Albert Einstein
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States (born in Germany, was a Swiss citizen for a time, briefly stateless in the 1930s)
Date of Birth: 1879
Date of Death: 1955
Cause of Death: Rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm
Religion: Raised in Judaism; moved towards Agnosticism
Occupation: Physicist, Cosmologist, Educator, Author of Non-Fiction
Spouse: Mileva Marić (divorced 1919);
Elsa Löwenthal(died 1936)
Children: Lieserl Marić(d. 1903), Hans, Eduard (all by his first wife)
Turtledove Appearances:
POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): Upsetting the Balance
Type of Appearance: Direct (with contemporary and posthumous references in other volumes)
The War That Came Early
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
Appearance(s): Last Orders
Type of Appearance: Direct
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Both
Type of Appearance: Direct
Date of Death: 1946
Cause of Death: Execution by firing squad
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): Drive to the East;
In at the Death
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Nationality: German Empire
Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 - April 18, 1955) was an German-born Jewish Nobel Prize winning physicist. He is best known for his Theory of Relativity and specifically mass–energy equivalence, expressed by the equation E = mc2. Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect." Einstein settled in the United States after the Nazi ascendancy, and was instrumental in the creation of the Manhattan Project.

Albert Einstein in WorldwarEdit

Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity proved that a tremendous energy output could be released from a divided atomic nucleus--the theory which allowed the human powers to develop atomic bombs[1] with which to resist the Race. However, the theory also seemed to prove that it was impossible to travel faster than light. This was disproven when the United States launched a successful flight of the FTL starship Commodore Perry.[2]

Albert Einstein (who along with Leo Szilard had petitioned President Franklin D. Roosevelt to authorize the Manhattan Project at the outset of World War II[3]) worked with the US to develop atomic bombs. This work became even more urgent when the Race arrived in 1942, and demonstrated their own atomic weapons.

At one point, Einstein found himself sharing a room in Couch, Missouri with deposed Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini; American General Dwight Eisenhower; fellow scientist Robert Goddard; American soldier and Race expert Sam Yeager, and; Race prisoner Vesstil. Einstein found the Lizard POW fascinating.[4]

Albert Einstein in The War That Came EarlyEdit

Albert Einstein left Europe five years before the Second World War broke out. Sarah Goldman saw Einstein as an example of just how foolish the Nazi Party's anti-Jewish policy truly was: any brilliant ideas Einstein had would be shared with Germany's enemies, and not Germany proper.[5]

In fact, Einstein and other scientists were able to convince the government of the United States to attempt to build a new type of bomb powerful enough to level a whole city. However, by 1942, the project, headquartered in Tennessee, had cost millions with nothing to show for it. Herb Druce convinced the government to shut the project down.[6]

While the war in Europe did end in 1944 when the Nazis were overthrown by the Committee for the Salvation of the German Nation, Einstein was still concerned that the more rational German government might see the potential in an atomic bomb and begin building one. He began investigating the identity of the person who'd killed the American project, and finally learned Herb Druce's name. He personally went to the home of Peggy Druce, Herb's ex-wife (as Einstein was unaware of their divorce), and expressed his concerns. Peggy gave Einstein Herb's new address.[7]

Albert Einstein in Joe SteeleEdit

In 1938 or 1939, Albert Einstein (1879-1946) became aware of several experiments that might have laid the foundation for an atomic bomb. However, he kept that information to himself, even after the United States had entered into World War II in 1941, as President Joe Steele had already proven to be a tyrant since assuming office in 1933. Einstein saw that the bomb could benefit America's war effort, but did not trust Steele.

In early 1946, Steele was informed by Captain Hyman Rickover of the U.S. Navy about certain German programs involving the use of uranium as an explosive weapon. Steele summoned Einstein to the White House. When Steele asked about the German program, Einstein admitted that he'd learned of early experiments in 1938 or 1939. When Steele asked Einstein why he'd done nothing, Einstein calmly responded that he was afraid Steele would build the bomb and use it.[8]

Steele proclaimed Einstein the "king of the wreckers", and ordered Einstein arrested. Once Einstein was gone, Steele asked Rickover if he could complete the project. Rickover promised to do his best. Steele also gave Rickover access to a number of people who'd already been placed in custody as wreckers. Steele cautioned that if any of these people did anymore wrecking, they would be eliminated. When Charlie Sullivan, a speechwriter for Steele, suggested Einstein would be too famous to execute, Steele retorted that the U.S. had taken Einstein in, and Einstein had betrayed the country. Steele promised that Einstein would get what he deserved.[9] Einstein's death was discretely handled.[10]

Literary CommentEdit

Einstein's actions and fate are the same in both the novel and the short story. In the short story, Einstein's actions serve as the justification for a purge called the "Professors' Plot", in which a number of Jewish scientists are arrested. This plot line is not carried over into the novel.

Albert Einstein in Southern Victory Edit

Albert Einstein was a German physicist who abruptly disappeared in 1942.[11] He was one of many leading physicists to do so from all across Germany and Austria-Hungary. United States officials correctly believed that they were working on a project to build what came to be called the "superbomb". The fruits of Einstein's labor were used against the Russian capital of Petrograd in 1944.

Before the CSA obtained their own superbomb, Jake Featherston, panicked that the USA would use one first on his country, told Lord Halifax that he wished someone had strangled Einstein when he was an infant.[12]

See AlsoEdit


  1. In the Balance, pg. 94.
  2. Homeward Bound, pg. 489
  3. Tilting the Balance, pg. 502
  4. Upsetting the Balance, pg. 339
  5. West and East, pg. 225
  6. Two Fronts, pgs. 273-275.
  7. Last Orders, pgs. 398-400.
  8. Joe Steele, pgs. 317-319, HC.
  9. Ibid., pgs. 319-320.
  10. Ibid., pg. 327.
  11. Drive to the East, pg. 116
  12. In at the Death, pg. 49.