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American History & Jewish History Blog
Albert Einstein, 1920, Deutsches Bundesarchiv, 1930
January 27, 2022

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Albert Einstein

January 27th, the anniversary of the Allied Liberation of Auschwitz, marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day. One of the most famous Holocaust refugees, whose face as well as life’s work is instantly recognizable and transcends language, culture, and time, is arguably Albert Einstein. As one might expect, Einstein saw the writing on the wall before the horrors of Nazi Germany were in full swing. Before Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, Einstein fled to America via Belgium and England in 1932. 

But Einstein wasn’t merely a refugee who fled the horrors of Nazi Germany to America. He also dedicated himself to continuing to warn the world about the dangers of the fledgling Nazi regime and helping others escape it. In 1932, Einstein helped publish an exposé of what the Nazi regime had in store for the world, including the brutalization of Jews, concentration camps, and even the burning of the Reichstag.  The following year, Einstein co-founded what would later become the International Rescue Committee. 

To learn more about Einstein and the Holocaust, take a look at our online exhibition, Albert Einstein: Original Letters in Aid of His Brethren, originally exhibited in partnership with the Beverly Hills Public Library. The exhibition traces Einstein’s early apprehension of the Nazi’s intentions towards the Jews in the 1930s, his efforts to warn others against them, his escape from Germany, and his support for a Jewish homeland.

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