A N I N T E RV I E W 6 2 5
“And yet I also found Princeton lovely: an as yet unsmoked pipe, so fresh, so young.
Much is to be expected from America’s youth, for even though at present the intellectual
life there means nothing whatsoever, among the younger generation there is a group that is
striving to raise the intellectual level (Professor Einstein was thinking here of the so-called
‘New Republic group’), and they will surely succeed. In America everything that is tried
seriously, succeeds. Consider ‘Prohibition,’ for instance. It certainly cannot be said that the
greater majority supported the rigorous abolition of liquor and there is still enormous racket
and resistance against it, and yet it has been put through and it will surely persist. America
is healthy and strong, and even though in many respects it has scarcely come out of the egg,
its future is wide open. I have seen little of the daily life at universities; for that I didn’t have
time. We also wanted to go to England, where after all we spent only ten days—there, too,
we spent too little time to accomplish everything I wanted to do. Yet to my enormous plea-
sure I had the opportunity to make the acquaintance of Lord Haldane; we were his house
guests and I have nothing but praise for this man of high standing. Of course it was of great
importance to me to be in England, since it is mostly there, after all, that people work on
my theories. It has been decided in English academic circles to reestablish ties with aca-
demic Germany entirely, and it has gained them nothing less than my esteem, for the grand
and generous way in which this was initiated. Yes, I found England tremendous . . . majes-
tic and dignified. Closest to England is actually Holland, which is, after all, for us an ex-
traordinarily peculiar country. Holland, which has a population of no more than a tenth of
that of England and yet approaches this country quite closely as far as scientific creation is
concerned. And this is not only the case now; it has been so for hundreds of years. Yes, Hol-
land is infinitely dear to me . . .” and so the amiable professor continued with his character-
istic “Menschenfreundlichkeit” to relate his adventures of the last three months.
Meanwhile, a few days ago he spoke in Berlin for the first time (after his return, that is)
or, to use his language, he performed for the first time. Once again it was for the Zionists
that he spoke, for the same cause that brought him to America. Thousands had gathered to
hear the great man—thousands, non-Jews as well, probably even anti-Jews, or rather cer-
tainly anti-Jews, for Professor Einstein has, after all, become a target for anti-Semites and
their movement. But this time extensive security at the entrance of the lecture hall prevented
anti-Jewish demonstrations of any kind. Long after the sound of applause had stopped com-
ing from inside, swarms of people were waiting outside for an opportunity to sneak in;
some groups of youngsters even tried to storm adjacent backyards and gardens to find their
way in. It was quite amusing to us to find the doorman of one of the houses struggling to
defend his gateway, beads of sweat standing out on his brow. We were unable to determine
whether his exhaustion was due to physical or emotional causes. He had been offered a
bribe: twenty, fifty, yes a hundred marks had been offered him to open his gate. Upon
hearing this, Professor Einstein’s face lit up: “Really? Can that be true? Are there any
incorruptible Germans left? We should keep an eye on the fellow—perhaps we’ll put him
in a museum at some point, the last of the stock of incorruptible Germans!”
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