Checking passports and landing cards are the daily routine for Entry Clearance Officials at the UK border. The card relating to Albert Einstein’s escape from Nazi Germany has been discovered and put on temporary display for the first time at the Maritime Museum in Liverpool.
The Jewish physicist fled from his homeland when Adolf Hitler came to power. A bounty was put on his head by the Nazis, who named him an enemy of the regime.
This card marks Albert Einstein’s arrival at Dover on 26 May 1933 from Ostende, Belgium. He states his occupation as professor and nationality Swiss. On the reverse he states to immigration officers he is bound for Oxford.
After nearly 80 years stored at Heathrow Airport, it was discovered by curators from the museum, Assistant curator Lucy Gardner said:
‘We didn’t know this landing card ever existed until we visited UK Border Agency officers at Heathrow. We were keen on acquiring any documents relating to immigration, but were stunned to find paperwork relating to such a prominent historical figure as Albert Einstein.
‘What’s remarkable is that the landing card bears his signature, has his profession as “professor” and lists his nationality at Swiss. This shows how Einstein had renounced his German citizenship only weeks earlier in angry reaction to Nazi policies.
‘This tiny piece of paper brings to life Einstein’s escape from the Nazis to England. This country became a safe haven for him until he eventually settled in the US.’
I wonder it he was advised ”Albert, it will help save time if you complete this card fully before arriving at our border”….