Starting in May 2018, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation will show a new permanent exhibition in the birthplace of Karl Marx. Karl Marx was not only a man influenced by the upheavals of the 19th century, an analyst and critic of the capitalistic social order, pioneer of social democracy in Germany, Europe and the world but also a political activist who wished to change the world according to the ideas of the French Revolution – Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Not only the reception and interpretation of Marx’s works will be on view but also how he became a politically controversial figure through the instrumentalisation of his thought and his person by socialist and communist regimes worldwide. Nevertheless his demands for emancipation for all of mankind and his analytical methods of economic systems as practiced in times of current economic crises have lost none of their explosive nature or significance.
The birthplace of Karl Marx, built as a baroque residence around 1727, was purchased by the German Social Democratic Party in 1928, and has been conducted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) as a museum since 1968. It is a place of learning for political history with a permanent exhibition on the life, works and impact of Karl Marx and a programme of events on both historical and current questions of social politics. The constantly large number of about 40,000 interested visitors annually from Germany (40%) and abroad (60%) attests to the museum’s appeal and its international drawing power.