Einstein's visit to England

detail of official stamp on Einstein's landing card

Detail showing the Dover immigration officer's official stamp on Einstein's landing card, dated 26 May 1933.

Einstein boarded a ferry from Oostende, Belgium to Dover on 26 May 26 1933. He travelled to Oxford for a short stay and delivered a series of lectures. He spoke out against the German government and their extreme policies.

In September MP Oliver Locker-Lampson offered him refuge near Norfolk. Armed guards were provided to protect Einstein. Locker-Lampson, a campaigner against communism in the 1920s, was also later passionately opposed to the growth of fascism. In January 1933 he attempted to introduce a law to extend British citizenship to Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. Although this never became law he was one of many British people who felt a responsibility to rescue Jewish people, sponsoring many to escape the Nazis.

In London on 3 October 1933 Einstein addressed a huge audience of 10,000 people in the Albert Hall to raise money for refugees. Fearful for those persecuted by the Nazi regime he advocated extending British citizenship to those in trouble.

old photo of a ship

'Princess Josephine Charlotte'. Einstein may have travelled on this vessel from Ostend to Dover on 26 May 1933. © Ian Boyle collection