Fredy Gareis was born in Alma-Ata, Kasakhstan. After his resettlement, he grows up in Rüsselsheim. To escape the fug of the working-class town, he soon began travelling the world. To Sibiria, for instance, where he dug deep into his family history, all the way down to the former penal camp at the Malinovoye Ozero where his grandmother was held.
Until starting university, he made a living as a taxi driver, a bartender and other jobs too embarassing to mention. Finally, he studied American Literature in Hamburg and Berlin and, after that, finished journalism school in Munich.
As of 2007, he worked as a freelance journalist and wrote features such as an undercover story for stern in 2008, in the course of which he entered Scientology for five months. Gareis was an Arthur F. Burns scholar in 2009 and received the Journalist Award PuK of the Deutscher Kulturrat in 2012 for the feature A Picasso in Palestine, published in DIE ZEIT. Since 2010 he has been reporting from Israel and the Middle East as a freelance correspondent, amongst others for Der Tagesspiegel, DIE ZEIT and Deutschlandradio.