D O C . 4 7 I N T E R N AT I O N A L R E C O N C I L I AT I O N 3 6 3
Published in Thoughts on Reconciliation. New York: Deutscher Gesellig-Wissenschaftlicher Verein
von New York, 1920, pp. 10–11, after 29 September 1920. A typed draft [43 537] consisting of one
unnumbered page is preserved, which is later dated “Oct. 1920” by Helen Dukas to indicate that it
was written after the letter of solicitation, Otto Glogau et al. to Einstein, 29 September 1920.
[1]The word “nach” was inserted after “Meinung” in the typed document, presumably by Ilse
[2]This statement was solicited by the German Social and Scientific Society of New York (Deut-
scher Gesellig-Wissenschaftlicher Verein von New York) for a memorial volume on the occasion of
the fiftieth anniversary of its founding. Respondents were to answer the following question: “What
and how can intellectuals of all countries contribute practically to the true reconciliation of former
belligerent nations and to the permanent fraternity of mankind?” (“Was und wie können die Intellek-
tuellen aller Länder in der alltäglichen Wirklichkeit zur wahren Versöhnung der sich im Kriege gegen-
übergestandenen Völker und zur dauernden Verbrüderung der Menschheit beitragen?”) Proceeds
from the sale were to flow to the Schiller Foundation in Weimar for the support of needy intellectuals
in Germany and Austria (see Otto Glogau et al. to Einstein, 29 September 1920).
Repairing the bonds of international relations was, in Einstein’s opinion, predicated not only on
objective and impersonal factors but also on “warmhearted and independent human beings” (“warm
fühlender, freier Menschen”; Einstein to Norwegian Student Association, 9 September 1920). Yet the
belief in internationalism, reflected also in a preface that he wrote in November 1920 to the Russian
translation of Einstein 1917a (see Vol. 6, Doc. 42), note 4, did not preclude recognition on his part of
the fragility of a nation’s cultural assets. Six months earlier, he had lent his name to a public appeal
for easing the plight of scientists in Germany and Austria (see Einstein 1920b [Doc. 36]).
In a Jewish context, Einstein was equally clear about a lack of contradiction between internation-
alism and nationalism, writing a colleague a year earlier that “one can be internationally minded,
without being indifferent to one’s kinsmen” (“Man kann international gesinnt sein, ohne interesselos
zu sein gegenüber den Stammes-Genossen.” Einstein to Paul Epstein, 5 October 1919, CPIT, Paul
Epstein collection).
[3]Mindful of these political passions, Einstein had some months earlier declined a request to write
a statement in support of the German book trade, calling for work, not propaganda (see Einstein to
German Society for Foreign-Book Trade, 8 March 1920). His reference to a climate of resentment
was in part a reflection of the vindictive Allied policy of boycott that was incorporated in the statutes
of the International Research Council the year before. This body, founded by the Entente and some
neutral nations in July 1919, claimed for itself a supervisory monopoly on international scientific
exchanges. It sought to circumscribe German and Austrian participation in four areas: by excluding
German and Austrian nationals from international congresses; by avoiding the use of the German
language at congresses; by relocating central scientific offices from the territory of the Central Pow-
ers; and by sharply reducing German-language scientific reviews. In the year 1920 alone, Germany
was excluded from 16 of the 20 international congresses sanctioned by the Council (see Schröder-
Gudehus 1966, pp. 96–120). According to its statutes, Germany and its wartime allies were to be
banned from membership in the Council for a period of ten years (see Marsch 1994, p. 38). For evi-
dence that the blockade was porous, see the article “Die wissenschaftliche Blockade Deutschlands”
in Tägliche Rundschau, 22 February 1921, Morning Edition, p. [7].
What made this exclusionary policy even more bitter was the increasingly desperate financial state
of scientific research. Though the general economic situation in Germany had stabilized in the period
between spring 1920 and spring 1921 (see Feldman 1993, chap. 5), the academic picture took on ever
grimmer hues. In summer 1920, the Kaiser Wilhelm Society proposed doubling the budget for Ein-
stein’s institute (see Friedrich Schmidt-Ott to Board of Trustees, Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Physics,
10 June 1920, GyBP, I. Abt. Rep 1A, Nr. 1657, p. 136). Overall, the cost of heating, lighting, and
cleaning research facilities more than exhausted institute budgets, leaving nothing for actual research
purposes. The cost of chemicals, for instance, had risen between thirtyfold and fiftyfold since before
the war, while 15,000–20,000 marks rather than 300–600 marks were now needed for the purchase of
a good microscope (see Friedrich Schmidt-Ott/Eduard Wildhagen’s memorandum of September
1920, “Die Not der deutschen Wissenschaft,” cited in Zierold 1968, pp. 564–565; the memorandum
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