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Originally posted by TheComte
reply to post by de_Genova
Einstein was visiting the US when Hitler came to power and subsequently never went back. This was in 1933. The extent of Einstein's interaction with the Nazis was when they raided his home and confiscated a small boat, long after Einstein had left the country. And the only thing Einstein had to do with the Manhattan Project (besides his theories perhaps) was to inform then President Roosevelt that Germany was developing a bomb and recommending that the US do the same. You're right that the Nazis denounced Einstein and his work, but that was more for propaganda. The remaining German physicists did see the value of it and proceeded accordingly.
Coming to America
Inevitably, Einstein’s fame and the great success of his theories created a backlash. The rising Nazi movement found a convenient target in relativity, branding it “Jewish physics” and sponsoring conferences and book burnings to denounce Einstein and his theories. The Nazis enlisted other physicists, including Nobel laureates Philipp Lenard and Johannes Stark, to denounce Einstein. One Hundred Authors Against Einstein was published in 1931. When asked to comment on this denunciation of relativity by so many scientists, Einstein replied that to defeat relativity one did not need the word of 100 scientists, just one fact.
In December 1932 Einstein decided to leave Germany forever (he would never go back). It became obvious to Einstein that his life was in danger. A Nazi organization published a magazine with Einstein’s picture and the caption “Not Yet Hanged” on the cover. There was even a price on his head. So great was the threat that Einstein split with his pacifist friends and said that it was justified to defend yourself with arms against Nazi aggression. To Einstein, pacifism was not an absolute concept but one that had to be re-examined depending on the magnitude of the threat.
Einstein [eventually] settled at the newly formed Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey, which soon became a mecca for physicists from around the world. Newspaper articles declared that the “pope of physics” had left Germany and that Princeton had become the new Vatican.