to oversee the remodeling and extension. The timing wasn’t great however, and the recently elected Nazi party in Germany brought the plans to an abrupt halt in May 1933. The property was seized and a number of artifacts, books and relevant paperwork were destroyed. During the following 12 years the house was the residence of the local Nazi district leader.

Very quickly after the defeat of Nazi Germany, the SPD began attempts to resume ownership of the property. They succeeded with the help of the international solidarity committee and opened the property to the public in 1947. In 1968 the SPD entrusted the house to the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and in 1983, on the 100th anniversary of Marx’s death, a radically refurbished house was again revealed to the public.

Anyone one with an interest in Marx should take some time to visit the location. There are a number of interesting rooms to visit and a lovely garden featuring a few sculptures of the father of socialism.

Adapted with Permission from Andy of Go Apocalypse.

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