"We didn't know this landing card ever existed until we visited UK Border Agency officers at Heathrow. We were keen on acquiring any documents relating to immigration, but were stunned to find paperwork relating to such a prominent historical figure as Albert Einstein," explained Lucy Gardner, assistant curator of Merseyside Maritime Museum's Border and Customs Gallery.
The card is signed by Einstein and documents the Nobel-Prize winner’s arrival from Belgium on May 26, 1933. The German-born scientist fled his homeland with a bounty on his head, after Hitler deemed him an enemy of the Nazi regime.
"What's remarkable is that the landing card bears his signature, has his profession as 'professor' and lists his nationality as Swiss. This shows how Einstein had renounced his German citizenship only weeks earlier in angry reaction to Nazi policies," said Gardner.
“This tiny piece of paper brings to life Einstein’s escape from the Nazis to England. This country was a safe haven for him until he settled in the US.”
After temporarily living in England, Einstein took a position at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University in the latter part of 1933. He remained there until his death on April 18, 1955 at the age of 76.
Considered to be the father of modern physics, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.
Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life