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45. “My Response. On the Anti-Relativity Company”
[Einstein 1920f]
Published 27 August 1920
In: Berliner Tageblatt, 27 August 1920, Morgen-Ausgabe, pp. [1–2].
Under the pretentious name “Arbeitsgemeinschaft deutscher Naturforscher,” a var-
iegated society has assembled whose provisional purpose of existence seems to be
to degrade, in the eyes of nonscientists, the theory of relativity as well as me as its
originator. Herr Weyland and Herr Gehrcke recently delivered a first lecture in this
tenor at the Philharmonic; I myself was present. I am very well aware that both
speakers are not worthy of an answer from my pen, because I have good reason to
believe that motives other than the striving for truth are at the bottom of this busi-
ness. (If I were a German nationalist with or without a swastika instead of a Jew
with liberal international views, then . . .). I only answer because well-meaning cir-
cles have repeatedly urged me to make my opinion known.
First, I want to note that today, to my knowledge, there is hardly a scientist
among those who have made substantial contributions to theoretical physics who
would not admit that the theory of relativity in its entirety is founded on a logical
basis and is in agreement with experimental facts which to date have been reliably
established. The most important theoretical physicists—namely, H. A. Lorentz,
M. Planck, Sommerfeld, Laue, Born, Larmor, Eddington, Debye, Langevin, Levi-
Civita—support the theory, and most of them have made valuable contributions to
it. As a pronounced opponent of the theory of relativity among physicists of inter-
national reputation I would have to name only Lenard. I admire Lenard as a master
of experimental physics; but he has not yet produced anything outstanding in
theoretical physics, and his objections to the general theory of relativity are of such
superficiality that up to now I did not think it necessary to answer them in detail. I
intend to make up for this.
I have been accused of running a tasteless advertising campaign for the theory
of relativity. But I can say that all my life I have been a friend of well-chosen, sober
words and of concise presentation. Highfalutin phrases and words give me goose
bumps whether they deal with the theory of relativity or with anything else. I have
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