The Life of Paul K. Feyerabend

A Chronicle (1924-1994)

Under construction – please, be patient!


January 13: Born in Vienna as the first and only child of Paul Feyerabend, Justizobersekretär (senior court official)  (7 January 1883 –  April 1961) and Rosa Witz, seamstress (6 April 1884 – 29 July 1943).


Attends the Volksschule für Knaben und Mädchen (co-educational primary school) in Hackengasse, Vienna, 15th district.


Attends the Robert Hamerling-Realgymnasium (grammar school with a focus on natural sciences) in Albertgasse, Vienna, 8th district.

Studies under the astronomer, astronomy popularizer, and school teacher of mathematics and physics, Oswald Thomas (1882-1963).

1934-37: Sings in the Jung Urania Chor (Junior Urania Choir), directed by his music school teacher Leo Lehner (1900-1981).

1937: Introduced to opera in Vienna theaters (Volksoper, Staatsoper) by his new music school teacher, and former opera singer, Johann Langer.

1939-42: Member of the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth; mandatory membership).

1941, November: Enrolls in the Horak-Musikschulen: Konservatorium für Musik, Tanz und dramatische Kunst (“Horak” Schools of Music: Conservatory for Music, Dance, and Drama), thanks to Langer’s encouragement and mediation, studying chamber singing under Adolf Vogel (1897-1969).


April 10 – November 28: Serves in the RAD (Reichsarbeitsdienst: six month, commpulsory labour service), receiving basic training in Zweibrücken (Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate, near Pirmasens and the border with France) and then working in Quélern-en-Bas (France, Britanny, near Brest).

December 8: Drafted into the Wehrmacht (unified armed forces of Nazi Germany).

December 11: Enrolled in the Pionier-Ersatz-Bataillon (Engineer Replacement Battalion) 86, based in Melk (Lower Austria).


April 15 / May 6: Appointed to R.O.B. (Reserveoffizierbewerber: Reserve Officer Aspirant) by the Reserve-Pionier-Bataillon (Reserve Engineer Battalion) 86.

July 29: His mother commits suicide in Vienna.

August 4-16: On leave in Vienna for mourning.

October 1: Promoted to Gefreiter (R.O.B.) (Senior Private, 1st class) by the Reserve-Pionier-Bataillon (Reserve Engineer Batallion) 86.

November 19 – December 11: On leave in Vienna.


March 3: Earns an Eiserne Kreutz 2. Klasse (Iron Cross, Second Class).

April 12: Promoted to Unteroffizier (noncommissioned officer, sergeant) with the service rank of Fahnenjunker (cadet) by the Heeres-Pionier-Bataillon (Army Engineer Battalion) 676.

June 2-18: On leave in Vienna.

October 1: Promoted to Feldwebel (first sergeant) by the Pionierschule Lehrstab B (Fhj.L.) (Military Engineer School Teaching Staff B, Cadet Training Course).

November 21December 1: Gives a series of lectures at the Military Engineer School in Dessau-Roßlau (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany).

December 1: Promoted to Oberfähnrich (officer candidate, staff sergeant) by the Pionierschule Lehrstab B (Fhj.L.).

December 22-26 : On leave in Vienna.

December 27: Promoted to Leutnant (Lieutenant) by the Pionier-Ersatz und Ausbildungs-Bataillon 86.

December 30 – 1945, January 2: On leave in Vienna.


1944, December 30- January 2: On leave in Vienna.

January 31 – February 5: Hospitalized in the Reservelazarett Bad Warmbrunn / Teillazarett Haupthaus (Reserve Military Hospital in Bad Warmbrunn, today Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój in Jelenia Góra, Lower Silesia, Poland).

 February 7: Admitted to the Reservelazarett Weimar / Teillazarett Sophienschule (Thuringia, Germany).

March 26: Earns a Verwundetenabzeichen in Schwarz mit Besitzzeugnis (Wound Badge in black with certificate of possession).

April 10: Admitted to the Reservelazarett Apolda (Thuringia, Germany).

July 4: Discharged from the Wehrmacht in Apolda by the Allied Expeditionary Force.


January 1 – April 12: Member of the Kulturbund zur demokratischen Erneuerung Deutchlands (Cultural Association for the Democratic Renewal of Germany).

March 13:  Applies to the section Operaschule und Opernregie (School of Opera and Opera Direction) of the Staatliche Hochcschule für Musik zu Weimar (Weimar State University of Music) to study singing for three semesters.

May 2: Starts studying at the School of Opera of the Weimar State University of Music, taking classes in piano (mandatory), diction, musical texture, ear training, history of opera, history of theater and Italian in the Summer Semester.

May 11: Discharges himself from the former Reserve Military Hospital in Apolda and moves to Breitestrasse 24, Weimar.

July 31: Withdraws from the Weimar State University of Music.

August 2: Back in Vienna.

November 18: Admitted to the University of Vienna, Faculty of Philosophy in the 1946 Winter Semester.



August-September: Participates in the 1948 International Hochschulwochen


January 24: Exempted from two semesters as restitution for war veterans (total: six semesters+dissertation)





February 11: Passes away in Genolier (CH), after a short period of suffering due to the complications of a brain tumor.