FBI campaign against Einstein
A new book - The Einstein File
by Fred Jerome reveals the 22-year effort by FBI director J Edgar
Hoover to get Albert Einstein arrested as a political subversive
or even a Soviet spy.
by Dr David Whitehouse
http://news.bbc.co.uk/, June 8, 2002
From the time Einstein arrived in the
US in 1933 to the time of his death, in 1955, the FBI files reveal
that his phone was tapped, his mail was opened and even his trash
Einstein became world famous in 1906 for
his Special Theory of Relativity that deals with light.
His General Theory of Relativity, published
in 1919, deals with gravity and has been called mankind's greatest
The Einstein File begins with a request
by J Edgar Hoover in 1950: "Please furnish a report as to
the nature of any derogatory information contained in any file
your bureau may have on the following person."
That person was Albert Einstein, and the
request intensified a secret campaign to discredit him.
Hoover was worried about Einstein's liberal
intellectualism and his dabbling in politics, something that has
been forgotten today. It has been overtaken by Einstein's absent-minded
But Einstein was outspoken against social
injustice and violations of civil rights.
The fledgling state of Israel once offered
Einstein its presidency. Einstein declined.
The broad outline of this story has been
known since 1983, when Richard Alan Schwartz, a professor of English
at Florida International University in Miami, obtained a censored
version of Einstein's 1,427-page FBI file.
But Jerome uncovers new material.
He sued the US Government with the help
of the Public Citizen Litigation Group to obtain all the documents
in the Einstein file.
The new material shows how the bureau
spied on Einstein.
"It is like the agents got up in
the morning, brushed their teeth, opened other people's mail and
tapped some phones," he told the BBC.
After he left Germany, appalled by the
barbarism of the Nazis, Einstein lent his name to a variety of
organisations dedicated to peace and disarmament.
Because of this, the Woman Patriot Corp
wrote a 16-page letter to the State Department, the first item
in Einstein's file, in 1932, arguing that Einstein should not
be allowed into the United States.
"Not even Stalin himself" was
affiliated with so many anarchic-communist groups, the letter
Fred Jerome reveals that the 1,800-page
document prepared about Einstein by the FBI shows that the agency
even bugged his secretary's nephew's house.
The files reveal that for five years J
Edgar Hoover tried, and failed, to link Einstein to a Soviet espionage
FBI & Domestic Surveillance