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80 years after Einstein escaped to Britain, his immigration papers on display

The smudged papers to be on display from May 10 in UKBA national museum

9th May 2011: Eighty years after he made good his escape to Britain from Nazi Germany, you can see ‘father of modern physics’ Albert Einstein’s immigration papers.
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Found after being stored away for almost eight decades, the smudged papers will be on display from Tuesday May 10 in the UK Border Agency’s national museum

The legendary scientist had sought safety in Britain for several months in 1933 before eventually settling down in America. A Jewish considered an enemy of Adolf Hitler’s regime, he escaped to England with a reward on his head.

The German-born scientist-cum-Nobel Prize winner remained under armed protection in England.

The papers, found by the Border chiefs at Heathrow airport, comprise the landing card, marking his arrival in the UK.

The major historical find shows he arrived at Dover on May 26,1933, from Ostende, Belgium.

Holding a well-regarded position of a professor at the Prussian Academy of Science in Berlin from 1914, he did described his occupation as a professor, being of Swiss nationality.

On the reverse side of the card, he stated to Immigration officers he was bound for Oxford.

Claiming to have been stunned at the discovery, assistant curator Lucy Gardner says they didn’t know this landing card ever existed until they visited UK Border Agency officers at Heathrow.

They 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.

‘What was remarkable was that the landing card bears his signature, has his profession as ‘professor’ and lists his nationality at Swiss, Lucy asserts.

This, she says, shows how Einstein renounced his German citizenship only weeks earlier in angry reaction to Nazi policies.

The tiny paper brings to life Einstein’s escape from the Nazis to England. Without doubt this is one of the most important objects obtained for the Seized! gallery in recent years and they can’t wait to put it on display, she asserts.

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