EINSTEIN, Albert (1879-1955). Autograph letter signed (''A. Einstein'') to Ludwig Lewisohn, n.p. [Berlin?], n.d. [c.1929]. 2 full pages, large 8vo (220 x 140 mm.), in blue ink. fine. In German.
EINSTEIN, Albert (1879-1955). Autograph letter signed ("A. Einstein") to Ludwig Lewisohn, n.p. [Berlin?], n.d. [c.1929]. 2 full pages, large 8vo (220 x 140 mm.), in blue ink. fine. In German.
EINSTEIN ON THE SITUATION OF MODERN JEWS: "WE JEWS ARE A KIND OF MORAL ARISTOCRACY"
Einstein's detailed, very thoughtful response to his reading of Lewisohn's recently published Das Erbe im Blut, a history of the Jewish population. Praising the book's style and didactic intent, he agrees with its analysis of the Jewish character, including the Jewish desire to present oneself proudly and forthrightly to the public. He adds that Jews are "excellently" (using the word with ironic intent) conservative and slightly stunted ("die Persönlichtkeit verkümmernd"), like pine trees which have had to struggle to grow in the frozen soil of stormy mountain fastnesses. Rejecting the likelihood of a revival of orthodox Judaism, Einstein maintains that though the Jewish tradition may no longer be defined solely by moral and ideological traditions, Jews still constitute a clear "moral aristocracy," despite pressure of outside influences ("eine Art moralischer Adel -- wenn auch durch aüssere Einflüsse zum Teil heruntergekommene"), especially since all the other traditional religions, he thinks, have surrendered their moral authority. Lauding Jewish solidarity devoid of arrogance, Einstein cautions that isolationism must be avoided, and closes with an apology for any contradictions in his letter, especially since "life cannot be captured in abstract terms," and extending an offer for Lewisohn to visit him in Berlin.