Recently published by Princeton University Press, ‘The Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein‘ date back to 1920s, the time when the famous Austrian physicist was traveling extensively with his wife is raising eyebrows on his racist views on Asians.
In the fall of 1922, Albert Einstein, along with his then-wife, Elsa Einstein, embarked on a five-and-a-half-month voyage to the Far East and the Middle East, regions that the renowned physicist had never visited before. Einstein’s lengthy itinerary consisted of stops in Hong Kong and Singapore, two brief stays in China, a six-week whirlwind lecture tour of Japan, a twelve-day tour of Palestine, and a three-week visit to Spain.
We saw here for the first time an elderly Indian, fine, distinguished face with a grey beard, who brought us two telegrams and—begged for a tip. We saw other Indians as well, brown to black sinewy figures with expressive faces and bodies and humble demeanor. They look like nobles transformed into beggars. Much unspeakable pride and downtroddenness are united there.
I was very much ashamed of myself for being complicit in such despicable treatment of human beings but couldn’t change anything. Because these beggars in the form of kings descend in droves on any foreigner until he has surrendered to them. They know how to implore and to beg until one’s heart is shaken up. On the streets of the indigenous quarter, one can see how these fine people spend their primitive lives.
In manuscripts, he apparently never intended to publish, Einstein shared his travel impressions about art, politics, science, philosophy and ultimately, racial equality. In striking contradiction with his later statements, the Nobel Prize laureate wrote down thoughts on racial stereotypes, insisting that some races not only could not equate to others but were inferior to them.
He described the Chinese as “industrious, filthy, obtuse” and “a peculiar herd-like nation,” that, according to Einstein, posed threat to other nations. “It would be a pity if these Chinese supplant all other races,” he wrote. “For the likes of us, the mere thought is unspeakably dreary.”
Born in Germany and of Jewish descent, Einstein condemned both the rise of the German National Socialist Party and later all forms of racism, defining it as a “disease of white people.” In 1946, during his speech at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, focused on fighting racism, he claimed that “being a Jew” himself he could “understand and empathize with how black people feel as victims of discrimination”.
Ze’ev Rosenkranz, the senior editor of the published diaries, told the Guardian that Einstein’s diary entries on the alleged intellectual inferiority of the Japanese, Chinese, and Indians stemming from their biological background “are definitely not understated and can be viewed as racist.”
With many people looking up to Einstein as both a moral role model and one of the greatest physicists of all time who introduced the theory of general relativity, the revelations on what Rosenkranz called “a clear hallmark of racism” could now tarnish the popular science icon. Also, there are rumors about his credibility on some of his greatest theories.
Many Claims that Einstein was a plagiarist who stole the ideas of various real scientists such as Olinto de Pretto(the real founder of E=mc2), Henri Poincaré(the true “father of relativity”), Lorenz and many other forgotten real pioneers, Einstein always tried to avoid speaking about science in the public because he was clueless. Being a Jew, Einstien has been marketed and promoted by the mainstream media mainly by the famous Edward Bernays.
It is also said that his first wife Mileva Marić, a Serbian mathematician was most probably the actual author of his early theories. It is also visible that his contributions to science were relatively slight after he divorced her.