Einstein and the Bomb: Who were Barbara Goodall and Margery Howard?

Netflix’s ‘Einstein and the Bomb’ gives the audience an insight into the journey of Albert Einstein, who fled Germany just as Hitler came to power and started to make things worse, especially for the Jewish population of the country. Being one of the most famous Germans and a Jew, Einstein was at the receiving end of Hitler’s immense hatred, and even when he left Germany, he had to be very discreet about his locations, as there was an active danger of the Nazis finding him wherever he went. He found refuge in England’s countryside, and at that time, two women became his friends and companions and kept him safe during that difficult time.

Barbara Goodall and Margery Howard Became Einstein’s Good Friends

While Einstein’s life story has received several iterations over the years, Barbara Goodall and Margery Howard have seldom appeared in those stories. It was most probably because Einstein spent a very short amount of time in their company, but that time was important to his story, nonetheless.

Having left Germany, Einstein came to England, where MP Oliver Locker-Lampson had already been trying to garner support for the Jewish population, even before the true nature of Hitler’s genocidal plans came to light. It was he who helped Einstein settle down in England and gave him a place to stay at his place, Roughton Heath. For a person of Einstein’s stature, the place was quite humbling.

On the surface, it was just a wooden cabin, but he still enjoyed some luxuries, like a piano and a violin (both of which were taken away from him in his home in Germany), as well as a gramophone. Locker-Lampson got him a cook and a butler, but he also had the MP’s two secretaries to protect him, armed with guns and ready to shoot down any Nazi or otherwise who might approach with the intention to hurt the Nobel laureate.

Called his “companion angels,” Goodall and Howard became good friends with Einstein, and he would often share his theories with them. Later, Howard recalled how, at the time, “she was too young to know the significance of his visit,” but that once they were acquainted, they got on quite well with each other. Little to nothing is known about Howard’s time after Einstein left Roughton Heath.

As for Goodall, who was also an accomplished equestrian, she married Locker-Lampson in 1935. She was 27 years old. Locker-Lampson had been married before, but his wife died a few years before he tied the knot with Goodall. The couple had two children, Stephen and Jonathan. She passed away at the age of 80 in 1989. When Einstein left England for America, he never came back to Europe, and Goodall and Howard never saw him again.

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