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‘Law & Order’ Star Reveals Unexpected Connection to Albert Einstein

by Joe Rutland
albert einstein photo
(Photo by: Pictures From History/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

It’s interesting to hear about Law & Order actor Josh Pais and his unique connection to famed scientist Albert Einstein. Pais’ father happened to have been Dutch-born physicist, professor, and writer Abraham Pais. He survived the Holocaust and would go on to work with Nobel Prize-winning physicists Einstein and Niels Bohr.

“He was hiding in Amsterdam (during WWII),” Pais told Page Six at the New York premiere of Plane earlier in the week. “Like a block or two from Anne Frank.”

Abraham Pais and three others were betrayed in March 1945. However, that same week, American troops had crossed the Rhine River and cut rail lines. It made their transfer to a concentration camp impossible. He was then interrogated by the Gestapo, the secret police of Nazi Germany, for a month. Pais was released only days before the end of the war.

‘Law & Order’ Star Josh Pais Said His Father Worked With Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr

“After the war, he went to Copenhagen and worked with Niels Bohr,” Josh Pais said, “and then from there, [physicist] Robert Oppenheimer invited him to the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton. And then, that’s where he worked with Einstein for 11 years.”

Pais, 64, who appears on Law & Order, said that he sadly never met the German-born physicist. But he would see his image in family photo albums. Pais also recalls his late dad’s favorite memory of working with Albert Einstein. It happened to be toward the end of the famed scientist’s life.

“Einstein had fallen somewhat ill and my dad went to see him,” he told us. “He opened his bedroom door and Einstein was in bed doing calculations. And then they hung out for about 20 minutes and just kind of chit-chatted.

Pais Said That In Order To Get Allowance, He Had To Mark Different Parts Of Atom

“And then my dad said goodbye, went to the door and looked back at Einstein and Einstein was back calculating. And there’s something so beautiful about that.” Pais said that physics has played a part in his life since he was young.

“To get my allowance, I had to mark the different parts of an atom. Like, my dad would draw that … I just grew up very much immersed in, you know, in that world,” Pais said. Pais, who grew up in New York in the late ’60s and ’70s, put his childhood memories into a documentary titled 7th Street,  which he wrote and directed. “I grew up on 7th street between C and D,” he said. Pais described it as “super dangerous” and “a war zone.” Pais’ memories paint a very personal picture of a unique connection to Einstein.

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