3 3 4 D O C . 4 1 Q U A K E R R E L I E F E F F O R T
41. On the Quaker Relief Effort
[after 11 July
Es ist bewunderungswürdig, was die Quäker zur Linderung der Not in Mittel-
Wie traurig auch die politischen Erfahrungen sein mögen, die wir
in den letzten sechs Jahren haben machen müssen; so lange die Welt unter der Füh-
rung von Ländern ist, die willens und fähig sind, zum Heile der Menschen ohne
Ansehen der Rasse und politischen Zugehörigkeit so bedeutende Kräfte und Mittel
aufzubringen, dürfen wir trotz allem mit gutem Grund daran glauben, dass die
psychologischen Voraussetzungen für eine erspriessliche Entwicklung des Völker-
Es sollte bei uns noch öfters als bisher auf dies Werk
selbstlosen Menschenliebe hingewiesen werden, damit—trotz
dieser Gedanke in Deutschland Wurzel fasse.
TTrD. [40 006]. “Abschrift!” is typed at the head of the document, followed by “Prof. Dr. A. Einstein”
(in the left margin), as well as “Auszug eines Briefes an Herrn Prof. Dr. H. Zangger, Zürich.” at the
foot of the document, which consists of one unnumbered page. This extract may derive from the final
version of the statement, of which the preceding document is a draft version.
This document is dated on the assumption that it was written after Einstein’s first statement on
the efforts of the Quakers (see the preceding document).
The plight of his countrymen had moved Einstein to plan a trip to Paris in late 1918 to plead with
the Allied Powers to save Germany from starvation (see Einstein to Paul Ehrenfest, 6 December 1918
[Vol. 8, Doc. 664]). More recently, he had expressed his horror at widespread hunger in Berlin (see
the preceding document, note 3).
In autumn 1919, Heinrich Zangger (1874–1957), Professor of Forensic Medicine at the University
of Zurich, expressed sympathy for his friend Einstein’s concerns about malnutrition and epidemics in
Eastern Europe as a result of the war (see Heinrich Zangger to Einstein, ca. October 1919). Because
of Zangger’s contacts with Swiss relief organizers of the International Committee of the Red Cross,
which was active in Eastern Europe, Einstein may have sent him the extract of this statement (see
descriptive note). For background on Swiss relief efforts in general, see Kreyenpoth 1932, pp. 37–46,
and Monnier 1995, particularly pp. 302–312, which details the activities of William Rappard (1883–
1958) and Bernard Bouvier (1861–1941) of the Red Cross, both of whom are mentioned in Zangger’s
From its earliest days, the League of Nations assumed a major role in humanitarian relief efforts.
In December 1920, the Swiss delegation submitted a motion to the Assembly, calling for the appoint-
ment of a High Commissioner to further and assist “in collaboration with existing international
organisations, all charitable work undertaken on behalf of these children. . . . To help in this field of
activity appears almost obligatory upon the League of Nations, which has already placed on its
programme humanitarian action in Central Europe.” Delegation 1920, pp. 114–115.
At the end of the previous year, Einstein had characterized the behavior of the Allied victors,
who drew up the Versailles Peace Treaty as increasingly “disgusting” (“ekelhaft”). So much property
was being bought up by foreigners, he went on, that Germany was in danger of becoming an Anglo-
American colony (see Einstein to Max Born, 9 December 1919, GyB, Nachlass Born, no. 188, p. 9).
One aspect of the Treaty which particularly rankled were articles that called for Germany’s exclusion
from international scientific exchanges (see Grundmann 1998, p. 90, and Marsch 1994, pp. 37–38),
if only implicitly (see Schröder-Gudehus 1966, pp. 120–124).