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Biographical/Historical Information

Albert Einstein was a Nobel Prize Winning physicist born in Ulm, Germany in 1879. He completed his secondary education in Switzerland, during which period he renounced his citzenship of Württemberg to avoid military service. He met his first wife, Mileva Marić, while attending Zürich Polytechnic. The couple married in 1903 and had two sons, Hans Albert and Eduard, before divorcing in 1919. That same year, Einstein married his cousin, Elsa Löwenthal, and adopted her two daughters (Margot and Ilse). The Einsteins were visiting the U.S. in 1933 when the Nazis rose to power. He and Elsa waited until the end of his visiting professorship at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena before traveling to Belgium to renounce their citizenship at the German consulate. Upon his return to the United States, Einstein began teaching at Princeton University. During World War II, Einstein worked on the Manhattan Project. He became a U.S. citizen in 1940. Aside from his scientific contributions, Einstein traveled the world, played violin, and was an avid— though unskilled—sailor. He also supported Zionism, socialism, and civil rights. Einstein died in Princeton, New Jersey in 1955 from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. His brain was removed during the autopsy and used for research, while the rest of his remains were cremated.

Helmuth Nathan was a physician, teacher, and historian of medicine. He was born in Hamburg and studied medicine and philosophy at the Universities of Freiburg and Hamburg. He earned his medical degree in 1925. In 1936, he settled in New York. He tought for many years at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In addition to being a successful physician, Helmuth Nathan was also a well established artist. He died in 1979.

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Nathan, Helmuth: Head of Albert Einstein, Leo Baeck Institute, 77.10.