D O C . 2 7 A D D R E S S T O C O L I N 2 1 7
Adolf Schmidt to Einstein, 1 July 1919, and Rolland 1952, p. 1820).
[2]Colin’s speech, which followed Einstein’s welcoming words and was entitled “The Young Inter-
national France,” was held in the former Prussian House of Lords in Berlin (see Paul Colin to Ein-
stein, 22 April 1922, and Colin 1923, p. 184). It called for a “brain trust” (“Trust der Intelligenz”) to
lay the groundwork for understanding among all peoples (see Berliner Volks-Zeitung, 17 December
1919, Morning Edition, p. [2]). Paraphrases of Colin’s speech are given in the evening edition of Ber-
liner Volks-Zeitung, 17 December 1919, p. [1] and in Berliner Börsen-Courier, 17 December 1919,
pp. [1]–2.
A member of the BNV who attended the meeting recorded that Colin “had not spoken about recon-
ciliation, but offered reassurance that he and his friends in Paris had never ceased loving Germany and
were now appalled at the petty Realpolitik of Clemenceau” (“hat nicht von Versöhnung gesprochen,
sondern er versicherte, er und seine Pariser Freunde hätten niemals aufgehört Deutschland zu lieben
und seien jetzt empört über die kleinliche Realpolitik Clemenceaus”; Friedrich Nicolai ms.,
“Deutsch-französische Verständigung,” ca. 16 December 1919, GyMIZ, ED 184/19 [84 542]).
[3]Einstein had attributed a variant of this expression to “a great scholar of a neutral foreign coun-
try” more than a year earlier (see Einstein to Kurt Hiller, 9 September 1918 [Vol. 8, Doc. 613]). In
Einstein 1953, this expression (in yet another formulation) is attributed to Hendrik A. Lorentz.
After the fall of the Prussian monarchy, Einstein had compared a statue of the historian Heinrich
von Treitschke (1834–1896) to that of an ice-age mammoth (see Einstein to Michele Besso, 4 Decem-
ber 1918 [Vol. 8, Doc. 663]). For more on Einstein’s view of Treitschke’s “religion of might”
(“Machtreligion”), see Einstein to Romain Rolland, 22 August 1917 [Vol. 8, Doc. 374]).
[4]Colin met with Einstein several times at the latter’s home after the meeting and sought to per-
suade him to accept the presidency of a German Clarté group (see Colin 1923, p. 185). The editors of
the periodical Clarté were later to claim that Einstein was an adherent of the movement from the
beginning (see preface to the French translation of Einstein 1922b [Doc. 69]), but his views were more
ambivalent: in the last months of the war, he had expressed his doubts about intellectuals exercising
political power (see Einstein to Kurt Hiller, 9 September 1918 [Vol. 8, Doc. 613]), and though he
signed the Rolland Declaration in mid-1919, he questioned the efficacy of such appeals (see Einstein
to Robert Holtzmann, and to Adolf Schmidt, both of 17 August 1919). In late 1919 he praised Clarté
as “this excellent enterprise” (“diese ausgezeichnete Unternehmung”) that might once again kindle
the spirit of internationalism (see Einstein to Robert Lawson, 26 December 1919) and agreed to pro-
mote its cause in Germany (see Einstein to Carl Seelig, 29 December 1919). Two months later, Ein-
stein was expressing wariness of the movement’s leadership and pointing out that individuals and not
slogans are decisive (see Einstein to Moritz Schlick, 27 February 1920, NeHR, Vienna Circle
Dissension within the movement and within its central committee between the liberal followers of
Rolland and the communists led by Barbusse was apparent from the beginning. The debate centered
on the question of individual autonomy vs. party discipline, between support for a pluralistic society
and advocacy of social and political change by violent means. The movement’s “pacifist internation-
alism in 1919” yielded “to Third International communism in 1920” as “Clarté resolved its ideolog-
ical ambiguities by hardening its line” (Fisher 1988, p. 88). A decided adherent of individualism,
Rolland withdrew from the Clarté committee on 23 June 1919. When the rift between the liberal and
communist wings of the movement became unbridgeable, Einstein sided with the “Rollandistes” (see
the exchange of open letters between Rolland and Barbusse, 1921–1922, in Albertini 1970, pp. 182–
233, and Einstein to Romain Rolland, 19 April 1922, FPBN, Fonds R. Rolland 65/4), as did Colin,
who published Rolland’s letters in LÊArt libre when the periodical Clarté refused them (see Fisher
1988, p. 101). Colin left the movement in 1922, rejecting its dogmatic character, which he found in-
compatible with “Independence of the Mind” (“l’Indépendance de l’Esprit”; Paul Colin to Einstein,
22 April 1922). The reference to Rolland’s appeal of 1919 is unmistakable. The Clarté movement
disintegrated in 1926.
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