|Bernard Caesar Einstein|
University of California, Berkeley, |
ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Bernard Caesar Einstein (July 10, 1930 – September 30, 2008) was a German-born Swiss-American physicist, the son of Hans Albert Einstein. Of the four known biological grandchildren of Albert Einstein (all sons of Hans), he was the only one to survive childhood.
Early life and family
Bernard Einstein was the son of Hans Albert Einstein and Frieda Einstein (née Knecht), who had married in 1927 in Switzerland. Bernard Einstein was born on July 10, 1930 in Dortmund, Germany where Hans Albert was involved in a bridge building project. Hans Albert was the only one of Albert Einstein's three children to marry and have children. Hans Albert's sister, Lieserl Einstein, is assumed to have died in infancy, although it has been suggested that she was given up for adoption. Hans Albert's younger brother Eduard Einstein developed severe schizophrenia in early adulthood and died at age 55, and had no children. Bernard's brother, Klaus, was born in 1932 and died at age 6 of diphtheria in Clemson, South Carolina, United States. Frieda had two more sons that died in early infancy. Eventually Hans Albert and Frieda adopted a girl, Evelyn, shortly after she was born in 1941. One year after Frieda died in 1958, Hans Albert married Elizabeth Roboz, a neurochemist.
Bernard spent his early years in Switzerland until the age of eight when his family moved to South Carolina. Albert Einstein was very worried about the rise of Nazi Germany and encouraged his son Hans Albert to emigrate to the United States as he himself had done in 1933. Hans Albert heeded this advice, and moved his family to Greenville, South Carolina where he was a civil engineer working with the US Corps of Engineers. Bernard spent his teenage years in Pasadena where his father was a professor at the California Institute of Technology, and in Berkeley, where his father was a professor at the University of California.
Bernard first met his grandfather Albert when he was two years old. As a boy he travelled alone to spend time with Albert in New Jersey, and at Saranac Lake in upstate New York. Bernard recounted to his son Thomas that he used to irritate his grandfather because he would urinate out the window directly above Albert's study in Princeton. At Saranac Lake he enjoyed sailing with his grandfather. Apparently Albert Einstein's favorite time to sail was when there was very little wind. According to Bernard, his grandfather enjoyed the challenge of harnessing whatever little bit of breeze he could capture. The sailing tradition was carried on by Albert's son, Hans Albert who loved to sail with Bernard, and Bernard's children on the San Francisco Bay. Albert Einstein died in April 1955. Having shared his love of music with his grandson, he bequeathed Bernard his violin in addition to a modest sum of money.
Bernard's children are Thomas, Paul, Eduard, Mira, and Charles.
Education and career
Bernard was not a serious student in high school, or even in his first two years of college at University of California at Berkeley. He excelled only in German language at UC. He enlisted in the US Army in 1954. He finished basic training at Fort Ord, near Monterey, California, and was stationed in southern Germany, where he met his first wife, Doris Aude Ascher, whom he married in 1954. Bernard credited the army for giving him self-discipline, and after discharge he applied and was admitted to ETH (Federal Institute of Technology) in Zürich, Switzerland. He followed in both his grandfather's and his father's footsteps to study physics at ETH. He recounted that he was most influenced by Professor Pauli, a colleague of Albert Einstein, whom he had met earlier as a boy in his grandfather's company. Pauli taught him quantum physics, a subject Bernard would return to later in life.
When he obtained his diploma at ETH Bernard returned to the United States and worked as an engineer for Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas, ITT in the Los Angeles, California area, and Litton Industries in the San Francisco Bay Area. His area of expertise was electron tube technology, and specifically light amplification devices for night vision. He filed and obtained four U.S. patents related to light amplification technology while he worked for Litton Industries. In 1974 Bernard moved back to Switzerland, worked for a laser technology company, and obtained a US patent there as well.
|Offspring of Bernard Caesar Einstein and Doris Aude Ascher (c1938-2008)|
|Thomas Martin Einstein (1955)||1955|| |
|Paul Michael Einstein (1959)|| |
|Eduard Albert Einstein (1961)|| |
|Mira Einstein (1965)|| |
|Charles Quincy Ascher Einstein (1971)|
- Terry Kirby. Grandson tells of life with Einstein. The Independent, 8 November 2005.
- Michele Zackheim. Einstein — Children of a Lesser God: For The Offspring Of A Science Deity, The Legacy Is More Burden Than Blessing. Discover magazine, March 2008, published online February 12, 2008 at discovermagazine.com. Retrieved 2009-07-16
- Biography - Thomas Einstein, M.D., Anesthesiologist. www.ezinearticles.com website, retrieved 2009-07-16. (blocked website)