Albert Einstein and the new Berlin-Brandenbourg International Airport

“Yedioth Ahronot”. published yesterday (6.24.08) on his Hebrew printed edition: “Berlin considering to name it’s new international airport ‘Albert Einstein’ “.To be more precise Der Spiegel  already hinted on October 18, 2007 to additional names  Dietrich, Willy Brandt or von Stauffenberg? see here.

Construction of the new Airport Berlin Brandenburg International, see here, has started at Schönefeld and the new airport is scheduled for opening in 2011. It will be one on the bigest airport in Europe, and  his greatness and vastness demands  the name of an illustrious great men of fame, and Albert Einstein is a perfect candidate.

The special thing about the BBI Infotower is its unusual and rather striking design.

Photos source.

Well at a first glance, this is indeed a great honor for the Jewish people, to propose the name of Albert Einstein for the new Airport Berlin Brandenburg International, (what today is called the Schönefeld airport) ; in good accordance with the German restitution policy  funded by millions of euros given to the holocaust survivors and  other more discrete help for Israel’s security.
 
But I feel some uneasiness about this possible nomination. Because this is more a German issue than a Jewish or Israeli issue. Einstein lived in Berlin, and in 1933 was at his apogee as a scientists and as an international celebrity. I quote, …” Einstein was elected to the Prussian Academy of Science in Berlin in 1913. When he accepted the professorship of physics at the University of Berlin in 1914, he once more assumed German citizenship. The same year, he became director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Physical Institute in Berlin. He occupied both positions until 1933.”…
 
 And then  began the great debacle, I quote , …”After the rise of NAZI in Germany, Einstein left for USA. Einstein and relatives left Europe for the United States, on December 9, 1930. In 1933, the Nazi government took his property and deprived him of his positions and citizenship.”…see here.


 
It is only natural that in actual Germany, Albert Einstein’s destitution under the Nirenberg decrees, the calling of the ‘The General Theory of Relativity’ and his seminal contribution to the birth of quantum mechanics  ‘Jewish Physics‘, finally leading to his escape from Germany’s Third Reich in 1930, is considered as an unbearable shame.  
 
The Times, in 2000, nominated Einstein as the ‘Person of the Century’: he was the person whose vision reshaped the view of the universe. The Times only ratified a latent choice of a vast majority of people.

All this to say: Berlin is eager to restitute to Albert Einstein his citizenship and property in the form of a grandiose entrance gate  “Albert Einstein (Berliner) International Airport”. But can you bargain such a deal for the  name of the new Berliner  airport?   Is it not better to remember him as Albert Einstein who opened the gates of our cosmos, not the gates of an airport.

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