German-born Jewish physicist, author of the theory of relativity and Nobel Prize winner. Although his discoveries are not easily understood, they have greatly altered man's view of the universe.
Einstein was born in Ulm and grew up in Munich, and later moved to Italy to join his parents. He detested the military discipline of German schools. His interest in mathematics and physics started early. After graduating from the Zurich Polytechnic Institute at 21, he took Swiss citizenship and worked at the Patent Office in Berne. Doing his own private research, in 1905 Einstein published three brilliant scientific papers, including one on relativity, a later generalization of which was to make him world- famous. During World War I, Einstein predicted the deflection of starlight by the gravitational field of the sun; the prediction was proven correct by an expedition during a solar eclipse in 1919.
In 1921 Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.
After World War I Einstein worked for the League of Nations Intellectual Cooperation Organization. He was disappointed by man's abuse of science:
"In the hands of our generation," he said,"these hard-won achievements of science are like a razor wielded by a child of three. The possession of marvellous means of production has brought care and hunger instead of freedom."
Einstein, recognizing Adolf Hitler for the monster he was, left Germany in 1933, never to return. He went to the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey, later becoming a United States citizen. During World War II Einstein wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt pointing out that it was possible to release atomic energy; this letter led to the further development of atomic energy. However, Einstein was opposed to the use of atomic weapons and urged that they be outlawed.
Einstein was a Jew by belief and action as well as by birth. He became acquainted with Chaim Weizmann and from 1921 helped raise funds in the U.S. for land in Palestine. After Weizmann's death he was asked by David Ben-Gurion to be president of Israel, but he declined, "being deeply touched by the offer but not suited for the position." Apart from his scientific brilliance, Einstein also displayed considerable talent as an amateur violinist.
by C.D.I. Systems 1992 (LTD) and Keter.
Following in Einstein's shoes
Sun., January 23, 2005 Shvat 13, 5765
Germany celebrates 100th anniversary of Einstein's theory
By The Associated Press
"He revolutionized science and changed the world through his thinking. He has become a cult figure for the youth of the world through his moral incorruptibility," Schroeder said.
"And to the end, Einstein - who again and again set himself against the most evil anti-Semitic hatemongering - fought against the strengthening of the Nazis and for the defense of democracy."