Karl Marx’s birth city sells ‘zero-euro’ bills for his 200th birthday

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Karl Marx’s birth city sells ‘zero-euro’ bills for his 200th birthday
Valueless souvenir currency is being sold in Rheinland-Palatinate in honour of Marx's 200th birthday. Photo: DPA

In Rheinland-Pfalz, Marx's 200th birthday bash is bringing in a lot of capital. Whether the communist philosopher would have been down with this commerce is hard to say.


Karl Marx was born on May 5th, 1818 in Trier in what is now Rheinland-Palatinate. Many cities in the surrounding area are using the upcoming anniversary to gain big capital from multiple Marx-themed memorabilia, including a ‘zero-euro’ bill introduced in March with the likeness of Karl Marx, who had a very distant relationship to money.

The German thinker is known for being the father of modern Communism, with groundbreaking works such as "Capital. A Critique of Modern Political Economy". The crux of his philosophy lies in the critique of capitalism and the use of money as an exploiter of workers.

However, in celebrations of Marx's birth, people are wasting no time attempting to gain as much ‘capital’ as possible.

In Chemnitz - a city that was called ‘Karl-Marx-Stadt’ during the GDR’s reign - there is a new beer with the name MarxStädter (Marx townspeople). In Trier, visitors can also purchase a Karl-Marx wine - a red one of course.

For those looking for a vessel for all of these Karl-Marx themed drinks, cups are also one of the items available for sale, with logos including Marx’s head, quotes from the famous philosopher, and red and green Marx traffic lights, which are also currently located in the city.

Marx-themed rubber ducks are among the souvenirs available for purchase in Trier. Photo: DPA

The real treasure in the Marx-themed merchandise, though, is a ‘zero-euro’ bill, which has been introduced to the international market by the Trier Tourism company for the last few months.

The first print of the 5,000 Marx-themed bills sold out in less than a month, said Trier Tourism representative Hans-Albert Becker. “They went all around the world, from South America to Australia.”

By the end April, there are expected to be more than 20,000 copies of the Marx-inspired zero-euro currency, which are available for pre-purchase on their website.

For the city of Trier, this is proving to be a lucrative business: The ‘zero-euro’ bill costs three euros.

As to whether or not Marx, who was avidly anti-market capitalism, would have liked having his face attached to money, the Trier Tourism boss Norbert Käthler told newspaper T-Online that he does not like to say.

However, Käthler said that he thinks, "the idea of a zero-euro at least takes off in the direction given by Karl Marx."




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