Albert Einstein

March 14, 1879 - April 18, 1955
Albert Einstein Albert Einstein 

Albert Einstein’s main work, the theory of relativity, made him world famous. He received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921, catapulting him to public interest. Einstein used his popularity to promote pacifism and conscientious objection. Völkisch and anti-Semitic circles slurred his work as “Jewish science” even in the early 1920s. Einstein made a research trip to the United States at the end of 1932. When the National Socialists came to power the following year, he decided not to return to Germany. At the end of March 1933 he publicly declared his resignation from the Prussian Academy of Sciences, before a committee could expel him. The academy then issued a press release stating that it had “no cause to regret Einstein’s resignation.” Einstein also applied to rescind his German nationality. The Gestapo confiscated all his assets in Germany in May 1933, with an SA troop looting his home. He helped numerous victims of persecution from his exile. When he learned the full extent of the destruction of the European Jews after 1945, he resolved never to set foot in Germany again.