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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.

Hermann Struck was born Chaim Aaron ben David in 1876 in Germany. He is best known as a master etcher, lithographer and early Zionist. He studied for five years at the Berlin Academy and in 1908 wrote Die Kunst des Radierens (The Art of Etching), while mentoring artists such as Marc Chagall, Max Liebermann and Lesser Ury. His art was included in an exhibition at the Fifth Zionist Congress and he helped establish the religious Zionist movement called Mizrachi. Struck was an Orthodox Jew but believed that culture and religion could thrive cooperatively in Israel. He immigrated to Haifa where he created an artistic community and participated in the development of the Tel Aviv Museum and the Bezalel art school in Jerusalem. He died in 1944.

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Struck, Hermann: Albert Einstein, Leo Baeck Institute, 78.454.