Laura Marx

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Laura Marx in 1860

Jenny Laura Marx (26 September 1845 – 26 November 1911) was the second daughter of Karl Marx and Jenny von Westphalen. In 1868 she married Paul Lafargue. The two committed suicide together in 1911.[1]

Life and Death with Paul Lafargue[edit]

Laura Marx was born in Brussels. Paul Lafargue was a young French socialist who came to London in 1866 to work for the First International. There he became a friend of Karl Marx and got to know Marx's family, especially Laura Marx, who fell in love with him.

Paul and Laura married in 1868, and the Lafargues began several decades of political work together, translating Marx's work into French, and spreading Marxism in France and Spain. During most of their lives Laura and Paul Lafargue were financially supported by Friedrich Engels. They also inherited a lot of Engels' money when he died in 1895.

On 26 November 1911, the couple committed suicide together, having decided they had nothing left to give to the movement to which they had devoted their lives. Laura Marx was 66 and Paul Lafargue was 69. Paul Lafargue left a suicide note saying:

Healthy in body and mind, I end my life before pitiless old age which has taken from me my pleasures and joys one after another; and which has been stripping me of my physical and mental powers, can paralyse my energy and break my will, making me a burden to myself and to others. For some years I had promised myself not to live beyond 70; and I fixed the exact year for my departure from life. I prepared the method for the execution of our resolution, it was a hypodermic of cyanide acid. I die with the supreme joy of knowing that at some future time, the cause triumph to which I have been devoted for forty-five years will triumph. Long live Communism! Long Live the Second International.

Lenin spoke at their funeral in Paris. Krupskaya said that Lenin told her, "If one cannot work for the Party any longer, one must be able to look truth in the face and die like the Lafargues."[2]

Works[edit]

  • Laura Lafargue / Eleanor Marx – Aveling:Briefe und Schriften von Karl Marx ... Oktober 1895. In: Die Neue Zeit, 1895, p. 121
  • Karl Marx / Friedrich Engels:Manifeste du parti communiste. (Traduction de Laura Lafargue). V. Giard et E. Brière, Paris 1897
  • Karl Marx (das ist Friedrich Engels):Révolution et contre-révolution en Allemagne. Trad. par Laura Lafargue. V. Giard et E. Brière, Paris 1900 (Bibliothèque socialiste internationale 6)
  • Friedrich Engels:Religion, philosophie, socialisme. Trad. par Paul & Laura Lafargue. Jacques, Paris 1901 (Bibliothèque d'études socialistes 8)
  • Karl Marx:Contribution à la critique de l'économie politique. Traduit sur la 2e édition allemande de Karl Kautsky par Laura Lafargue. V. Giard et E. Brière, Paris 1909 (Bibliothèque socialiste internationale 11)

Biographies[edit]

  • Franz Mehring: Paul und Laura Lafargue. In: Die Neue Zeit, Stuttgart, 30. jg. 1911–1912, 1st Vol., p. 337-343
  • Friedrich Engels Paul et Laura Lafargue. Correspondance. Textes recueillis, annotés et présentés par Émile Bottigelli. Traductions de l'anglais par Paul Meier. Tome I.Édition Sociales, Paris 1956
  • Friedrich Engels Paul et Laura Lafargue. Correspondance. Textes recueillis, annotés et présentés par Émile Bottigelli. Traductions de l'anglais par Paul Meier. Tome II., Édition Sociales, Paris 1956
  • Friedrich Engels Paul et Laura Lafargue. Correspondance. Textes recueillis, annotés et présentés par Émile Bottigelli. Traductions de l'anglais par Paul Meier. Tome III., Édition Sociales, Paris 1959
  • Olga Meier (Hrsg.): Die Töchter von Karl Marx. Unveröffentlichte Briefe. aus dem Französischen und dem Englischen von Karin Kersten und Jutta Prasse. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Köln 1981 ISBN 3-462-01432-3
  • Irina Bach / Olga Senekina: Briefe von Mitgliedern der Familie Marx an Friedrich Engels. In: Marx-Engels-Jashrbuch 6. Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1983, p. 311-366
  • Olga Worobjowa / Irma Senelnikowa: Die Töchter von Marx 4. ed. Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1984
  • Rosie Rudich: Neue Briefe von Karl Marx und Laura Lafargue. In: Marx-Engels-Jahrbuch 8. Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1985, p. 283-314
  • Inge Werchan: Engels begutachtete Laura Lafargues überarbeitete französische Übersetzung des "Kommunistischen Manifests" aus dem Jahre 1894. In: Beiträge zur Marx-Erngels-Forschung 24, Berlin 1988, p. 112-116
  • Katharina Raabe (Hrsg): Deutsche Schwestern. Vierzehn Porträts. Rowohlt Berlin, Berlin 1997
  • Familie Marx privat. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 2005 ISBN 3-05-004118-8
  • Renate Merkel-Melis: „… that most untranslateable of documents …“. Engels’ Revision der französischen Übersetzung des „Kommunistischen Manifests“ von Laura Lafargue. In: Marx-Engels-Jahrbuch 2006. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 2007

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Francis Wheen. 1999. Karl Marx: A Life. London: WW Norton & Company. p386.
  2. ^ Joseph Hansen, Introduction to 1970 edition of Leon Trotsky My Life.