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American History & Jewish History Blog
Albert Einstein, 1920, Deutsches Bundesarchiv, 1930
March 14, 2021

Albert Einstein the Activist

Today, March 14th, marks the birthday of the most renowned physicist of the modern era: Albert Einstein, who was born in 1879. Einstein is probably one of the most instantly recognizable people, and his name is synonymous with genius. E = mc2, though perhaps not well-understood, is widely-known. A lesser-known thing about Einstein is that he was one of the founders of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. But most people don’t realize that Einstein, himself persecuted by the Nazis from very early on in their regime, also worked feverishly before and during World War II to get hundreds of fellow Jews out of Europe. Here is a collection of Einstein’s private letters discussing anti-Semitism as well as his efforts to help Jewish people flee Europe.

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