Karl Marx Poster


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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 5 May 1818Trier, Grand Duchy of the Lower Rhine, Prussia [now Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany]
Date of Death 14 March 1883London, England, UK  (natural causes)
Birth NameKarl Heinrich Marx
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Karl Heinrich Marx was born on May 5, 1818, into a wealthy family in Tier, Germany. His father, Hershel Mordechai, was the son of a rabbi. Karl converted to Lutheran Christianity because Jews were not allowed to practice law. He graduated from the Trier Gymnasium, then studied law at the University of Bonn, where he was briefly a president of the Trier Tavern Club. He transfered to the Fridrich-Wilhelms-Universitat in Berlin, from which he graduated in 1841 with a doctorate in philosophy. He abandoned a university career and became an editor of a liberal newspaper, "Rheinische Zeitung", in Cologne. A year later the paper was shut down by the Prussian government. Marx moved to France, where he wrote "Zur Judenfrage" ("On the Jewish Question", 1843), a critique of civil rights in his time.

In Paris Marx met Friedrich Engels. Engels was the son of a wealthy capitalist and supported Marx throughout his life. Together they developed the communist ideology. Police forced him to leave Paris and he moved with Engels to Brussels. There he developed the materialist conception of history and wrote "The German Ideology" and "The Poverty of Philosophy", which was a critique of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's socialist thought. On February 21, 1848, Marx and Engels published "The Communist Manifesto", which called for revolution instead of reforms. It described all human history as a class struggle. It was commissioned by the Communist League of German emigrants in London. Marx himself was active in London.

Police arrested Marx and expelled him from Belgium. He returned to Paris. There he managed to get the French government money to subsidize four hundred German immigrants' return tickets. In 1849 the French government collapsed and Marx returned to Cologne. There he was on two trials for his calls for armed rebellion of the poor. He was acquitted twice, but his newspaper was closed. He returned to Paris again, but was forced out. With the money from Engels he moved to London. There Marx lived for the rest of his life on financial contributions from Engels.

In London he became the central figure in a new organization called "The International Working Men's Association", which surfaced in 1864. Marx authored its first public statement in 1864, and many declarations and manifestos that followed. "Das Kapital"--his main work on economics--was drafted in three volumes. Only the first volume was completed and published in 1867. The second and third volumes remained unfinished and were published posthumously.

Marx and his wife Jenny von Westphalen had six children, three of whom died at young age. His daughter Eleanor was a socialist and assisted Marx in editing his works. She committed suicide in 1898. His other daughter, Laura, committed suicide in 1911. Karl Marx died on March 14, 1883, and was buried in Highgate Cemetery in London.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Spouse (1)

Jenny von Westphalen (19 June 1843 - 2 December 1881) (her death) (6 children)

Trade Mark (1)

His long, thick and white beard.

Trivia (15)

Children: Jenny (b. 1844), Laura (b. 1845), Edgar (b. 1846), Guido (b. 1849), Franziska (b. 1851) and Eleanor (b. 1855).
Was a Communist
Three of his children (Edgar, Guido and Franziska) died at young age. Youngest daughter Eleanor committed suicide in 1898.
Interred at Highgate Cemetery, London, England
Eldest daughter Jenny died [of cancer] two months before Marx.
Died in his armchair.
Daughter Laura also committed suicide together with her husband Paul Lafargue in 1911.
His father, Herschel Mordechai, became a Protestant in order to escape antisemitism and changed his name to Heinrich.
In vol. 1 of "Das Kapital," Marx argued that the laws of capitalism will bring about its destruction. Capitalist competition will lead to a diminishing number of monopoly capitalists, while at the same time, the misery and oppression of the proletariat would increase. Marx claimed that the proletariat will gradually become "disciplined, united and organised by the very mechanism of the process of capitalist production" and eventually overthrow the system that is the cause of their suffering.
As he was dying, his housekeeper asked him to make a statement for posterity. Angrily, he threw a slipper at her and shouted, "Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven't said enough!" They were to be his last words.
Featured on the cover of The Beatles' album "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".
When some people accused the socialists of wanting to turn all women into prostitutes, Marx shot back that it was actually them who forced women into selling their bodies to make ends meet.
Toward the end of his life, Marx became very open to the idea of countries turning to socialism through peaceful, democratic means. He did stress, however, that this won't be true for all of them, since some countries are such oppressive authoritative states that only a revolution could make it possible.
He was a supporter of the Union (Slavery abolitionists) in the American Civil War and even exchanged a few letters with Abraham Lincoln where They discussed the war.
He was an early Feminist and supported extending more rights to women.

Personal Quotes (1)

The Established Church will more readily pardon an attack on thirty-eight of its thirty-nine articles than on one thirty-ninth of its income.

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