Happy 104th Wedding Anniversary, Adolf & Anna!

Anna& Adolf
Adolf & Anna

On 14 September 1912, Dr. Adolf Reinach wed Dr. Anna Stettenheimer in Mainz, Germany.

Anna was a brilliant, well-educated, kind woman.  In 1899, she was one of three female students of the newly founded Stuttgart Mädchengymnasium, graduating with a high school diploma in 1904.  In that same year, by royal decree, women were granted the right to regular enrolment at University of Tübingen, and Anna seized the opportunity choosing the field of medicine. Shortly after she changed fields to physics, and earned her doctorate in 1907 with a thesis on the spectral lines in magnetic fields in atomic physics, titled “Eine absolute Messung des Zeemannphänomens”.  It is interesting to note that her work in physics wasn’t without influence on her future husband’s thinking and research.  In 1911 and 1912, she taught at the Stuttgart Mädchengymnasium, as head teacher for the natural sciences (Oberlehrin für Naturwissenschaften) until she married Adolf. After their nuptials, Anna resigned from teaching and while she did take on traditional housewife duties she regularly attended her husband’s lectures and actively engaged with the students.

Anna Stettenheimer und Gertrud Stockmayer
Anna Stettenheimer and Gertrud Stockmayer, two of the first three enrolled female students at the Universität Tübingen

In Edith Stein’s unfinished autobiography, she describes Anna as tall and slender, with graceful movements like a doe, and a charming Suabian dialect.  She and Anna became very dear friends over time, and especially in the wake of Reinach’s death in 1917.  Stein speaks of many warm and happy memories in their home, and at one point tells of a sweet and funny story (dating around 1913) where she was walking up to the Reinach’s home for a visit, Anna just a few steps ahead of her:

Only years later did she tell me something I had not even noticed at the time:  Reinach had been standing at the window on the floor above, watching her approach.  She had called up to him softly: ‘Adole, Büble, Herzle!’ He made frantic motions to her to desist as he saw me coming behind her; then, when she came upstairs, he had reproached her, asking how she could humiliate him so in the presence of one of his students. (p. 280)

While Anna and Adolf were no doubt always proper and professional in front of students and colleagues, the impression you get from the stories of Stein is that these two were very deeply in love and a good match in intellect, wit and humour.


For more on Anna Reinach, see:

“Adolf und Anne Reinach, Edith Steins Mentoren im Studium und auf dem Glaubensweg” by Beate Beckmann-Zöller in Phenomenology 2005. Volume 4:  Selected essays from Northern Europe, Part 1., Hans Rainer Sepp & Ion Copoeru, eds., Zeta Books: 2007.

https://www.yumpu.com/de/document/view/8047567/anna-stettenheimer-1884-1953-universitat-tubingen

http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/einrichtungen/universitaetsbibliothek/ueber-uns/veranstaltungen-ausstellungen/ausstellungen/2004/frauenstudium.html

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Reinach

Reinach’s Fronturlaub

hedwigconradmartinus Edmund_Husserl_1900 cropped-100317.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

101 years ago today, Reinach took his Fronturlaub, his much deserved vacation from the Western Front of WWI.  According to the Reinach-Chronik Schuhmann prepared, his vacation lasted from the 4th to the 20th of June 1915. Reinach tells Hedwig Conrad-Martius in a letter of his vacation dates and his plans to spend some of it in Göttingen.

 

 

 26.05.1915

To Hedwig Conrad-Martius in Bad Wörishofen

Dear Doctor!                                                                                                       I will get a vacation! On the 3rd, or 4th, or 5th of June! Please send your entire manuscript to Göttingen, Steinsgraben 28. Do you believe that I am glad/joyous? It is now again peaceful for us – but the situation is always changing. I am so glad that you are still in Wörishofen. I always think that the war will be over soon – don’t you? The area here is gorgeous in the spring.

Lots and lots of warm wishes, Your Reinach

The point of telling HCM was not only to share this joyous news and to begin to make plans to see her, Theodor Conrad (her husband and Reinach’s best friend), and other friends, but also to request that she send by post to his home her Jahrbuch manuscript (Zur Ontologie und Erscheinungslehre der realen Aussenwelt, 1916), so that he could read it over, comment on it, and advise her properly.  One could say that during this vacation, Reinach exchanged one battlefield for another – a war of words between phenomenologists. There may have been no bloodshed, but plenty of feelings were hurt and emotions ran hot. Some vacation!

In a later letter to the Conrads dated October 9th, 1915 (the first letter written after his vacation), Reinach recounts his feelings and resolution attempts in this ‘battle’ between Husserl and Conrad-Martius:

10. 09. 1915

To Theodor and Hedwig Conrad-Martius

Dear Conrads!

