Two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, some eastern Germans are once again carrying round images of Karl Marx – if only in their pockets. The disappearance of communist former East Germany has not deterred them from using credit cards emblazoned with the image of the man who foretold the end of capitalism and the triumph of communism.
More than a third of customers at Sparkasse bank in Chemnitz opted for the picture of a bronze bust of the bearded 19th-century German-born philosopher, a bank spokesman said. Marx's stern face is depicted gazing toward the logo of MasterCard.
Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, citizens of Chemnitz – then known as Karl-Marx-Stadt – and the rest of East Germany would have seen Marx's face on their 100-mark banknotes. Chemnitz has been economically depressed since the end of communism and its population has shrunk by 20 per cent.
The east has witnessed a wave of nostalgia in recent years for aspects of the old East Germany, or DDR, where citizens had few freedoms but were guaranteed jobs and social welfare.
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