Saturday, June 16, 2012
Bank in former East Germany issues Karl Marx credit cards
The Sparkasse bank in Chemnitz which was formerly part of East Germany issued credit cards with an image of Karl Marx on the front. Over a third of the bank customers chose a card with the image of the19th century German philosopher and revolutionary activist.
Poor Marx however is gazing toward the Mastercard Logo. Chemnitz was at one time Karl Marx Stadt so it is fitting that the card is issued there. At the time Karl Marx was depicted on the100 Mark banknotes.
Even though the city is now Chemnitz it still has a seven meter tall bust of Marx in the center of the city. Since the end of communism the city has been in the economic doldrums and lost twenty per cent of its population.
Indeed there is some nostalgia for former times when although political freedoms were absent and any opposition was severely repressed jobs were guaranteed and there were generous welfare programs.
In 2008 a survey showed over 50 per cent of eastern Germans thought the free market economy was not suitable. Forty three percent wanted socialism again. This is somewhat remarkable in that Germany is among the best off now of European economies. For more see this article in the Globe and Mail.