The City Museum Simeonstift in Trier

Simeonstraße 60, 54290 Trier   
Stadtmuseum

Stadtmuseum

Stadtmuseum

Stadtmuseum

Stadtmuseum

Stadtmuseum

Stadtmuseum

Stadtmuseum

Karl Marx 1818-1883. Stations of a life
5th May until 21st October 2018.

With the exhibition “Stations of a Life”, the City Museum Simeonstift in Trier retraces the eventful life of Karl Marx which had its beginnings in Trier in 1818. The tour follows his journey through life from Marx’s childhood and youth in Trier, through to his studies and his earliest professional experiences, until exile in London where he spent more than half of his life, and where he died in 1883.

Important developments and turning points are illustrated through the exhibition “Stations of a Life”. What roles did Trier, Paris and London play in the lives of Marx and his family? Who and what left their mark on the young philosopher? What did he think of his admirers and his critics?

Contemporary documents and personal accounts of his life, on an exhibition space of almost 600m², serve as a basis for these and many more questions, shed light on the life of Karl Marx, and paint a living picture of the man behind the icon.

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Karl Marx Statue

Nordallee 1, 54290 Trier   
Karl-Marx-Statue

Karl-Marx-Statue

Karl-Marx-Statue

Karl-Marx-Statue

Karl-Marx-Statue

Karl-Marx-Statue

In honour of the 200th birthday of Karl Marx, in 2015 the People’s Republic of China offered the city of his birth the gift of a Karl Marx sculpture as a symbol of friendship and appreciation. The square near Karl Marx House was considered as the location for the sculpture but the renowned Chinese artist and academic professor, Wu Weishan, preferred Simeonstiftplatz after an on-site visit at the beginning of 2016.

After the city council had officially decided to accept the gift following long discussions, only its size had to be negotiated. The originally planned height of 6.3 metres including pedestal was reduced to 5.5 metres. In view of the distribution of costs, the People’s Republic of China agreed to finance the pedestal including steps to sit on, as well as the costs of the statue itself and its transportation to Trier. The City of Trier’s remaining costs covering the removal of the soil, the building of the foundations, paving work and lighting came to around 39000 euros.

“I am portraying Marx in all his greatness with a determined look in his eyes”, said the artist. “His long hair and his long coat embody his wisdom. Karl Marx’s thoughts are contemplating the world. He is convinced that everything is in motion and that everything is changing. Marx is looking ahead and is quietly moving onwards.”

The bronze sculpture is to be revealed in a ceremony on 5th May 2018 on Karl Marx’s birthday at Simeonstiftplatz.

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Residence of Karl Marx

Simeonstraße 8, 54290 Trier   
Wohnhaus von Karl Marx

Wohnhaus von Karl Marx

Wohnhaus von Karl Marx

Wohnhaus von Karl Marx

Detail – Wohnhaus von Karl Marx

Detail – Wohnhaus von Karl Marx

卡尔·马克思故居

卡尔·马克思故居

On 1st October 1819 the lawyer, Heinrich Marx, father of Karl Marx, purchased the small baroque mansard roofed building at 1070 Simeonsgasse (now number 8 Simeonsgasse), not far from the Porta Nigra of a professional colleague, the legal counsel Peter Schwarz. For the amount of 18,987 francs and 20 cents it was agreed to make payment by installments, and so the family moved here from Brückengasse.

After the father had converted from his Jewish faith to protestantism between 1816 and 1819 in order to improve his chances of career progression, the children, Sophia, Karl, Hermann, Henriette, Louise, Emilie and Caroline were also christened as Protestants in this house on the 26th August 1824. Karl was home schooled by his father here until he moved to the local grammar school in 1830. Karl Marx lived in Simeonstrasse until his secondary school graduation in Autumn 1835.

Afterwards he left Trier to begin his studies at the University of Bonn, and only returned to Trier a few times and just for short visits. The mother, Henriette Marx, is last recorded as being at this address at the end of 1850 with the house probably sold between 1851 and 1852. With the interior renovated and greatly changed, a shop can now be found on the ground floor. Now only a memorial plaque above the entrance to the house serves as a reminder of the one-time resident, and of the city of Trier’s most famous son.

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Judengasse

Judengasse, 54290 Trier   
Judengasse

Judengasse

Judengasse

Judengasse

Judengasse

Judengasse

Detail – Judengasse

Detail – Judengasse

Judengasse

Judengasse

In the middle ages, Jewish overseas goods traders, money lenders and livestock dealers were important members of the economic life within the diocese of Trier. It was probably in the second half of the 10th Century that the Jewish quarter in Trier was established between the Hauptmarkt, Jakobstrasse and Stockstrasse.

