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Thanks, Mandi.  I had never heard of these diaries (do his biographers 
mention them?) and I agree: there is a turnaround between 1922-23 when 
they were written and 1931 when he comes out clearly anti-racist.  
Granted that he was already mature when he wrote the diaries, I think 
there is no need to search far for his motive for reconsidering his 
attitudes: those were eight years in which the Nazis were giving racism 
a bad name, forcing many Germans to re-examine their biases.

Chandler


On 2018-06-14 6:04 AM, Mandi Smallhorne wrote:
>
> I live in South Africa, where one of the most hopeful things I’ve seen 
> is people who’ve held racist views from youth changing their minds due 
> to exposure to new circumstances, new people – sometimes even as late 
> as their sixties. Eight years elapsed between the diaries and 
> Einstein’s Crisis espousal of anti-racist views – years of rather 
> interesting experience in terms of art, culture, social advances, and 
> then the crash. Maybe it gave him food for thought?
>
> Regards
>
> *Mandi Smallhorne*
>
> *From:*Science for the People Discussion List 
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] *On Behalf Of *Phil Gasper
> *Sent:* 14 June 2018 06:59 AM
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* Einstein's Crude, Racist Travel Diaries Have Been Published 
> in English
>
> https://www.livescience.com/62813-einstein-racist.html
>
>
>   Einstein's Crude, Racist Travel Diaries Have Been Published in English
>
> By Rafi Letzter, Staff Writer | June 13, 2018 03:20pm ET
>
> Einstein's Crude, Racist Travel Diaries Have Been Published in English
>
> Credit: Library of Congress
>
> Albert Einstein, the most important physicist of the modern era and a 
> man who famously attacked 
> <https://www.livescience.com/50051-albert-einstein-civil-rights.html> American 
> racist ideologies, wrote down detailed, racist ideas about people from 
> China, Japan, Sri Lanka and India.
>
> The physicist wrote these thoughts in his travel diaries while 
> visiting Asia between October 1922 and March 1923. German speakers 
> have had access to the travel diaries for a long time as part of a 
> larger collection of Einstein's personal writings, but they were 
> recently published in English for the first time by the Princeton 
> University Press. They complicate the picture of Einstein, who was the 
> most well-known of the many Jewish scientists who left Nazi Germany 
> <https://newspapers.ushmm.org/events/albert-einstein-quits-germany-renounces-citizenship> as 
> refugees in the early 1930s, as an anti-racist and advocate for human 
> rights.
>
> As reported 
> <https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-celebrity-scientist-albert-einstein-used-fame-denounce-american-racism-180962356/> by 
> Smithsonian Magazine, Einstein publicly aligned himself with the 
> values of the U.S. civil rights movement. In 1931, while still in 
> Germany, he submitted an essay to the famous black sociologist, 
> anti-capitalist, and anti-racist writer W.E.B. Du Bois' magazine The 
> Crisis. Later, during a speech at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, 
> he said, "There is separation of colored people from white people in 
> the United States. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to 
> be quiet about it."Einstein's personal writing in the early 1920s, 
> however, did not reveal that anti-racist spirit. Very much a grown man 
> in his mid-40s and already a famous 
> <https://www.livescience.com/50053-albert-einstein-less-famous-work.html> Nobel 
> Prize winner for his work on the photoelectric effect 
> <https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/09/einstein-didnt-win-a-nobel-for-relativity-he-won-it-for-this/380451/>, 
> Einstein wrote of people from China (as reported in The Guardian 
> <https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jun/12/einsteins-travel-diaries-reveal-shocking-xenophobia>) 
> that, "even those reduced to working like horses never give the 
> impression of conscious suffering. A peculiar herd-like nation... 
> often more like automatons than people."
>
> Later he added, "I noticed how little difference there is between men 
> and women; I don't understand what kind of fatal attraction Chinese 
> women possess which enthrals the corresponding men to such an extent 
> that they are incapable of defending themselves against the formidable 
> blessing of offspring."
>
> Einstein's comments on people from India and Sri Lanka were similarly 
> demeaning, while he jotted down less nasty but nonetheless racist and 
> borderline eugenic thoughts about those from Japan.
>
> "Pure souls as nowhere else among people. One has to love and admire 
> this country," he wrote of Japan, but later added, "Intellectual needs 
> of this nation seem to be weaker than their artistic ones — natural 
> disposition?"
>
> It might be tempting to ascribe Einstein's racist writing to the norms 
> of the era within which he wrote, but his expressed views — views that 
> unscientifically assume deep, biologically-rooted intellectual 
> differences between races — were not universal at the time.
>
> Franz Boas, a scientific anthropologist and older contemporary of 
> Einstein's who moved from Germany to the United States in 1899 (also 
> to become a professor in the Ivy League, at Columbia University), 
> wrote extensive critiques 
> <http://www.pbs.org/thinktank/transcript920.html> of the 
> pop-pseudoscience of "scientific racism." Boas' work revealed the 
> unscientific methods underpinning eugenic claims of sharp divisions 
> between races.
>
> Du Bois, who Einstein later corresponded with, similarly used rigorous 
> <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/14/web-du-bois-racism-data-paris-african-americans-jobs> scientific 
> tools to debunk so-called "scientific racism."
>
> Einstein, despite his public comments on the issue, clearly missed the 
> scientific memo.
>