Many myths and legends have developed around Albert Einstein. He was one of the most important scientists of the twentieth century, an international media star and an idiosyncratic celebrity.
Albert Einstein's fame spread when his theory of relativity was experimentally proven during a solar eclipse. This challenged what had up to then passed as physical certitudes. Einstein's theory created a new world view that fascinated some and unsettled others.
In his private life, he had many facets: He was a charming lover and a witty poet, but he could be alarmingly inconsiderate and cold-hearted.
We tell of his experience of the German school system, of his two marriages, and his relationship with his sons. Less-known facts are revealed such as his love of animals, his passion for technological inventions (he registered approximately 50 patents!), and his efforts to make his theory of relativity a graspable concept for laypeople. "Einstein's Theory of Relativity: The Basics," an animated film by H.W. Kornblum, supported by Einstein and conceived for a broad public, can be viewed.
Einstein was a pacifist, even though he – out of fear that the Germans might do it – advised US President Roosevelt to build the atom bomb. He fought for nuclear disarmament after the war.
And Einstein was a self-assured, secular Jew who felt connected to Judaism, primarily through a common language and history. After the Nazis came to power, Einstein went into exile in the USA and tried to help persecuted Jews in Germany from there. He used his popularity to support the Zionist movement and the setup of the State of Israel. However, he turned down the offer to become Israel’s president in 1952.