The entrance gates to the area were closed at night. At the beginning of the 14th Century, the Jewish community was having its boom years with the ghetto consisting of around 60 buildings where more than 300 people lived. Here you could find, along with other community facilities, a synagogue, which was used off and on until 1418.

During the persecution of Jews at the time of the Black Death in the middle of the 14th Century, the Trier Jewish community was destroyed. Neither the church nor the municipal authorities were able to bring a halt to the plundering mob. The displaced Jewish families settled into villages in the region that was outside the Prince-Elector’s jurisdiction and there they built new communities.

In 1418 all Jews were eventually exiled from the diocese of Trier. They were ousted and had to give up all their worldly possessions. This also included their cemetery in the area which is today the Viehmarktplatz. In the cellar of number 4 Judengasse you will still find a mikvah which is a Jewish ritual bath. A permanent “documentation site of Jewish life” is to be established in this building, covering from the beginnings in the Roman times, through the boom years in the middle ages, and up until the Holocaust and the reconstruction after 1945.

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The Cathedral Museum

Bischof-Stein-Platz 1, 54290 Trier   
Museum am Dom

Museum am Dom

Gefängnis hinter dem Dom 1960er Jahre

Gefängnis hinter dem Dom 1960er Jahre

Museum am Dom

Museum am Dom

In the first half of the 19th Century, Trier was one of the poorest areas in Germany. In 1831 almost a third of the population were reliant on assistance. 81% were living on or below the breadline by the time of the mid-19th Century, which is why many people migrated to the US and above all to Brazil.

The ancient right of all local people to collect dead wood to burn for fuel became subject to strict punishments by the Prussian government. In the judicial year of 1828/29 alone there were over 9,000 convictions in Trier for wood related crimes. Karl Marx aired these grievances in several of his articles in the newspaper, the “Rheinische Zeitung”.

Poverty also pushed many women into prostitution. Around 1828, more than 80% of the inmates of prisons were women, of which more than 80% were prostitutes. Because the prisons were so overfull, the city’s master builder Johan Georg Wolff (1789-1861) constructed the Royal Prussian Prison in 1832/33 on Windstrasse in place of the Kurie Metzenhausen, which was one of the most beautiful renaissance buildings in Trier.

Here, in the shadow of the Cathedral, the revolutionaries of the 1848 democratic revolution were incarcerated including Karl Marx’s former schoolmate Victor Valdenaire. In the years from 1983-1988, in the process of conversion, the two-storey building was subject to complete gutting in order to turn it into the episcopal cathedral and diocese museum, which later became the Cathedral Museum.

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Jesuit Church and Grammar School

Jesuitenstraße, 54290 Trier   
Jesuitenkirche

Jesuitenkirche

Jesuitenkirche 1925

Jesuitenkirche 1925

Jesuitenkirche

Jesuitenkirche

耶稣会教堂和高中

耶稣会教堂和高中

The Jesuit college, which later became the Friedrich-Wilhelm Grammar School, was founded in 1561, and until the Second World War took place in the building of what is now the Episcopal Seminary on Jesuitenstrasse. Karl Marx’s time at the Trier Grammar School lasted only five years however, from 1830 until 1835. He had previously been home schooled for a number of years by his father. In 1835, at 17 years of age, Marx received a grade point average of 2.4 in his Abitur, the final year exam at school, with a 1 being the highest grade. Under Rector Johann Hugo Wyttenbach (1767–1848), also Dean of the Trier City Library, librarian of the literary society and founding member of the Society for Beneficial Research, as well as teachers like Johannes Steininger (1794-1874), the school had a strong liberal ethos.

For example, Karl Marx’s fellow pupils were the “forty-eights”, Friedrich Zell, Ludwig Joseph Bleser, Viktor Valdenaire and Ludwig Simon who all graduated between 1832 and 1836. However, the Prussian government sought to counter such democratic sympathies. Wyttenbach was under the surveillance of the Prussian secret police. In addition to this, because of generally rampant poverty, the school was continuously losing pupils (in 1825 there were 457, in 1837 only 295). Only after the founding of the episcopal boarding school in 1840 did numbers rise again. Following the destruction of the school building in 1944 and several temporary lodgings, the school moved into its current building at Fausenburg in 1961.

