He had Jewish ancestry, but he was actually a lapsed Christian. And an atheist. And an anti-Semite.
***
Answers.com gives the misleading answer: Yes. “He was ethnically Jewish.” But his parents, Answers.com notes, had converted to Lutheranism-to avoid anti-Semitism.
***
Abraham H. Foxman, in his new book, “Jews & Money,” states unequivocally that Marx was not Jewish ““ “although anti-Semites have ‘accused’ him of this for generations.” His father had converted, “partly for social reasons, partly due to sincere conviction.”
***
Marx apparently was born Jewish — in 1818. His father had converted to Lutheranism in 1816 or 1817; his mother converted when Karl was 7, in 1825. Karl was baptized when he was 6, in 1824. The home he grew up in was non-religious.
***
So the correct answer seems to be: yes and no. Are you talking about his genes or about his religion?
***
To insist that someone with Jewish ancestry, who has converted, remains Jewish tends to be an anti-Semitic attitude. Richard Wagner insisted that the music critic, Eduard Hanslick, was Jewish, even though he was raised Christian-to maintain that Hanslick’s views were tainted. (He had reservations about Wagner’s music.) And Wagner, of course, was one of the world’s most vicious anti-Semites.
Felix Mendelssohn was a special case. His parents had him converted at age 7, but he continued to think of himself as both Jewish and Christian. Wagner, of course, considered him Jewish.
If a Jew who converts is considered Jewish, then, of course, Jesus always remained Jewish.
***
What does it matter? In the case of Marx, considering him Jewish supports the anti-Semitic allegation that Communism is a “Jewish plot.”