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Professor Philipp Lenard is a main character on the first season of Genius. He was a German physicist and an anti-Semite; as an active proponent of the Nazi ideology, he supported Adolf Hitler in the 1920s.

He is portrayed by Michael McElhatton.

Biography

1898

At Heidelberg University, Philipp Lenard teaches a class on The Kinetic Principles of Theoretical Physics. He notices the only female in his class is Mileva Marić.

Mileva later approaches Lenard and asks him questions on understanding the equipartition theorem and if it applies to the case of diatomic gases. Lenard, impressed by her knowledge on the material, wonders how she knows so much, and Mileva answers by stating that it was only him who taught her and that she learned nothing of it at Zurich. He is then shown an essay written by Mileva on kinetic theory and asked to read it and write to the University to petition her to take the entrance exam so she can actually attend the classes as a student. Lenard says that he admires her spirit, but will not, due to his German conservatism, write to the administration. He urges her to return to Zurich and earn a diploma and then maybe he will reconsider.

1922

Philip Lenard issues a statement stating that his university colleague Albert Einstein should be bared from attending the Annual Conference for German Science, plainly stating that his "Jewish-physics" have no place there.

On the day of Walther Rathenau's state funeral, a day also chosen to be a national holiday in the commemoration of the minister's death, Lenard chooses to teach rather than mourn. He says that he would not wish to mourn the Jew who bankrupted Germany, also stating that Rathenau's death should be celebrated throughout Germany not commemorated.

Professor Lenard enters a classroom full of young students who have also chosen not to observe Rathenau's mourning. He gives a speech on the future of the nation, going as far as claiming that Germany and German physics are under threat. The professor then urges the young student's to protect their Aryan respect in the sciences and to stand up for Germany.

Personality

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