Home News Reports Karl Marx had impregnated his maid and didn't own up the child

Karl Marx had impregnated his maid and didn’t own up the child

In 1983, NYTimes published an article which spoke at length about Karl Marx's illegitimate child

Considered the father of Communism, Karl Marx reportedly had a side of his which has been kept well-hidden. As per an archived opinion piece on NYTimes by Ralph Buultjens, Marx has a secret which is not that well known. Marx had reportedly impregnated his family maid and then didn’t own up the child.

The portion of NYTimes article which mentions his illegitimate child which Marx abandoned is reproduced here in its entirety:

In 1851, while living in London, Marx fathered an illegitimate son by Helen Demuth, the longtime family maid. Fearing that this indiscretion would destroy his marriage and damage his public image, he organized an effective cover-up, whose participants were Marx’s friend and collaborator Friedrich Engels and Helen Demuth.

- Ad - - article resumes -

Engels pretended he was the father and Miss Demuth confirmed the deception. The infant, Fredrick Demuth, was given away to be brought up by a working-class family in London. The secret was preserved for more than four decades. In 1895, on his deathbed, Engels confessed to Eleanor Marx -one of Marx’s two surviving daughters. She was shattered by the revelation. Three years later, she committed suicide. In 1911, Marx’s other daughter, Laura, killed herself. Freddy Demuth grew up a neglected, lonely child. Marx could not afford any support. Engels, on whom Marx depended financially, sent small, infrequent remittances. Both Marx and Engels distanced themselves from Freddy. Marx never saw the boy. Freddy Demuth was poorly educated. For most of his life, he worked as a laborer and toolmaker. After Marx’s death, he established closer contact with his mother, who had then become Engels’s housekeeper. Freddy visited her weekly but was allowed only into the kitchen and servants’ rooms through the back door. Engels, like Marx, shunned him. After his mother’s death in 1890, Freddy hardly ever saw Engels. Neither Marx nor Engels provided a legacy for him. However, Marx’s daughters did give Freddy some money from their share of both estates. In 1929, after a hard, obscure life, Freddy died at 78 in a poor section of London. Nobody, not even his mother, told him the truth about his paternity and he died believing he was Engels’s bastard child. Marx’s secret was well-concealed. In his lifetime, only Helen and Engels shared in this confidence. On his death, they screened his papers to eliminate references to Freddy. Later, about the time Engels died, a few associates and family members came to know of the Demuth affair, but it was not much discussed. While researching this part of Marx’s life, a part that contains many clues to the development of his ideas, I became convinced that many Marxists had built a wall of silence around this secret. No major Soviet biographical material about Marx mentions Freddy. Other Marxists brush it off as irrelevant gossip. It is clear that to the Marxist world, Fredrick Demuth did not exist, or that the subject is taboo. The heroic proletarian image of the father of the revolution must not be tarnished by evidence of his duplicity, hypocrisy, frailty.

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Big Story

SC will hear Ghulam Nabi Azam's petition against abrogation of Article 370 on 16th September

2019 World Cup Is Here!

Catch the latest on Cricket World Cup as it unfolds, special coverage by Opindia

To Advertise on Opindia.com Click here

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala slams notions of economic crisis gripping the country

“I don’t want Pappu to be my Prime Minister”: Investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala says PM Modi has performed very well

In an explosive interview, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala pulled no punches in rubbishing the doomsayers casting aspersions on Modi government

Prashant Kishor’s team starts reaching out to media and influencers with ‘paid content’ offers ahead of West Bengal assembly elections

Darjeeling Chronicle has exposed how Prashant Kishor led IPAC is reaching out to 'influencers' and digital portals to carry out paid campaigning for TMC and Mamata Banerjee ahead of 2021 West Bengal state elections
Image Source: twitter

Malala Yousafzai spreads fake news, claims girl from Kashmir missed her exams on August 12 which was an Eid holiday

According to Malala, one of the three girls from Kashmir missed her exams on August 12. However, August 12 is a notified holiday declared across the country by Government of India on the occasion of Bakr Id or Eid ul-Adha.

‘Kashmir free from shackles of Pakistan sponsored terrorism’: Pakistani org representing Pashtuns refuses to support Imran Khan’s Kashmir protest, backs India

Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), the principal body representing Pashtuns in Pakistan, has rejected Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent call to all people in which he urged them to come out and support Pakistan’s narrative on Kashmir. 
Sharad pawar invents a new excuse to shift the blame of the defeat in the Lok Sabha polls

Pakistan hospitable, BJP govt spreading lies about Pakistan for political gains: NCP supremo Sharad Pawar at minority event

NCP chief Sharad Pawar expressed his admiration for terror state Pakistan stating that the people of Pakistan are "very hospitable" while blaming BJP govt for spreading lies about Pakistan for political gains

Raj Thackeray’s MNS, with zero Vidhan Sabha seats, threatens to boycott forthcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections

Raj Thackeray's MNS is contemplating to boycott the upcoming Maharashtra state assembly elections
Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri

Vivek ‘Ranjan’ Agnihotri speaks about caste politics being played in Bollywood

Vivek Agnihotri responds to Neeraj Ghaywan’s tweets, and also shares a hitherto unknown trivia about his full name.
Allahabad University professor goes on indefinite leave after video insulting Hindu gods goes viral

Allahabad University professor who had boasted of urinating on a Shivling in viral video goes on indefinite leave, claims ‘lynching’ fear

Dr Vikram Harijan had claimed in the video that he had once urinated on a Shivling just to prove that the gods cannot do him any harm.

‘I begged them to kill me’: Uighur Muslim woman describes her torture in Chinese concentration camp

The Chinese have attracted very little retribution from the international community for its inhumane treatment of Uighur Muslims.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories
[newsletter_form type="minimal"]
- Advertisment -

Latest articles

Connect with us

182,753FansLike
179,927FollowersFollow
97,282SubscribersSubscribe
Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post