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Einstein - In His own Words
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 21, 2017
Few, if any, have not heard of Albert Einstein (1879-1955). But how much do most people know about this great personality other than he was an outstanding scientist. The collection of articles in this book reveal the true nature of this great man, in his own words, based on his writings, speeches and sayings on various occasions. The book assumes that learned readers know the basics about Einstein's life; accordingly, it concentrates on the major issues in his later years, i.e. 1930s and 40s.
One of those issues is Einstein's deep concern about future wars and peace. Much of his writings dealt with the dawn of the atomic bomb and its devastating effect on the future of human life, especially if left uncontrolled. He repeatedly called for a supra-natural authority to control the spread of this deadly weapon and how the League of Nations Nations and the United Nations should manage this immense responsibility. It is understandable why this problem weighed so heavily on his mind: firstly, as a physicist he was involved in the theory and development of this instrument of mass destruction; and secondly, the achievement of an agreement for the control of this threat was hardly within easy reach, especially after WWII when major powers did not see eye to eye on future peace strategies. When he died in 1955, to his disappointment, no solid international agreement was yet reached and the rift between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies was steadily on the rise.
In other articles in this book about 'his people', Einstein deals with a more personal and sensitive subject. He asks : why do people hate the Jews? His opinion is simple and direct: in every nation failures of the ruling classes leads to the search for a culprit. The Jewish people being small and defenceless tend to be accused of being behind major problems . He cites as an example the German loss in WW l and how the Nazi's blamed the Jews for this loss and ended up being severely persecuted. Likewise in Russia during the unrest toward the end of the 19th century when the rulers incited people against the Jews to detract from the intensity of the crisis. Away from national problems, however, how one is to explain the historical displeasure with the Jewish communities within the European societies? Again, his reply is clear but implicit: Envy! He believes that the personality of the Jew as a clever, hard working, successful, and devoted person, naturally, invites envy and resentment.
Einstein's view of the Jews of Israel was one of pride for their huge devotion and achievements. Paradoxically, however, he was against the establishment of a Jewish nation. On the contrary, he urged his people to be tolerant and to live and work in harmony with the Palestinians. This again, reflects his wisdom and genuine interest in peace, But, sadly, to this day, his wishes have not materialised.
Fuad R. Qubein