The Professor and the FBI

Author & Director:
Konrad Ege | Juergen Ast

Commissioning Editors:
Dagmar Mielke | Rolf Bergmann


astfilm productions | ARTE | RBB // ARTE

Till today more than 1.800 pages of the former top-secret FBI-file about Albert Einstein were released to the public. Reports and records of an unbelievable surveillance. The explosive papers also tells the story of the "forgotten" side of Einstein, his interest in global politics and his role as a supporter in the struggle for human rights.

The film takes a in-depth look at the top-secret surveillance of Albert Einstein that J. Edgar Hoover staged. The house of the discoverer of the theory of relativity was under constant surveillance and the professor himself was for more than 20 years the target of an investigation, that tried to uncover the lateral thinker as a "potential communist", a "spy from Moscow". Einstein was living in the USA since 1933. At that time Einstein was the most famous scientist of the 20th century, an icon already in life. For Hoover it was exactly that popularity that made Einstein so dangerous and seditious. It was known that Einstein was committed to "subversive" organizations like the "League against War and Fascism", the crusade against the injustice of lynching and the "Anti-Nuclear-Weapons Movement".

Was Einstein really a spy, a communist, a traitor? Former FBI employees, historians, Einstein experts and also people that encountered Einstein, civil-rights activists and friends, they all describe the "political" Einstein and light up the rather unknown side of one of the most famous humans.