Albert Einstein (1879–1955), a German-born scientist, was predominantly known during his lifetime for his development of the theory of relativity, his contributions to quantum mechanics, and many other notable achievements in modern physics. However, his political views also garnered much public interest due to his fame and involvement in political, humanitarian, and academic projects around the world.
Einstein was a peace activist and a firm advocate of global federalism and world law. He favoured the principles of socialism, asserting that it was an ideological system that fixed what he perceived as the inherent societal shortcomings of capitalism. This became especially apparent in his later life, when he detailed his economic views in a 1949 article titled "Why Socialism?" for the independent socialist magazine Monthly Review. However, his view was not entirely uniform: he was critical of the methods employed by Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution, stating that they did not have a "well-regulated system of government" and had instead established a "regime of terror" over the fallen Russian Empire. His visible position in society allowed him to speak and write frankly, even provocatively, at a time when many people were being silenced across the European continent due to the swift rise of Nazism in Germany. In January 1933, Adolf Hitler assumed office as Germany's leader while Einstein was visiting the United States. Einstein, an Ashkenazi Jew, was staunchly opposed to the policies of the Nazi government, and after his family was repeatedly harassed by the Gestapo, he renounced his German citizenship and permanently relocated to the United States, becoming an American citizen in 1940. Though he held a generally positive view of the country's culture and values, he frequently objected to the systematic mistreatment of African Americans and became active in their civil rights movement. As a Labor Zionist, Einstein supported the Palestinian Jews of the Yishuv. However, he did not support the establishment of a Jewish state or an Arab state to replace the British Mandate for Palestine, instead asserting that he would "much rather see a reasonable agreement reached with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace" under the framework of a binational Jewish–Arab state. Nonetheless, he praised the Truman administration for granting diplomatic recognition to the State of Israel in 1948.