Einstein Jahr

26 08 2007

When we visited Berlin in 2005, we couldn’t help but notice all the big “E”s, the Einstein quotes, and the big sign on the fence of Humboldt University saying: “Hier las Einstein” (Einstein taught here).

Here are two such E’s on Unter den Linden:

Einstein Jahr.


When we tried to find out what’s with all the renewed interest in the man (I mean, the German-Jewish Nobel Prize Laureate and very distinguished physicist, Albert Einstein), we discovered that the German Ministry of Education had proclaimed the year 2005 as “Einstein Jahr” (Einstein year), to promote “the interdisciplinary dialogue between science, industry, culture and politics. It is a joint initiative which is intended to make people more aware of the mutual responsibility of science and society. A year in which the influence of Einstein’s work on intellectuals, musicians and artists will also be a thematic focus. Numerous performances, concerts and exhibitions will accompany a broad-based dialogue”.

We came just in time for the Long night of Science, but unfortunately, we do not know enough German to participate in such events.

Further inquiry taught us that since 2000, the Ministry of Education is organizing science years on different topics, in cooperation with partners from the science, industry and culture sectors. This year, 2007, is “The Year of the Humanities“, exactly my kind of year…

Here’s a building with an Einstein quote on it:

Einstein quote on building.

It says something like: “The state exists for man, not man for the state“.

There’s another quote by him about politics, which I really like, but probably wouldn’t appear on a building in Berlin, and it says: “If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew” (he said that in an address at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1929).

And I cannot help wondering what would have happened if he had accepted the proposal to be the first president of Israel. We might have taken a very different road. Or not.

And here’s Einstein’s biography from the Nobel Prize website. You can also read his Nobel Prize lecture there.


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