The giant red cloth fell quickly, revealing a 5.50-meter-tall karl marx without snagging on its bronze corners or edges. Exactly 200 years after his birth, some people in trier celebrated the world-famous son of the city on the mosel on saturday with the first newly erected marx monument in germany since the end of the cold war.
Not far from the porta nigra from roman times, the others made no secret of their criticism, rejection and sometimes even hatred. Victims of communism, adherents of the falun gong movement banned in china, afd supporters and others protested against what they saw as too much jubilation for karl marx.
Probably the largest police deployment in the history of the 2,000-year-old city was to ensure peace and order. Several hundred officers were on duty, and the police command expressed satisfaction with the operation in the city of 110,000 inhabitants this afternoon.
"I don’t think we’re being brave by putting up a marx statue here," said trier’s mayor, wolfram leibe (SPD), about the 2.3-ton gift from the people’s republic of china. Trier has a responsibility as the birthplace of marx: "it is part of the intellectual challenge that we face up to this topic."
This was also the case at the ceremony: while numerous celebrities from the city, state and federal government as well as high-ranking chinese delegations took their seats in front of the mega-marx in bright sunshine, boos and whistles rang out. But there were no incidents. "It is good to argue about karl marx," said rhineland-palatinate’s minister president malu dreyer (SPD). The anniversary offers the opportunity to deal intensively and anew with marx. "One cannot attribute to karl marx, on the one hand, the atrocious deeds that have been committed in his name. But on the other hand one must not make a saint out of marx either."
Prominent congratulators had already gathered in front of the marx birthplace beforehand. TV host gunther jauch read out the birth certificate that his great-great-great-great-grandfather emmerich grach had signed as second mayor of trier in 1818. He learned about the marx connection by chance: "it’s quite funny, but it won’t change my life in the long run."The celebration in trier was appropriate: "this is a thoroughly coarse and politically and historically transformative theory that marx developed there."
Since the house in which marx lived on 5. Born on may 1818, belongs to the SPD-affiliated friedrich ebert foundation, party leader andrea nahles also took the floor. "Marx has shaped social democracy like no other," she said, while numerous chinese guests filmed her with their smartphones. After the end of the cold war, one can today "finally take a look at marx without prejudice". Marx is still up to date on some issues. And the celebration: "if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right," she said in the museum karl-marx-haus and hurried to the marx-decollation, which was watched by about 4000 spectators.
With the marx sculpture on the staircase-shaped pedestal, the city of trier wants to give the world revolutionary a permanent place. "Karl marx is from trier. We don’t have to hide him," said leibe. Until now, the city had found it rather difficult to deal with marx: it was the gift from china that lured the city’s leaders out of their previously cultivated distance to marx. But it is also clear that the giant marx should also be worth seeing – and should also attract more chinese to trier. About 50,000 a year already.
That could work: "the statue is a symbol of german-chinese friendship," said the vice minister of the information bureau of the state council of the people’s republic of china, guo weimin, in his speech. It reflects "the character and personal charm of the thinker". And then: the statue would certainly attract even more chinese attention." It comes from the chinese artist wu weishan and had been flown to germany. "Marx, the man with the sharp eye, has now returned to his homeland," said art professor wu.
Marx was on 5. May 1818 was born in trier and spent the first 17 years of his life there. He is considered the spiritual father of communism and is still controversial today.
But not all of the guests who came to the 200. The people who came to the camp were interested in politics, whether rough or small. For frederique longuet-marx, who had come from paris, it was a very personal day: "for me, karl marx is not only an important philosopher and thinker who changed the world and who is still relevant today. For me it is also the ur-ur-ur-grandfather that I had liked to meet."