Held at: German Society of Pennsylvania: Joseph P. Horner Memorial Library [Contact Us]611 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19123
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the German Society of Pennsylvania: Joseph P. Horner Memorial Library. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Karl Theodore Marx was a businessman, author, and activist, who was born and raised in Stuttgart, Germany, on February 2, 1902. His parents were of German and Irish origin and were originally from Cologne, Germany. As a young man in Germany, Marx trained in business administration and economics before immigrating to the United States in 1923. In 1930, he became an American citizen.
For one year, in 1930, Marx worked as a volunteer at the Amt für Berufsberatung (Office of Vocational Guidance) in Stuttgart and Munich, Germany, and, afterward, became prominent in vocational counseling work in the United States. He worked for the Works Progress Administration, and the Y.M.C.A., helping foreign-born people obtain work. In 1931, he was Vice President of the German-American Commercial League, Inc. (founded in New York in 1928 and known as the German American Vocational League, Inc., after 1936). Also, in Germany he spent several months at the Zeitungswissenschaftliche Institut in Berlin and in 1931 was the American representative of the P.G.Z. News Service of Berlin-Hamburg. At some point in the 1930s, he became employed by Robert Reiner, Inc., of Weehawken New Jersey, a company that manufactured textile machinery. Eventually, he became Vice President of that company before retiring in 1965.
Marx was married to Frida B. Marx, who was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1898. Frida was a graduate of the Hamburg schools of higher learning. Together they lived in New York City and Englewood, New Jersey, before moving to 11374 68th Avenue North, Largo, Florida, in 1965, when Karl retired. In 1984, Frida died at the age of 86, after a long illness.
During World War II, Marx’s only brother went missing near Smolensk, while serving in the German Army on the Russian Front, and his mother died in a bombing raid on Stuttgart, Germany.
Marx was a prolific writer in both the German and English languages. He wrote numerous articles about German-American personalities and places that appeared in newspapers and periodicals around the world. One of his most well known writings is the “Ephrata Legende,” which was published in 1942. Another is his translation and adaptation of the book “Die Tragödie von Stalingrad” by Oberst Herbert Selle, of the German Army, in 1957. The English title is “The German Debacle of Stalingrad” and it was published by the U.S. Army Staff and Command College. Other books he wrote include Der Feigling (1942), Nachdenkliches (aphorisms) (1943), Random Thoughts (aphorisms), and Deutsch-Amerikanische Aphorismen (Munich, 1956). He also wrote articles on technical issues for American and European trade papers.
Marx had a deep interest in German-American history. In 1933, he was one of the speakers at the 250th anniversary celebration of the founding of Germantown, Pennsylvania, and was responsible for appealing to the authorities in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to save the Ephrata Cloister in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, from dilapidation. He spent ten years lecturing and writing articles about Pennsylvania Dutch country in an effort to save the Cloister. His lectures included a film about those areas entitled “Pennsylvania-German Journey,” which he made himself. He also appealed for the restoration of the 18th-century King of Prussia Inn where George Washington attended Masonic rites.
Marx was also a lecturer at North Carolina State University, College for Textile Sciences and Technology, in Philadelphia, the Fashion Institute and several other institutes of learning. He was a Research Associate of the Kansas University’s Max Kade Research and Document Center, and, at one time, the Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas at Lawrence maintained a section containing writings by him. In 1980, he received an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from a university in Florida.
During his life Marx received several honors. In 1945, he was awarded a Red Cross citation in recognition of distinguished support of Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces on the Battle Fronts of the World. He received the Medal of Honor for Americanism from the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1965. And, in 1972, he was honored with a lecture given before the Foreign Language Association by Prof. Erich A. Albrecht at the University of Kansas at Ottawa. The title of the lecture was “Karl T. Marx, his Meritorious Contributions in the Realm of German Culture in America and his Literary Works.”
Marx was a lifelong member of the Steuben Society of America's Johann von Kalb Unit 46 of Halden, New Jersey, and a longtime member of the Bath Club in Largo, Florida.
Marx died in Florida on January 7, 1997.
This collection documents the activities of Karl T. Marx. The collection spans the years 1930 to 1984 with the greater part of the material dating from 1939 to 1984.
Included are personal correspondence; writings on technical subjects, poetry, prose, and German American and German history; newspaper and magazine clippings featuring Marx's own writings, or articles written about him; several photographs; and a book he authored.
Several folders reflecting other areas of interest include prints of Civil War engravings by Thomas Nast, some political interests from the 1980s and two pieces of ephemera.
Two scrapbooks of political cartoons, clipped from various English-language newspapers, dealing with the events of World War II, from 1939 to 1942, are also included.
In addition, there are two 16mm films made by Marx, one a documentary about German-America areas of Pennsylvania, and the other a travel film showing scenes of Europe.
This collection has been arranged in four series. Series I includes personal correspondence, writings, newspaper and magazine clippings about Marx, three photographs of him and a book he authored. Series II includes materials related to some of his other interests, such as Thomas Nast prints and political interests, as well as two pieces of ephemera. Series III includes two large scrapbooks of World War II cartoons he clipped from various newspapers between 1939 to 1942. Series IV includes two 16mm films he made about German-American areas in Pennsylvania and European travel.
Gift of Karl T. Marx
- German Society of Pennsylvania: Joseph P. Horner Memorial Library
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Brett Tobias
- Finding Aid Date
- The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from the Max Kade Foundation, as part of the grant project "Retrieval and Cataloging of the German-American Experience, 1918-1960."
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the German Society of Pennsylvania with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.
Contains typed manuscripts and newspaper clippings of aphorisms and poetry Marx wrote including the Ephrata Legende. English and German language
Contains photocopies of clippings of articles written by Marx. Includes stories about King of Prussia Inn, Prussian soldiers in the Revolutionary War, Germantown Pennsylvania, General von Steuben's house. English and German language
Mostly photocopied articles written by Marx including World War II and Russia's rise, Anti-German feelings, Goethe, Prussans and Napolean, and Martin Luther. English and German language
Three letters to editors written by Marx. One in German language
Photocopied articles written by Marx. Subjects includes spandex, Victor Herbert, atomic destruction, and Medicare
Contains 3 complete issues and a supplement, all having aticles written by Marx. (Oversize: See GAC Mss. IV, Box 3)
In both English and German language. Many letters written to the German Society of Pennsylvania librarian. A letter from 1965 congratulates Marx on his retirement and a letter from 1984 includes his wife's obituary
Articles written about Karl T. Marx from various newspapers and magazines
Four photographs of Karl T. Marx from the years 1938, 1939, 1980 and 1982. The 1980 photograph includes his wife
German-language book that was published in Germany. Also includes a 1977 color photo of the author
Ten prints by Thomas Nast (1840 - 1902) with American Civil War subjects. Donated by Marx to the German Society of Philadelphia' s Horner Library in 1976
Includes APRP News (American Pistol and Rifle Association newsletter) from 1981 and two newsletters plus information from GANPAC (German-America National Political Action Committee) from 1983
Includes one menu from the Girves Brown Derby restaurant in Florida and a brochure for Schloss Weitenburg in Weitenburg Germany
Contains political cartoons related to World War II clipped from various newspapers, clippings about an anti-Nazi play in New York City, plus full front pages from various newspapers
16mm black & white documentary film of Pennsylvania German areas including Ephrata and Valley Forge
16mm color travel film showing scenes in several European countries including Germany, Ireland, Holland, England, France and Belgium