The Summer Residence of Albert Einstein in Caputh

Einstein House
Source: Zoonar / Bernd Kroeger
Albert Einstein's "Sommerhaus" (summer house) in Caputh was built in 1929 by the architect Konrad Wachsmann (1901—1980), a pioneer in industrial building. Einstein lived there with his wife Elsa in the summer months up until autumn 1932. The couple had happy times there and payed host to many international friends in arts and science including several Nobel laureates including Max Planck and Max von Laue. In an invitation to his son Eduard, Albert Einstein used the words, "Come to Caputh, brush off the world".

After the Nazis came to power, Albert and his wife Elsa decided not to return from their trip in the USA in 1933. The Einstein House was first rented for use by the neighboring Jewish foster home, before it was confiscated by the government in 1935. From then on, the community of Caputh owned the Einstein estate and used it as a kindergarden and later as a training centre for kindergarden teachers. During World War II, it was used by the German Armed Forces.

Many leaseholders occupied in the "Sommerhaus" from 1945 to 1978. On the occasion of Einstein's hundredth birthday (1979), the house was restored by the "Akademie der Wissenschaften" (Science Academy) of the GDR and used as a guest house, as well as a memorial. All attempts by the Einstein heirs to regain the illegally confiscated property failed.

After a drawn-out process of restitution, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was acknowledged as the rightful owner of the Einstein estate. Since its restoration during the Einstein Year in 2005 (100 years after the theory of relativity), the "Sommerhaus" is looked after by the Einstein Forum in Potsdam.