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Einstein's diaries contain shocking details of their racism

    Abdulaziz Sobh
    By Abdulaziz Sobh

    Categories: News and Society, Science


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    Recently translated into English, Albert Einstein's private travel journals of the 1920s reveal that he was racist in his early life, especially towards the Chinese.
    The journals, published as "The Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein" by Princeton University Press, reveal that Einstein, perhaps the most famous scientist of all time and known for his theory of general relativity and the equation e = mc2, was extraordinarily biased towards certain populations. This is a marked contrast to his position later in life when he said that racism was a "white disease".

    The diaries were written between October 1922 and March 1923. In one entry, Einstein wrote that "the Chinese do not sit on benches while eating, but squat as Europeans do when they relieve themselves in the lush forests. it happens in silence and demure, even children do not have spirit and they look obtuse. "

    Speaking about the "abundance of offspring" and the "fecundity" of the Chinese, he continued: "It would be a shame if these Chinese supplant all other races ... For people like us, the mere thought is indescribably dismal."

    Einstein also ridiculed the people of Ceylon, which is now known as Sri Lanka. In Ceylon, he wrote, the locals "live in great filth and a considerable stench at ground level," before adding that they "do little and need little." The simple economic cycle of life. "

    Einstein also reflected on the Japanese, whom he considered in a more positive way, describing them as "ostentatious, decent, totally attractive". However, he also wrote that "the intellectual needs of this nation seem to be weaker than those of the artists". - natural disposition? "

    "The entries ... contain passages that reveal Einstein's stereotypes of members of various nations and ask questions about their attitudes about race," says a description of the book.

    The magazines were translated from German and are described as "the first publication of Albert Einstein's travel journal in the Far East and the Middle East."

    Speaking with The Guardian, the book's editor, Ze'ev Rosenkranz, said that Einstein's views were not intended for public consumption and are a shock to those who read them.

    "I think a lot of comments seem pretty nasty to us: what he says about the Chinese in particular," Rosenkranz told The Guardian. "They are in some way in contrast to the public image of the great humanitarian icon, I think it's quite a shock to read those and contrast them with their more public statements, they are more unprepared, I had no intention of publishing them."

    Rosenkranz is also the assistant director of the Einstein Papers Project at the California Institute of Technology and has written several books about Einstein's life.

    The observations in his diary are markedly different from the public image that Einstein had in his later years.

    In 1946, speaking at Lincoln University, the historically African American first-grade university in the USA. UU., Einstein said that racism was a "disease of whites" and added "I do not pretend to be silent about it," according to a 2007 article in the Harvard Gazette.

    Einstein was one of the founders of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and left him with his literary status and personal documents. He refused an invitation to serve as the first president of Israel.

    He died in 1955 at the age of 76 years.