Wolfgang Pauli


Wolfgang Pauli had been working at the ETH in Switzerland. But he had automatically become a German citizen after the Anschluss. On the outbreak of the war, he hoped to be made a Swiss citizen, but this was denied to him. He was from a Jewish family and this put him in danger if he was forced to leave Switzerland.

However, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton had had their eye on Pauli for some time and offered him a Visiting Professorship. To get to the USA, he had to travel from Geneva to Barcelona and then to Lisbon for a boat across the Atlantic. But his visa to the USA only came through after France had been invaded by Germany. Nevertheless, on 31 July 1940, he and his wife managed to take the train across southern France to Spain, which was a dangerous route at that time.