European Union chief: Don't judge Karl Marx for his followers' crimes

  • European Union chief: Don't judge Karl Marx for his followers' crimes

European Union chief: Don't judge Karl Marx for his followers' crimes

A statue of Karl Marx, donated by China, has been unveiled in the communist philosopher's hometown to commemorate his 200th birthday.

"I don't think that the talk about Marxism came all of a sudden, but the 200th anniversary of his birth is a very important time frame and there are many commemorative activities", Wang Xinsheng, a professor of Marxism at Nankai University in northern China, said.

Trier's mayor Wolfram Leibe said in the defence of accepting and unveiling the statue that historical controversies should be acknowledged, a Reuters report added. "We don't have to hide him".

The German group representing victims of communism, opposed the installation of the statue, saying that they do not mind discussions about the personality of Marx, but against the "worship" him. "So it was a conscious act to bring Karl Marx into the city ..."

Andrea Nahles (R), leader of Germany's social democratic SPD party, gives a speech prior to the opening of a new exhibition at the birth house of German revolutionary thinker Karl Marx on May 5, 2018 in his native city Trier in southwestern Germany.

While some see it as recognition of Trier's most famous son, others argue that accepting the gift from China is not compatible with criticising human rights abuses there.

Far-right party AfD, which enjoys strong support in former East German states, has separately called a silent march with the theme Get Marx off the pedestal through Trier's city centre.

The very first edition of Communist Manifesto in 1848, and a Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, which supposedly inspired Marx for writing Das Kapital, were exhibited in the Karl Marx House for the first time.

Because Marx was considered the father of communism, he was largely derided in the former capitalist West Germany during the Cold War.

"In Germany, we have this situation again and again with hard, complex personalities of history - we want to hide them in the woods", he said. "We are glad to receive this present, this gesture of friendship".