Albert Einstein. Have you ever heard the name of this famous scientist? Of course yes. But did you know he comes from a Jewish family and he would never return home from a travel to the USA?

Albert Einstein, born in 1879, spent his childhood in Nun of Bavaria, but he finished his studies in Switzerland, graduating from the Polytechnics of Zurich, around 1900. He took Swiss citizenship to take up a job at the Patent Office in Bern. In 1933, while Einstein was visiting the United States, Adolf Hitler came to power. Due to his Jewish origins, Einstein did not return to Germany.

Einstein had publicly criticized the repressive policies of the new National Socialist government; In response, he had been relentlessly attacked in the German press, and his scientific works had been publicly burned in Berlin.

The government had confiscated his and his wife’s bank accounts. One especially prominent anti-Semitic German publication about Jews showed a photograph of Einstein with the sinister caption in capital letters: “BIS JETZT UNGEHAENGT”, that is, “not yet hanged.” There was a bounty on his head, he commented ironically that he didn’t know his head was so valuable.

 He became an American citizen in 1940. He appreciated the meritocracy in American culture compared to Europe. He underlined the “right of individuals to say and think what they pleased”.

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Antonella Nogara