V O L . 6 , D O C . 4 5 a N AT I O N A L S E L F - D E T E R M I N AT I O N 9
4. Diese Frage verstehe ich nicht.
Ad V.
Eine Berücksichtigung der wirtschaftlichen Interessen des Reststaates halte ich
nur in dem Sinne für richtig, als eine Trennung alles positiven und negativen
Eigentums nach rechtlichen Gesichtspunkten zu erfolgen hat unter Berufungsrecht
beider Teile auf Entscheidung durch den Völkerbund.
Allgemeines über den Völkerbund:
Der Völkerbund kann nach meiner Ansicht nur dann seine überragende Bedeu-
tung erhalten und behalten wenn sein Machtbereich auf die Regelung des zwi-
schenstaatlichen wirtschaftlichen Verkehrs ausgedehnt wird.
Verteilung von Rohstoffen und Absatz oder mindestens Überwachung der
Bedingungen, unter denen jene Verteilung erfolgt (Zölle, Ausfuhrprämien etc)
Festsetzung von Mindestlöhnen, und anderen Schutzmassnahmen für die wirt-
schaftlich Schwachen nebst zugehöriger diesbezüglicher Überwachung der Ver-
AD. [28 095]. Written on a folded sheet of paper, the document consists of two unnumbered pages
following a printed form letter [28 097]. Numbering is here provided in the margin in square brackets.
There are perforations for a loose-leaf binder at the left margin of the document.
[1]This document is dated on the assumption that it was written between July 1917, when one of
the enclosures was drawn up, and 10 March 1918, before which a response to the questionnaire was
[2]The questionnaire, which is not preserved, was enclosed with the undated printed form letter of
H. C. Dresselhuys and three other officials of the Central Organization for a Durable Peace (CODP)
and bears a typed address: “Herrn Prof. Einstein, Berlin” [28 097]. In order to facilitate the respon-
dent’s task, a preliminary draft proposal, “Avant-projet d’un traité international relatif aux droits des
minorités nationales et aux transferts de territoires” (Adelswärd 1917, pp. 35–37), was also enclosed.
The officials of the CODP were organizing an international “Studienkonferenz” to study the ques-
tion of creating a league of nations. The planned conference had to be downgraded to informal
discussions when the Entente refused to issue passports for their nationals to attend. Discussions were
held in Bern in late November 1917 with German, Austrian, Hungarian, Dutch, and Swiss nationals
participating (see “Berner Zusammenkunft zur Besprechung der Gestaltung der Völkerbeziehungen
nach dem Kriege. 19.–22. November 1917.” Printed brochure, n.p., November 1917, p. [3]).
In advance of the conference, the four officials, including the presidents of two international study
commissions—one on the principle of non-annexation and plebiscites, the other on the problem of
nationalities—solicited opinions on the right of self-determination of “peoples” (“Völker”) as the
basis for solving territorial questions. Pointing out that there is no consensus on the definition of this
right, they requested the respondent’s opinion on how best to guarantee it practically. A response to
the questionnaire was requested before 10 March 1918 (see Central Organization for a Durable Peace
to Einstein, n.d. [28 097]).The two commissions then drew up a combined preliminary draft proposal
at a joint meeting in July 1917 (see Adelswärd 1917, p. 34).
Einstein had been elected to the German national committee in the Great Council of the CODP
two years earlier (see Einstein to Walther Schücking, 22 October 1915 [Vol. 8, Doc. 131], notes 2 and
3), but did not attend the meeting in November 1917 (see Einstein to Michele Besso, 30 November
1915 [Vol. 8, Doc. 155], note 2).
[3]Einstein’s interest in the economic aspects of a durable peace was presumably reinforced by a
lengthy essay of Walther Rathenau (1867–1922) on the postwar economy (Rathenau 1918), which
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