Bernhard Reichenbach: Correspondence and papers

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 70445
1 Jan 1953 - 31 Jan 1974
Level of Description
  • German
  • English
EHRI Partner

Biographical History

Bernhard Reichenbach, 1888-1975, was the son of a Jewish businessman and a protestant teacher. His childhood and schooling was in Hamburg. Later he became an actor in Bochum and Hamburg, 1912-1914. He studied literature, art history and sociology in Berlin. He was active in the youth movement and a member of the Freie Studentenschaft, Berlin. As a medical orderly in WWI he won the Ehren Kreuz II Klass. In 1917 he was a founding member of the Unabhängige Sozialistischepartei Deutschlands; co-founder of the Kommunistische Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands, and, as a representative of the latter party, he attended the Executive Committee of the Communist International in Moscow, and the third World Congress of the Communist International. He left the KAPD on his return to Berlin and joined the SPD in the beginning of 1925. He continued his activities as a journalist for a number of left-wing periodicals whilst working as a company secretary for a weaving business in Krefeld. After the Nazis came to power he could no longer continue working as a journalist, and after pressure from the police he emigrated to Great Britain.

In 1935 he joined the Labour Party. He was interned on the Isle of Man, 1940-1941, and after his release worked in the field of political instruction of German POWs. From 1944-1948 he edited the British government periodical for German POWs in Great Britain, Die Wochenpost.

He was a member of Club 1943. He became the London correspondent of the Süddeutscher Rundfunk and Westfälische Rundschau. He also worked on Contemporary Review and Socialist Commentary and Welt der Arbeit. He was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz in 1958.

Note that in addition to these papers, a copy personal memoir by Karl Kuntze, a former colleague of Bernhard Reichenbach during their days with the Rotenkämpfer, has been catalogued as part of the main library catalogue: Sie nannten es Verrat: Als Hitlergegner und Zwangssoldat in amerikanischen Kriegsgefangenenlagern, Tagebuch, 1943-1946

The material for radio broadcast is arranged by programme: Wirtschaftsfunk and an unidentified programme dealing with social and political issues.


Donated May 2001

Donor: Tania England

Scope and Content

These papers document the post-war journalistic and broadcasting activities of Bernhard Reichenbach, former actor, political party official, journalist and refugee from Nazi Germany.

The papers consist largely of annotated drafts of broadcast transcripts, produced for the German radio station, Süddeutscher Rundfunk. They cover a wide range of subjects providing, for the German audience, an insight into the economic, social and political life of Britain, 1963-1974. Also included are book reviews and correspondence.

Conditions Governing Access




This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.