3 1 6 D O C . 3 1 4 O N L E A G U E O F N A T I O N S
314. “On the League of Nations”
[Einstein 1924m]
Published 29 August 1924
In: Frankfurter Zeitung 69, no. 646 (29 August 1924): 1.
Having returned from the convention in Geneva of the League of Nations Com-
mittee on Intellectual Cooperation, I have the desire to say something to the Ger-
man public about the impressions I gained there.[1] The goal of this Committee is
to promote or create endeavors for the benefit of science and intellectual life gen-
erally in the individual countries through international cooperation, and thus to
draw closer together cultural spheres separated by language and traditions. Utopian
plans are not the intention. Rather more modest, yet fruitful small-scale missions
were immediately initiated: on international organization of scientific reporting,
exchange of publications, protection of intellectual property, exchanges of profes-
sors and students, between different countries, etc. Scientific reporting was the
problem most extensively supported.
All these things are naturally of little interest to the general public. Of great sig-
nificance to everyman, however, is the question: What stance should Germans,
what stance should the German Reich, take toward the League of Nations? With re-
gard to this important question, I shall say something here about my personal
impressions.[2] In all the issues that were addressed, it was the endeavor of all mem-
bers to preserve a genuinely international character for the institution. Germany is
viewed on all issues as if it were already a member of the League of Nations. Al-
though there may also unconsciously be a certain preponderance of the French
viewpoint—which, in view of the history of the League of Nations’ establishment
and in view of the hitherto lack of participation in the League of Nations by import-
ant nations,[3] is not otherwise conceivable at all—I was nevertheless happy to be
able to perceive an honest desire for objectivity. Out of this spirit only good can
spring, and I may surely express the conviction that the League of Nations is a suit-
able instrument to gradually encourage an internal and thereby also an external res-
toration to health for Europe. The experience I had was that with sensible reasons
and unconditional openness much can be achieved.
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