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Diaries From Albert Einstein Raise Racist Questions

by | Jun 28, 2018 | News

Nasher

 

‘The Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein: The Far East, Palestine, and Spain, 1922–1923’ published by Princeton University Press, USA, has drawn criticism from a number of readers who claim it reveals the physician as a racist.

Einstein wrote the diaries as he and his then-wife, Elsa Einstein, embarked on a five-and-a-half-month voyage to the Far East and 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.

Some of Einstein’s entries contain passages that reveal his stereotyping of members of various nations and have been described by many historians and academics as “unpleasant” and counterintuitive to his standing as a humanitarian who later in life advocated for civil rights in the U.S. and called racism “a disease of white people.”

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