Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Destruction of Capital

28 July 1943
Das Kapital, first edition 1867

The original manuscript of Karl Marx' Das Kapital volume I was destroyed by the British Royal Airforce. After printing the first edition in 1867, the manuscript had stayed with the publisher, Meissner, in Hamburg. On 27 and 28 July 1943, heavy bombing by the RAF and the subsequent firestorm practically annihilated the city, with an estimated death toll of 42,000. Meissner’s offices and archives were also destroyed.

The document that is closest to the manuscript of Kapital is Marx' personal copy of the first edition, in which he added notes, remarks, corrections, and additions for a later  As of June 2013 this copy and the only surviving draft page of the Communist Manifesto have been included in the UNESCO International Memory of the World Register.

Since 1938 the Marx-Engels papers reside at the IISH.