On May 5, 1947 the building was opened as a museum of the life and works of Karl Marx. In 1968 it was integrated into the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a charity foundation closely aligned with the SPD. On March 14, 1983, on the 100th anniversary of Marx's death, the museum was re-opened after a year-long renovation that expanded it to three floors.
The exhibition now also includes the history of communism in the Soviet Union, China, Central and Eastern Europe. The Karl Marx House museum currently receives about 32,000 visitors one year.