German Museum Won’t Create Walk-Through Model of Albert Einstein’s Brain

(JTA) — A German museum will not feature a walk-through model of Albert Einstein’s brain after visitors to its website voted to make the brain of German soccer star Karl-Heinz “Charly” Körbel the centerpiece of its exhibit.

The Senckenberg Museum for Natural Sciences sought public input for a modernization and expansion that will include a giant brain that visitors can walk through.

Along with Einstein and Korbel, visitors to the website could choose primatologist Jane Goodall or nominate their own brains. The public vote ended Wednesday.

The German branch of Friends of Hebrew University had tried to drum up votes for Einstein, the iconic German-Jewish physicist who founded both the university and its fundraising arm.

Einstein’s brain was at the center of bizarre chapter in pathology. After his death on April 18, 1955, the Princeton, New Jersey pathologist attending his body stole the brain in the interest of scientific research. Einstein’s son eventually gave permission for the brain to be sent to Philadelphia, where it was sliced into pieces and preserved.

For decades, the pathologist took the brain in a glass jar with him on travels around the country, and sent pieces of the brain to researchers all over the world, according to Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum, where some slices are on display.


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

German Museum Won’t Create Walk-Through Model of Albert Einstein’s Brain

Thank you!

This article has been sent!