Albert Einstein was a German-born physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921. Einstein is generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century.
Einstein slowly watched his homeland give in to Adolf Hitler’s fascist dictatorship.
Einstein wondered if any institutions were going to stand up and oppose Hitler: “When Hitler and Hitlerism came to Germany I expected the universities to oppose. Instead they embraced it. I hoped for the press to denounce it, but instead they propagated its teachings. One by one the leaders and institutions which should have opposed the Nazi philosophy bowed meekly to its authority.
Only one institution met it with vigorous opposition and that was the Christian Church.”
Einstein confessed, “That Church which I once despised, I now love with a passion I cannot describe.” The commitment of the Church in standing against evil made a profound impression upon Albert Einstein.
Those individuals in the 1930’s understood the cost associated with their actions, and they did not back down.
We are now observing the 75thAnniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp where 1.1 million men, women and children were murdered.
Piotr Cywinski, the director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum recently said: “More and more we seem to be having trouble connecting our historical knowledge with our moral choices today.
“I can imagine a society that understands history very well but does not draw any conclusion from this knowledge. In this current political moment, that can be very dangerous.”
Why do you think the universities embraced Hitler and the media propagated Nazism?