Marx as a Migrant – A digital narrative

Karl Marx lived a long life as a migrant. Fleeing from the Prussian state, censorship and possible arrest, important stops on his journey were Paris, Brussels and London. These cities shaped his political activities, his engagement with political fellow-travellers, as well as his intellectual development and thus his entire work.

At the click of a mouse, you can follow Marx as a migrant from city to city. You can not only immerse yourself in his time, but also discover that even today, traces of his life and work continue to be seen in Paris, Brussels and London.

Each station takes about 45 minutes.


Marx as a Migrant

  • Paris
  • French-German Yearbooks

“Much gossip à querelles allemandes”

Karl and Jenny Marx befriend Georg and Emma Herwegh. Both Marx and the poet, who was also expelled from Prussia for his criticism of the politics there, had worked for the Rheinische Zeitung.

Emma Herwegh holds a literary salon frequented by critical intellectuals and emigrants including the publicists Karl Ludwig Bernays, Louis Blanc and Pawel Annenkov, as well as the French social philosopher Pierre Joseph Proudhon.

Karl und Jenny – eloquent, sharp-witted and fond of argument – are also welcome and regular attendees.

The couple cultivate a particularly close friendship with Heinrich Heine. The poet, satirist and political journalist becomes Marx’s closest friend in Paris. Heine soon visits him and Jenny nearly every day.

Jenny Marx would later write in “Short Outlines of a Turbulent Life”:

“We lived at Rue Vanneau in the Faubourg Saint Germain and had dealings with Ruge, Heine, Herwegh, Mäurer, Tolstoy, Bakunin, Annenkow, Bernays and tutti quanti. Much gossip à querelles allemandes.”