The philosopher Klaus Reich was born in Berlin on December 1, 1906 to the publisher Gustav Reich and his
wife Else, née Gruber. The stages of his academic formation can be quickly recounted. After having attended
the humanistic state grammar school in Berlin-Friedenau,he passed his final secondary school examinations
there in 1925. Reich spent the first two terms of his undergraduate degree at Freiburg University (in Breis-
gau) where he studied philosophy-principally with Edmund Husserl, Jonas Cohn, and Julius Ebbinghaus-as
well as classical philology. The curriculum vitae attached to his thesis already speaks of these beginnings:
"a lecture by Ebbinghaus on the Critique of Pure Reason directed me towards an engagement with Kant,
which has in turn influenced the treatment of the task carried out in the present treatise on the completeness
of the Kantian table of judgements."

In 1926 and 1927, Reich studied mainly mathematics and physics
in Berlin with, among others, Erhardt Schmidt, Planck, and Nernst.
But he also participated in philosophy seminars with Dessoir,
Liebert, Heinrich Maier, Reichenbach and Spranger, as well as in
seminars in classical philology with Werner Jaeger. In the summer
of 1928, Reich was back in Freiburg where he studied philosophy
with Cohn, Ebbinghaus, and Heidegger and where he continued with
mathematics and physics, which seemed necessary to him given his
preoccupation with Kant. After spending the winter of 1930-31 in
Berlin without being enrolled at a university, Reich followed
Ebbinghaus to Rostock the following spring-in addition to being his
student, since 1930 Reich had also developed a friendship with
Ebbinghaus. Reich was there conferred his doctorate in philosophy
in 1932. From 1932 to 1933, Reich was employed as an academic
assistant at Rostock University; but by the end of May 1933 he was
dismissed for political reasons. He carried on working as a freelance
scholar until 1939, even though he had originally intended to apply
for the habilitation after the mandatory two-year waiting period had
elapsed. This was prevented by political circumstances in Germany

after the National Socialist seizure of power. Ebbinghaus' attempt to habilitate his student in Rostock in 1939
failed due to resistance from the local Nazi district head. Ebbinghaus depicted these events in the following way:
"This individual based his argument on the grounds that 1) Reich was in correspondence with a Jewish female
student who had emigrated to Palestine, 2) he had never used the "Heil Hitler" salute nor had he ever lifted his
arm in salutation. This fact led to his vote being monitored on the occasion of one of Hitler's referenda. It was
revealed that his vote was negative and this became the third reason." As a result, Reich's situation in Hitler
Germany became hopeless and he considered emigration. The expatriated classical philologists Ernst Kapp
and Rudolf Pfeiffer, who had taken sanctuary in Oxford, arranged for Herbert James Paton, an Oxford-based
Kant specialist, to become acquainted with Reich's papers, whereupon Paton invited the author to spend the
summer of 1939 in England. Reich's visit to Paton resulted in the promise of accommodation and a position at
Oxford. This plan, however, was thwarted by the start of the war as well as by Reich's being called to a military
service exercise. He fulfilled his military service as a simple soldier in the air force and was taken prisoner
by the Americans in 1945. A further attempt at the habilitation undertaken during the war failed due to a veto
by the "Ministry of the Deputy of the Führer."