Ernst Simon Bloch came from a Jewish family in Ludwigshafen. After earning his PhD in philosophy in 1908, Bloch lived briefly in Berlin, then in southern Germany and — from 1917 to 1919 — in Switzerland. Here he discovered Socialism and began to integrate more intensely into his work thoughts about the hope and perfection of the individual and of society. Having returned to the capital of what was now the republic of Germany (see Home of Ernst Bloch), Bloch joined the Communist Party (KPD). Returning to Switzerland in 1933, his public statements against the Nazi regime displeased the authorities, so in 1936 he moved to Prague. Shortly before the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, he fled to the US in early 1939. It was here that he wrote his best-known work “The Principle of Hope”. After the war, he became a renowned philosopher in the GDR. After the erection of the Berlin Wall, he moved to the Federal Republic.