Bernhard Caesar Einstein

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Bernard Caesar Einstein
Bernard Einstein.jpg
Bernard Einstein, August, 2003
Born Bernard Caesar Einstein
(1930-07-10)10 July 1930
Dortmund, Germany
Died 30 September 2008(2008-09-30) (aged 78)
Insel Hospital, Bern, Switzerland
Cause of death Vascular disease, renal failure
Citizenship Switzerland
United States
Education University of California, Berkeley
ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Occupation Physicist, engineer
Spouse(s) Doris Aude Ascher
Children 5, including Thomas Martin Einstein
Parent(s) Hans Albert Einstein
Frieda Knecht
Relatives Albert Einstein (paternal grandfather)
Mileva Marić (paternal grandmother)
Family Einstein

Bernard Caesar Einstein (10 July 1930 – 30 September 2008)[1] was a German-born Swiss-American physicist, the son of Hans Albert Einstein. Of the three known biological grandchildren of Albert Einstein, all sons of Hans, he was the only one to survive childhood.

Early life and family[edit]

Bernard Einstein was the son of Hans Albert Einstein and Frieda Einstein (née Knecht), who had married in 1927 in Switzerland. He was born on 10 July 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. Frieda also had David, who died in early infancy. Eventually, Hans Albert and Frieda adopted a girl, Evelyn, shortly after she was born in 1941. Frieda died in 1958; and one year later 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.

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. Einstein 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, 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.

In 1954, Bernard married Doris Aude Ascher (c. 1938), with whom he had five children:[2]

  • Thomas Martin Einstein (born 1955 in Switzerland)
  • Paul Michael Einstein (born 1959 in France)
  • Eduard Albert "Ted" Einstein (born 1961 in Los Angeles, California)
  • Mira Einstein-Yehieli (born 1965 in Switzerland)
  • Charles Quincy Ascher "Charly" Einstein (born 1971 in Switzerland)

Education and career[edit]

Einstein 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, and finished basic training at Fort Ord, near Monterey, California. He was stationed in southern Germany where he met his first wife, Doris Aude Ascher (c. 1938-2008), whom he married in 1954. Einstein credited the army for giving him self-discipline,[citation needed] and after discharge he applied and was admitted to Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland. He followed in both his grandfather's and his father's footsteps to study physics at the ETH.

When he obtained his diploma at ETH, Einstein returned to the United States and worked as an engineer for Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas.

Einstein then moved to California and worked at 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 and worked in laser technology at the Swiss Army Research Lab in Thun, obtaining a further US patent.


  1. ^ SSDI
  2. ^ Calaprice, Alice (1996). The Quotable Einstein. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. p. xxiii. ISBN 0-691-02696-3. 

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