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

  • London
  • Trips to Hampstead Heath

London, September 2017, Primrose Hill

A green hill in the up-market area of the same name. Grafton Terrace is a 20-minute walk to the north, the London City skyline shapes the horizon to the south. With skyscrapers, offices and apartment blocks around Waterloo Station, largely built by as investments by property investors from Qatar, it was never envisaged that anyone would live in them.

But for those who do, the smallest residential units costs around £1.5 million and many of the apartment blocks have “poor doors”: separate entrances to apartments of lower standards for tenants with less money. These people are unwanted by the owners, but they are legally obliged to offer them living space.

Trips to Hampstead Heath
Around 1860, Karl Marx walks through the hills in northern London as often as he can, through Primrose Hill, Hampstead Heath and Highgate. He does so by medical order – the initial effects of years of working through the night and poor living conditions, of constant financial troubles, and large quantities of cigars appear: He suffers more and more from back pains, haemorrhoids, liver problems, biliary colic, vomiting and boils.

Oftentimes he is accompanied by Wilhelm Liebknecht – on Sundays, by his family, friends and visitors.