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Casino at Kornmarkt

Kornmarkt 1, 54290 Trier   
Casino am Kornmarkt

Casino am Kornmarkt

Casino am Kornmarkt 1824

Casino am Kornmarkt 1824

Casino am Kornmarkt

Casino am Kornmarkt

位于粮食广场(Kornmarkt)的俱乐部

位于粮食广场(Kornmarkt)的俱乐部

The classical building at Kornmarkt, one of the most important large buildings from the Prussian era, was built in 1824/1825 by the master builder Johann Georg Wolff as a club house for the “Literary Casino Society” which was founded in 1817. This Casino Society, which was formed of political and social groupings, as well as of the reading circles of the late 18th and early 19th centuries’ educated classes, counted leading townspeople and Prussian officers as members. It was here that the enlightened, democratically-inclined educated class of Trier, to which the legal counsel Heinrich Marx belonged, organised itself and it was here the cultural scene of Trier took play.

It was at one of the Casino Society’s historically famous and lively balls where Karl Marx fell in love with the “Queen of the Ball” and his later wife, Jenny von Westphalen. In 1834 his father, Heinrich Marx, gave a speech at the Casino where he outlined what the people’s constitutional desires were. A few days later some of the members sang the Marseillaise and waved the tricolour, to which the Prussian officers left the Casino in protest, and then it was closed for several months. The building was destroyed in the Second World War and after its regeneration it served as the Casino of the French occupying soldiers. Since 2004 it has been primarily used for gastronomic events.

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Birthplace of Karl Marx

Brückenstraße 10, 54290 Trier   
Geburtshaus von Karl Marx

Geburtshaus von Karl Marx

Geburtshaus von Karl Marx 1930er Jahre

Geburtshaus von Karl Marx 1930er Jahre

Geburtshaus von Karl Marx – Detail

Geburtshaus von Karl Marx – Detail

Karl Marx was born in this house, number 10 Brückenstrasse on 5th May 1818, the third child of his Jewish parents, the lawyer Heinrich Marx (1777-1838) and his wife Henriette Marx, born Presburg (1788-1863). In 1727 the front building was newly built in baroque style, with the partly Gothic buildings behind being greatly altered. It was here that Marx was born in 1818. He spent only the first year and a half of his life in the house which his family had rented since April 1818. By 1819 his father had already bought a house of their own at number 8 Simeonstrasse where Karl Marx lived until his completion of secondary school and his departure from Trier in 1835.

The house at number 8 Simeonstrasse was left forgotten and was only identified as the birth place of Karl Marx by a Social Democrat because of a newspaper article. The Social Democratic Party bought the house in 1928 and had it extensively restored in order to open a memorial. However these efforts were in vain: in 1933 the house was subject to a compulsory purchase by the SA (the paramilitary wing of the Nazi party) and was turned into the headquarters and the printing press for the “Nationalblatt” newspaper. In 1947 the house was once again in the possession of the Social Democratic Party. Today it serves as a museum meant to convey the life, the works and the history of Karl Marx’s impact. In honour of the 200th birthday of Karl Marx, his place of birth was renovated and the permanent exhibition newly designed.

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The Residence of Jenny von Westphalen

Neustraße 83, 54290 Trier   
Wohnhaus von Jenny Westphalen

Wohnhaus von Jenny Westphalen

Detail – Wohnhaus von Jenny Westphalen

Detail – Wohnhaus von Jenny Westphalen

After his appointment to the Government cabinet, Ludwig von Westphalen moved to Trier in 1816 with his second wife Caroline, born Heubel, both sons from his first marriage and their daughter Jenny who had been born in 1815 in Salzwedel. In 1819 their son Edgar was born, who later went to the same school and became friends with Karl Marx. Jenny was also friends with Karl Marx’s elder sister Sophia so they spent a lot of time together as children.

However the financial position of the von Westphalens was not good. They possessed very little wealth and at home there were seven of them including an aunt and a cook. Nevertheless they tried to maintain a sophisticated lifestyle while fulfilling their representational duties. Ludwig von Westphalen gave his children an understanding of both classical Greek literature, and, in particular, of Shakespeare.

He was greatly admired by Marx, who recognized Ludwig´s abilities earlier than his father did. Jenny was not only exceptionally well-educated, at sixteen years of age she was also the “most beautiful girl” in Trier. The childhood and teenage friendship between Jenny and Karl Marx, who was four years younger, developed into love, which lead to secret engagement in 1836 before becoming an official one. And in 1841 Marx dedicated his dissertation to her father. After Ludwig von Westphalen’s death in 1842, Caroline gave up the house on Neustrasse and moved to Kreuznach with her daughter, where Jenny and Karl Marx got married one year later.

