D O C U M E N T 4 5 7 M A R C H 1 9 2 9 4 0 7 457. To Menachem Ussishkin[1] [Berlin,] 19 March 1929 Dear Mr. Ussishkin, I already knew you as the leader, inflexibly strong in character and bull-necked, of our people, which is otherwise so used to adaptation.[2] But I did not know that you could combine such strength with so much delicacy and poetic verve as your letter shows.[3] In comparison with it, everything people said to me paled, and that was a lot and God knows not the usual things! Now, as masterfully as it was said, in truth it had little merit. My behavior may have influenced Jews and others, but no service was involved. I turned thirty-five without knowing, as it were, that I was a Jew.[4] Only retrospectively do I see that—although I lived in a wholly Christian environment and was married to a Greek Orthodox woman—my closest friends were Jews.[5] It was later that the Berlin environment made my membership in the Jewish people clear to me [6] is it any wonder that I understood their doctrine? Men of conviction and intelligence also appeared who supported me in this transforma- tion, especially Weizmann and Blumenfeld.[7] Subsequently I didn’t really do any- thing for the Jewish cause other than to sincerely and cheerfully acknowledge before everyone my adherence to it, how I felt and will always feel about it. So make use of me, however I may be useful to the common cause (not too much, so that my effectiveness is not lost!) but also know that I am well aware of the fact that in this matter I am more an object than a person.— However that may be, accept my heartfelt thanks and also my best regards and wishes. Your, A. Einstein
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