Berlin, May 5 (DP.net).– Germany marked the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth on Saturday, but celebrations risked being marred by protests as the revolutionary philosopher remains a divisive figure almost three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Marx’s birth city of Trier led commemorations of the man officials describe as a “great son of the city,” with 600 events planned around the 19th-century scholar hailed for foretelling the ills of capitalism.
The centerpiece of the festivities included the unveiling of a controversial 5.5-meter tall statue of the political philosopher — a gift from China.
The deputy head of the German branch of the PEN writers' association requested that the unveiling of the statue be postponed until Chinese poet Liu Xia has been released from house arrest and allowed to leave China (see REPORT), but the statue was unvailed today in Trier.
But it is also before the statue that the association representing victims of communism called protests against the thinker they blame for inspiring Stalinist regimes, and they marched in protest with supporters of the banned Chinese Falun Gong movement, and members of the antimigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party among other democratic groups.
At the same time, Marxist groups including the leftist Die Linke and German Communist parties marched to protest "capitalism and exploitation."
A heavy police presence kept the marchers separated and no incidents were reported.
Marx, the father of communism, wrote that societies develop through class struggle which would only end with the establishment of a classless communist society based on common ownership of the means of production.
According to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, created by the U.S. Congress in 1993, more than 100 million people have been killed by communist regimes in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, and other countries.