Chemnitz, better known as Karl-Marx-Stadt

Posted on February 16, 2013


”Well, l have to go to a circus in Karl-Marx-Stadt”, says Roger Moore’s James Bond in ”Octopussy.”

Now, did you ever look at a map of Germany and thought ”I wonder where that Karl Marx Stadt is?” Well, if you had a map printed later that 1990 or just finger-scrolling your smartphone you simply wouldn’t find it.
Karl-Marx-Stadt is featured in the second half of ”Octopussy” as a stop in East Germany for the Octopussy Circus before rolling for the West German allied airbase.
Karl Marx Stadt
It was named after the great socialist icon, philosopher and political author Karl Marx (1818-1883) who together with his companion Friedrich Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848. The German born Marx was also a great icon of the former communist regimes of Eastern Europe. Karl-Marx-Stadt is similar to the Russian cities Leningrad and Stalingrad in changing its name under  communist rule and changed it again after the fall of the Berlin wall.

The former and current name of Karl-Marx-stadt is Chemnitz. The city was called Karl-Marx-stadt between 10th May 1953 and 21st June 1990. The city was named after the river Chemnitz and dates back to the 12th century. It’s located in the region of Saxony with a population of 245 000.
The city slogan is ”Chemnitz – The City of Modernity”: ”Developed at the time of Classical Modernism, which still gives impetus to the development of business and science, the influences of the cultural and architectural Modernism are visible and perceptible.” (from the official website)

The University of Technology Chemnitz is a vital part of the city as it has more than 10,000 students and a staff to match it.

There is still a huge 7 meters Karl Marx statue in Chemnitz dating back to 1971.

As for its feature in ”Octopussy” nothing is actually filmed in Karl-Marx-stadt but it is a suitable name used to emphasise that the meeting between Orlov, Kahn and Octopussy takes place in East Germany before the journey to West Germany and the NATO airbase.

Posted in: Octopussy