That you are surprised by my silence regarding a certain point, I understand well. And also you will understand my hesitation from this letter. I was afraid that what I wanted to say would make you sad, and so I put it off again and again. But the truth of the matter is it may not actually make you sad – let alone trouble our relationship -, if we looked at this a little more closely it’s just a trivial point of differing opinions. I think your behaviour in the Jahrbuch matter was not right. I have on hand both yours and Husserl’s letters, and I have carefully read them while in Göttingen. I’ve done so with the warmest prejudice for you, I need not say more. …We all know what Husserl is like. We know his hypersensitivity, as we also know his kindheartedness, his benevolence, and his devotion to his family. We also know that his kindness and benevolence have a razor-sharp edge at the point where he gets personally hurt or with his hypersensitivity he believes himself to be hurt. We have suffered through them all, but we have known that Husserl himself suffers most and regrets it from the heart. And when there are clashes with his character, we have to willingly concede. Only in this case, it seems to me that you failed to be compliant in ways we always agreed to. Concerning the matter, he is not entirely wrong. Your manuscript was pretty difficult to read, and arguably for Husserl’s eyes it was unreadable. The length of your work was further expanded beyond the intended and arranged size. Both are certainly not bad. But Husserl – then well into an irritable mood – had taken it personally and it ever increased his testiness. Here – it seems to me, – given the gratitude and respect that we all feel for him – you should have given in; You know how easy it is to win him over with a few kind words of apology. When he sent the manuscript off to Pfänder, he meant well. He knew Pfänder knew your work and that he assessed it extremely favourably. Now Pfänder has behaved with unfriendliness and impoliteness, which is not new to me about him. This harsh manner is difficult to handle: in short, unfriendliness and condescension and impoliteness. Anyhow, it added fuel to Husserl’s sensitivity that you contacted the co-editors. He saw it as a kind of appeal to a higher authority, and he attaches the greatest importance on being the editor. So, I found him then in Göttingen very bitter and hurt.  We had long discussions and I need only to assure you that I represented you in all things and I sought to settle antagonism whenever possible. The personal differences I take to be not so tragic. Husserl has had these differences with all of us – it all gets worse with this selfsame immoderateness – but nevertheless the actual consequences of this behaviour for our work concern me deeply.

By November of that same year, Reinach had successfully settled their dispute: Conrad-Martius’ manuscript was accepted for publication in Jahrbuch on the condition that Reinach would write a letter to her, the wording of which would allow Husserl to save face (beard and all). He was reluctant to write the letter – calling it an unfortunate letter – but Reinach knew it would bring peace and prosperity.

(Translation of these Reinach letters was carried out by myself and Dr. Thomas Vongehr in 2015)

Happy Birthday, Adolf Reinach!

reinach.BDay.pic
Today in 1883 Adolf Bernhard Philipp Reinach was born.

According to Edith Stein, in her unfinished autobiography Life In A Jewish Family: 1891-1916, Reinach came home to Göttingen on furlough for Christmas of 1915 and arrived in time to celebrate his 32nd birthday. Pauline Reinach, Adolf’s sister, wrote Stein a letter inviting her to visit and celebrate the two occasions. Stein of course happily accepted, exclaiming to herself: “Furlough! That possibility had never even occurred to me. So far ‘seeing Reinach again’ had been synonymous, always with ‘peace at war’s end.’ It was almost too good to be true.” (pgs. 377-378) She arrived in Göttingen on the 22nd of December with a birthday gift in hand – a good timely book – and made her way to the Reinachs’ home. After seeing Adolf Reinach for the first time in over a year, Stein writes: “Reinach had grown broad and strong; military service agreed with him. It was on this occasion that I truly got to know Frau Reinach. Formerly my visits to their home had been mostly on a student-to-teacher basis. But now I belonged to the most intimate circle, to the ‘mourners of the first rank’ as Reinach once facetiously put it when he imagined how things might go should he be killed.” (pg. 379) This circle consisted of his wife Anna, his sister Pauline, and then Stein and Erika Gothe. This comment of Reinach’s, while made in jest, turned out to be rather prophetic since he was killed on the battlefield in 1917 and this circle of friends came together to mourn. Stein and Anna Reinach became very close friends, and it was Stein who helped put Adolf’s philosophical writings in order after his death.

It’s rather interesting to think that 100 years ago today Reinach was alive and at home celebrating his birthday with his friends and family. Stein’s notes on the joyous occasion are brief but her deep fondness for the Reinachs’ is alive in her descriptions.

So rather than focus on Reinach’s death, let us think of his life and legacy. Today a major figure of both the Munich and Göttingen phenomenology circles was born; a philosopher and realist phenomenologist who inspired the great minds of Roman Ingarden, Dietrich von Hildebrand, Hedwig Conrad-Martius, Winthrop Bell, Edith Stein, and many others.

Happy 132nd Birthday, Adolf Reinach!