Albert Einstein, a name that automatically generates a feeling of respect, has suddenly become a grey-shaded personality following the racist views that his travel diaries unveiled recently. The document contained various discriminatory views and comments of the scientist about the Asians, especially the Indians and the Chinese.
The "Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein: The Far East, Palestine, and Spain, 1922-1923" has recently been published by The Princeton University Press that unfolded the darker side of the character of Einstein. In the personally prepared piece, the Nobel laureate addressed China as a "peculiar herd-like nation" of people who are "more like automatons than people." He also racially criticized the Indians, calling them a "biologically inferior" species.
"The climate prevents them [Indians] from thinking backwards or forward by more than a quarter of an hour," Einstein's travel diary read.
Oh no! A genius Jew who changed the world for good & escaped getting gassed by the Nazis has failed the modern purity test because he was born in a time when some unacceptable racism was normal by the standards of his time now dead.Let's strangle the dead.https://t.co/YTFiwqTuIS
— Rayhana (@rayhana) June 15, 2018
The Indians seem to have a lot of criticism for the racist view of Einstein. The people of India took to different social media platforms to respond to the thoughts. The users remembered the Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) that was the state first predicted in 1924-1925 by Einstein and Indian scientist Satyendra Nath Bose. Maybe after the discovery, Einstein would have changed the views about Indians as the BEC discovery took place a couple of years later to the penning down of the travel diaries.
I lost Respect for Albert Einstein when I came to know his statement.
"Indians can't think forward or backwards even by 15 mins and biologically inferior bcoz of climatic restrictions".
— Harshith Gokulendra (@Harshith_Goku) June 15, 2018
If really he had written something like this, then I would salute him. For his inability of understanding, our ancient knowledge.
— Sunny (@sannikpatel) June 15, 2018
So far as the Chinese are concerned, they came up with mixed reactions. While many users joined "Boycott Einstein" campaign online, a few felt that the scientist "went to China at the wrong time." There were users who seconded the view of the German scientist, saying he "depicted the true state of that era."
The editor of the compiled version of the travel diaries of Einstein, Ze'ev Rosenkranz, told The Guardian that the views in the documents are contradictory to "the image of the great humanitarian icon."
"I think a lot of comments strike us as pretty unpleasant – what he says about the Chinese in particular," he told the British newspaper.
Einstein, while speaking at an American college in 1946, said: "Racism is a disease of white people." It seems tough to believe that he was the same man who, two decades before, had such extreme racist views about Asians.