Albert Einstein’s Grandson: Bernhard Einstein

Bernhard Caesar Einstein was born in Dortmund, Germany, on the 10th of July 1930. His father was Hans Albert Einstein, and his mother was Frieda Einstein. Bernhard was a Swiss-American engineer, and he was Albert Einstein’s only biological grandchild who lived to adulthood.

Bernhard spent his childhood in Switzerland until he was eight years old. By then, his grandfather, Albert, advised his father to move to the United States to avoid the Nazi persecution of Jews. Hans Albert followed his father’s advice and, in 1933, brought his wife and Bernhard to South Carolina. He found work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a civil engineer and later worked as a professor at the California Institute of Technology. As a result, Bernhard grew up as a teenager in Pasadena.

Bernhard was two years old when he met his grandfather. He spent time with the well-known physicist at Saranac Lake and New Jersey. The two must have formed a genuine bond, as when Albert died in 1955, he left his violin to his grandson, along with a decent amount of money. 

In his first two years at the University of California at Berkeley, Bernhard Einstein exhibited brilliance in the German language, although generally, he did not take his studies earnestly. Then, in 1954, he joined the U.S. Army and completed the basic course at Fort Ord, California. When he was assigned to southern Germany, Bernhard met Doris Aude Ascher. They married in 1954 and had five children: Thomas Martin Einstein, Paul Michael Einstein, Eduard Albert “Ted” Einstein, Mira Einstein-Yehieli, and Charles Quincy Ascher “Charly” Einstein.

After his stint with the army, Bernhard Einstein was accepted at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) in Zurich. After earning his diploma at ETH, he headed back to the United States and had himself employed at Texas Instruments in Dallas. Afterward, Bernhard resettled in California and worked for Litton Industries in the San Francisco Bay Area. He specialized in light amplification for night vision equipment. While working there, he submitted four and was granted four patents connected to light amplification research. Bernhard later moved back to Switzerland, where he worked at the Swiss Army Research Lab. While he was there, he earned another U.S. patent.

Bernhard died on the 30th of September, 2008, in Switzerland, at the age of 78.