Henry Pachter Meets Albert Einstein

By Stephen Eric Bronner

My former teacher Henry Pachter, liked to tell a story about meeting Albert Einstein. As it happened, when he was about twelve, the future political thinker and European historian was interested in physics and mathematics. So, understandably, Henry was thrilled when his uncle Heinrich Struck – a painter who knew Einstein from the Zionist movement – arranged an interview. Einstein was busy, but he politely listened to the precocious youngster’s views on relativity and whatever else. Just when the visitors were about to leave, however, Einstein told them to wait. He rushed into his office and came back carrying a book of literary stories. He handed it to the youngster and closed the door with a smile. Only later did Henry find the inscription by Einstein that read: “A good heart is far better than a good mind.”

©2005 Stephen Eric Bronner. Re-published by The Autodidact Project with permission of the author.

SOURCE: Der Einstein-Komplex: 99 Philosophen, Schriftsteller, Kunstler und Wissenschaftler ueber ein Genie, edited by Gerd Weiberg & Frank Berberich (Heidelberg: Wunderhorn, 2005).

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