From 1912 to 1914 Albert Einstein lived in Zurich. In 1914 Vladimir Lenin moved to Zurich. The two men actually visited the same coffee shop to do their individual work. In 1916, Lenin wrote Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. In 1917 several astronomers at Mount Wilson Observatory said they had disproved Einstein’s theory that gravity bent light. One theory had supposedly come to light while another theory of light had failed.
In 1919, Lenin recorded eight speeches against anti-Semitism, bringing his views of anti-prejudice to light. In 1919, Albert Einstein’s theory that gravity bent light was proved to be correct. Fellow Noble laureate, Paul Dirac stated that this was-probably the greatest scientific discovery ever made.- Both were events of the deepest gravity.
Both men were staunch anti-capitalist socialists. Both were openly vocal about their opinions. One discovered that gravity bends light while the other stressed the gravity of light being bent in one political direction. Lenin eventually died for his views from a combination of ill healing gunshot wounds from two failed assassination attempts further complicated by three strokes. He died at age 53 and his legacy turned gravely dark in the history that followed. At age 54, Albert Einstein found out that there was an assignation bounty on his head in Germany for $5,000.
One man became a political activist deeply involved in the stirrings of a political revolution trying to bring light to the peasants. The other became a scientific activist, promoting new ideas in light physics. One avoided death in war the other became that death.
Why so many parallels? Why the vague passing of two lives briefly entwined in neutral Switzerland during humanity’s greatest upheaval? There are no answers. Both men are despised by some and revered by others. No one understands why so many brilliant and controversial scientists and politicians blossomed simultaneously. Lenin and Einstein were only two of many. These events do show one thing about humanity: how utterly fragile it is and how balance is such a critical thing to maintain especially during times of chaos. Accident or lesson?