Good and Evil – Hand in Hand
I finished watching the series ‘Genius’ last night. The programme starred Johnny Flynn, brother of the older Jerome from Solider Soldier fame, and Geoffrey Rush. Both actors played the role of Albert Einstein at different times in his life and portrayed from his early years trying to get into University right through to his death in 1955.
Now most, probably like me, might think of Einstein as a slightly strange looking man with wild white hair, or perhaps E+MC² might spring to mind, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. What I was now aware of was that he was German, although he did denounce his German nationality early in his career to study in other places, but he did live in Germany for many years of his life. He was an outright pacifist but non-political and affiliated himself with no political parties. And he was a Jew, although non practicing, but still of Jewish origin.
Of course the story told in the series was of the young Albert trying to find a University to take him on and when he finally did obtain a degree he started work on his fascination with the Cosmos and Relativity Theories as well as teaching and lecturing. Genius showed how he became part of the group of German scientists in Berlin, who really were leading the world in terms of new discoveries, theories and virtually every scientific phenomena of the day. But the story also showed the darker side of science with developments that were happening in Europe in the early parts of the 20th and particularly leading up to WW1.
It was German scientists, indeed a colleague of Einstein who scientifically developed and started testing poisonous gasses on live rats in Berlin which led to the introduction of the dreaded mustard gas used in the trenches during WW1. Of course the Scientists were developing the first weapons of mass destruction as they are now called and had a clear philosophy; kill enough of the enemy then the war would be over more quickly. We have all seen the pictures of lines of helpless wounded men, hands on each other’s shoulders and eyes covered with bandages.
Of course following the Great War in 1919 saw the formation of the National Socialist German Workers Party who went on to