Bernhard Reichenbach

Bernhard Reichenbach (1888 in Berlin – 1975 in London) was a member of the Executive Committee of the Communist International. He was a member of the Communist Workers' Party of Germany and acted as their delegate to the Third Congress of the Third International.

He was born in Berlin in 1888, the son of Bruno Reichenbach. His younger brother, Hans Reichenbach would go on to become a leading philosopher of science.

Bernhard was a conscientious objector but felt it was his duty to serve his country. He therefore volunteered for the medical corps and served in the German army during the First World War between 1915-1917. His time in the medical corps saw him serve at the Battle of Verdun. Bernhard was awarded the Iron Cross during his years of service, ultimately throwing his medal into the River Spree following the rise of the Nazis. Bernhard joined the German Foreign Office following discharge from the medical corps, where he served until 1919.

Bernhard joined the Communist Workers' Party of Germany and, in 1921 shortly after the birth of his son, Hanno, travelled to the Soviet Union as one of the party's representatives. At the Third Congress of the Third International, Bernhard held discussions with Vladimir Lenin.[1]

Reichenbach was a trained economist and subsequently worked as a purchasing agent for a chemical company.[2]

With the coming to power of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party, Reichenbach -- as a German of Jewish descent, and with communist political beliefs, came under threat and fled to Great Britain via the Netherlands. During the Second World War, he worked for the British Foreign office, on various anti-Nazi publications which were distributed around Germany; he would later be awarded the Verdienstkreuz 1, Klasse, the German equivalent of an O.B.E., for this work.

Reichenbach married Ilze Rosendorn, with whom he had two children, Hanno and Tania.[3] Hanno attended Great Ayton Friends' School, with several other German or Austrian refugees.[4]


  1. ^ Reichenbach, Bernard. "Moscow 1921: Meetings in the Kremlin". Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  2. ^ Roth, Gary (2015). Marxism in a Lost Century: A Biography of Paul Mattick. Brill. ISBN 9789004227798.
  3. ^ Föhl, Thomas. "Ilse Reichenbach". Geni. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  4. ^ Anthony Grenville; Andrea Ilse Maria Reiter (1 January 2008). I Didn't Want to Float, I Wanted to Belong to Something: Refugee Organizations in Britain 1933-1945. Rodopi. p. 155. ISBN 90-420-2567-0.