'I Shall Never Forget the Kindness.' How England Helped Albert Einstein Escape Nazi GermanyBreaking News
tags: Nazi Germany, England, Nazi, Albert Einstein
In September 1933 — a few months after exiling himself forever from his German home in Berlin where he had lived since 1914 — Albert Einstein found himself unexpectedly dwelling alone in a thatched wooden holiday hut located in a wild rural area of Norfolk in eastern England, close to the sea near the coastal town of Cromer. He was far from being on holiday, however. The hut was a secret refuge to avoid a rumored attempt at assassination by agents acting for the Nazi regime in Germany; Einstein was guarded with guns by a small group of local English people, led by a Conservative member of parliament who was also a decorated veteran of the First World War.
During March–April, shortly after Adolf Hitler came to power, Einstein had publicly criticized the repressive policies of the new National Socialist government; resigned from the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin; applied for release from his Prussian (German) citizenship; and found a temporary home for himself and his wife on the coast of nearby Belgium. 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. Their summer villa near Berlin had reportedly been searched for arms — on the grounds that Einstein was treasonously spreading Communist-influenced “atrocity propaganda” against Germany from abroad. One especially prominent anti-Semitic German publication about Jews, approved by the government’s propaganda chief Josef Goebbels, showed a photograph of Einstein with the sinister caption in capital letters: “BIS JETZT UNGEHAENGT,” that is, “not yet hanged.”