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Tufa

Wechselstraße 4–6, 54290 Trier   
Tufa

Tufa

Tufa 1982

Tufa 1982

Tufa

Tufa

In 1797, Johann Nicolaus Müller opened a dye-works and a textile business which used the Indian indigo plant in the dying process for the first time. This was located next to the Weberbach stream in Trier, which back then still flowed openly within the city. The founder’s sons expanded the business into a woollen yarn spinning mill and also into a weaving mill. The resulting Trier Textile Factory specialised in the manufacturing of loden and of buxkin materials for uniforms. However because of the falling demand for heavy materials after the First World War and the economic crisis, the textile business became less relevant and the textile factory was given up in 1927.

Many years later, in 1983, several individual artists as well as ensembles from the liberal cultural scene in Trier, who had neither rehearsal space nor exhibition or performance halls, came together to form a cultural workshop association. Their shared goal was to set up a cultural centre. As part of the preparations for Trier´s 2000th year celebrations in 1984, the ailing buildings of the former textile factory, which were at the time under the ownership of the city, came into focus and which following extensive renovation will shortly host two large anniversary exhibitions as well as serve as a cultural centre.

Since its founding in 1985 the diverse offerings of the Tufa, which are aimed at all social classes and age groups, record around 70,000 visitors each year. The governing committee is made up of representatives from 29 individual associations from across the cultural spectrum.

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Weberbach

Weberbach 1, 54290 Trier   
Weberbach

Weberbach

Weberbach, undatiert, Synagoge im Hof des fünften Hauses von links
Copyright: Fotosammlung Wilhelm Deuser im Stadtarchiv Trier

Weberbach, undatiert, Synagoge im Hof des fünften Hauses von links

Weberbach

Weberbach

In ancient times the street was part of the Roman road network and connected the imperial saunas to the area where the double basilica was later built (today the Cathedral, and the Basilica of Our Lady). In the Early Modern Age wool weavers and wool dyers came to settle here and could wash their wools and rinse the dyed items in the water of the through-flowing Weberbach (which flowed openly until 1820).

When in the 16th and 17th Centuries Jews were gradually given permission to stay in the diocese of Trier again, they no longer lived in their own quarter or ghetto as they had done in the Middle Ages until their exile, but rather spread out across the city, and above all in the Weberbachstrasse area.
As can be read on the memorial plaque on the building which is now Pax-Bank, a synagogue stood here from 1761 until 1859 which was a religious focal point for the Jewish community in Trier. It was the base of activity for Karl Marx’s grandfather, Mordechai Marx Levi (around 1746-1804) who, as his father-in-law had been before him, was a supplier of clothing to the office of the regional rabbi of the archdiocese of Trier, and following the dissolution of the electoral state of Trier in 1704, a supplier to each of the Trier city rabbis.

His son, Heinrich Marx, lawyer at the court of appeal of Trier, broke family tradition. Between 1816 and 1819 he converted to Protestantism for professional reasons as it would not have been possible for him as a Jew to join the civil service. He even baptised his children as Protestants in 1824, including his son Karl.

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Rheinisches Landesmuseum

Weimarer Allee 1, 54290 Trier   
Rheinisches Landesmuseum

Rheinisches Landesmuseum

Rheinisches Landesmuseum

Rheinisches Landesmuseum

Rheinisches Landesmuseum

Rheinisches Landesmuseum

Karl Marx 1818-1883. Life.Works.Time.

Rheinisches Landesmuseum
5th May until 21st October 2018

The Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Trier examines Karl Marx and his century with the exhibition “Life. Works. Time”. On around 1000m² of exhibition space, the intellectual as well as the political career of Marx is retraced. With its economic and social upheaval, the 19th Century left its mark on the philosopher and later economist. Attempts made for freedom and democracy as well as industrialisation and urbanisation were hallmarks of these lively yet tense times.

Born into a time with an economically aspirational bourgeoisie, he soon learned the meaning of censorship, repression and poverty. Marx went through rapid development from a philosopher, to a radical democrat, to a communist and a critic of society, and developed from a journalist into a revolutionary by way of the written word.

Following the failed revolution of 1848 he continued his economic studies while in exile in London and it was here he worked on his analyses of an ever more fervently developing capitalist society. Such works are still being discussed today.

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