Born to a comfortable upper-class New Berliner family, Erich lived a life of luxury and excess. With his father as a wealthy upper-echelon manager of Oder Shipyard and a mother as a receptionist for other areas along The Ring, he received excellent education at some of Planet New Berlin's finest institutes, including the illustrious Cologne University where he was well on the way to completing a Degree in Rheinlandic History. With his father "pulling strings" in whatever way he could, there was a strong possibility that Erich may have been a candidate for the Bundestag itself almost immediately after his MBA degree.
Fate held that his Graduate Thesis would be a diatribe (in true Rheinlandic fashion) condemning the multiple unlawful movements of Rheinland. To everyone's surprise, this Thesis was the opposite; it exposed and laid out in embarassing, painstaking detail a vast number of what could only be considered "Crimes against Humanity" perpetuated by the Federal Republic. His Thesis was quickly destroyed (no known copies exist) and shortly afterwards both he and his parents were arrested on unknown charges, and quickly sentenced to Life in Vierlande.
The panicked, dumbfounded look he shared with his parents as they were separated to various sections of the massive complex would be the last they would ever share; he never saw them again and as of 820 A.S. still has not learned of their fate.
Erich more than many of his fellow inmates did not react well to the abrupt transition of lifestyle; going quite literally from riches to rags put him in the Suicide Watch section, where he was isolated and kept under constant armed guard. Guards reported hearing him mutter and talk incessantly to himself whilst locked away on his own.
Four months into his life sentence, Erich's mental state was deemed to be a liability, and he was loaded upon a transport. He did not receive an explanation or a proposed destination, but did receive a rifle-ended incentive to go aboard. This transport was in turn pirated and disabled by a band of Hessians in the Stuttgart system, along the backwater lane leading to Omega-11.
Erich alongside many of his fellow inmates remained in Hessian custody for at least several months more before most were turned over to Kaiserslautern Depot, where a wealth of relocation or recruitment options awaited them. Having no-one else to take care of him, and with nothing in his mind save fury against his government and a desire to see his parents again, Erich signed on with the Bundschuh at earliest possible opportunity.
His rise through the Bundschuh's ranks and stations was meteoric; a number of successful raids against the tradelanes, Vierlande Prison convoys, and even in orbit of every populated Rheinlandic planet all saw first only his participation, and then his planning together with it. While these raids appeared to focus upon damage of property, occasionally the damage was collateral and people were hurt or killed as a direct result of his actions.
Erich soared through some of the more prestigious factional schisms of the Bundschuh Party, but seemed partial towards membership in the experimental movements that were not averse to forming an alliance of convenience with the Liberty Navy that Rheinland warred against; first the Volksfreiheitspartei, and then the Vereinigte Widerstandsarmee.
Presently the latter organization's leader, Klugmann's policies have at least partially aided the Bundschuh's ability to stubbornly hold its ground despite constantly being targeted by the Buro, Federal Police, and even the Military. His leadership has marked an increase in the reliance of groups outside Rheinland for supplies and mutual support. Critics within the movement believe it a means to reduce reliance upon the considerably less idedological Hessians, and perhaps to counter the Unioner movement's similar Sirius-wide branch-out. The actual motives, however, remain unknown.
Initially known for his tendency to favor words over arms even if having a complete tactical advantage, Erich eventually transitioned to a state more willing to do what he deemed what necessary to accomplish whatever primary goal his his operations held; even if it may result in the injury or death of an attacker.
Privately, he is known to be an extremely reclusive individual on-board stations such as Bruchsal; upon stepping out of the hangar bay, he isolates himself immediately within a secure room and rarely sees visitors for any reason. The only times he tends to be publicly seen by Bundschuh personnel are within a transmission room, or walking to or from the hangar bay. Visitors to his quarters often comment on the strong smell of alcohol and large number of empty bottles. Regardless of any alcoholism the Oberst may have, he never appears to be anything but completely sober during operations and flights.
Erich administers over the Widerstand with a light hand, often personally leading its spaceborne operations. He has suffered a large number of injuries resulting from the ejection of craft, the worst of which resulted in a composite femur fracture that has resulted in a limp; as a result of his weakened left leg, he tailors his craft's control pedals handled by his left leg to rely more upon his hands; itself aided by his above-average dexterity.
Despite no formal military training of any kind, Erich's snubcraft piloting ability is considerable, and he is wanted for the destruction of hundreds of Rheinland Military craft, amongst dozens of other current charges.
There are two recorded assassination attempts upon the Oberst's life since having signed on with the Bundschuh; in both cases he subdued his attacker with a trusty Daumann-made Officer's Sidearm. The second attempt cost the assailant his life.