He studied medicine and molecular biology at Berlin’s Humboldt University and began his professional career as a junior doctor in his hometown. In 1976 he completed the dissertation “Time and Motion in the Metabolism of Living Cells“ for his second doctorate.
He has become famous as a civil rights campaigner in the last decade of the German Democratic Republic times. After further study in biochemistry, he turned to research work. In 1964, Jens Reich obtained his doctorate with the dissertation “Arterial Vascular Sounds“ and from 1968 onwards worked at the Central Institute of Molecular Biology of the Academy of Sciences in Berlin-Buch.
As early as 1970 he co-founded a private “Friday Circle“, a group of about 30 opposition-minded citizens who met to discuss the German Democratic Republic system.
In the 80s the State Security Ministry spied on the group and kept records of their meetings Soon after his appointment to the post of the head of the department at the Central Institute of Molecular Biology, Jens Reich lost this post.
He was further sanctioned for his oppositional attitude with a ban on travel to Western countries. In September 1989 Jens Reich was one of the authors and signatories of the appeal “Aufbruch 89 – Neues Forum“ – “Fresh Start 89 – New Forum“, leading to the founding of the New Forum.
On 4 November 1989, Jens Reich, along with Friedrich Schorlemmer, Christa Wolf, Ulrich Mühe and other well-known figures in the German Democratic Republic, was one of the speakers at the Alexanderplatz demonstration in East Berlin, the largest demonstrations held at that time.
Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.