There was nothing simple about Albert Einstein, ever. His apparent simplicity concealed an impenetrable complexity. Even the links to his native Germany were prematurely ambiguous. At a time when most Germans thought their country a hospitable home, a perfect training ground for their talents, Einstein was repelled: In 1894, as a 15‐year‐old, he left Germany and became a Swiss citizen. Twenty years later, a few weeks before the outbreak of the Great War, he returned to Germany and remained for 18 years of troubled renown, years in which he appreciated what was congenial and opposed what was antipathetic in Germany. Long before Hitler's rise, he felt unease.

You do not currently have access to this content.