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German City Unveils Monument To 'Father Of Communism' Karl Marx

A worker helps install a statue of German philosopher, economist, political theorist and sociologist Karl Marx in his hometown of Trier last month.

Officials in the German city of Trier have unveiled a controversial monument to political philosopher Karl Marx to mark the 200th anniversary of his birth in the city.

Some 4,000 people were on hand on May 5 to see the 5.5-meter-tall bronze statue, which was donated by the government of China.

Anticommunist rightists, victims of communism, supporters of the banned Chinese Falun Gong movement, and members of the antimigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party marched in protest.

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.

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.

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.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP