Brilliant Science & Tech Leaders That Were Once Refugee Immigrants
Despite tensions at the US southern border surrounding immigration, many immigrant refugees have gone on to make incredible contributions to the country that gave them a second chance. Here are just a few…
Google Founder Sergey Brin
He might be one of America’s most famous entrepreneurs, but Sergey Brin was not actually born in the US. In 1979, with the help of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Sergey and his family managed to leave the Soviet Union, where they’d been facing growing anti-Semitism. Sergey, who was just six when he left his native country, found the transition tough: “It was a difficult year for him, the first year,” his mother said.
The difficult start didn’t last long: in 1998, he co-founded Google with Larry Page.
Despite being one of the most famous scientists in Germany, Albert Einstein was still forced to leave the country after the Nazi party’s anti-Semitic policies made it difficult for him to carry out his work.
After moving to the US with his wife, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist did his utmost to get as many German Jews to safety, filing visa applications and providing personal recommendations. He struggled knowing that while he was safe, so many of his compatriots had not been as lucky: “I am almost ashamed to be living in such peace while all the rest struggle and suffer.”
When Nazi Germany invaded Austria in 1938, Sigmund Freud was already a household name: just eight years earlier, he had been awarded the Goethe Prize in recognition of his contribution to psychology and German culture. Although he initially resisted leaving Vienna, the British psychoanalyst Ernest Jones managed to persuade Freud that the situation was getting too dangerous, and helped organize his departure.
He died a year after arriving in England, but he was still chosen as the refugee who made the most significant contribution to British life.