Книги по философии

Альберт Эйнштейн
The world as I see it

(страница 19)

A Letter to Professor Dr. Hellpach, Minister of State

Dear Herr Hellpach,

I have read your article on Zionism and the Zurich Congress and

feel, as a strong devotee of the Zionist idea, that I must answer

you, even if it is only shortly.

The Jews are a community bound together by ties of blood and

tradition, and not of religion only: the attitude of the rest of the

world towards them is sufficient proof of this. When I came to

Germany fifteen years ago I discovered for the first time that I

was a Jew, and I owe this discovery more to Gentiles than Jews.

The tragedy of the Jews is that they are people of a definite

historical type, who lack the support of a community to keep

them together. The result is a want of solid foundations in the

individual which amounts in its extremer forms to moral

instability. I realized that the only possible salvation for the race

was that every Jew in the world should become attached to a

living society to which the individual rejoiced to belong and

which enabled him to bear the hatred and the humiliations that he

has to put up with from the rest of the world.

I saw worthy Jews basely caricatured, and the sight made my

heart bleed. I saw how schools, comic papers, and innumerable

other forces of the Gentile majority undermined the confidence

even of the best of my fellow-Jews, and felt that this could not

be allowed to continue.

Then I realized that only a common enterprise dear to the hearts

of Jews all over the world could restore this people to health. It

was a great achievement of Herzl's to have realized and

proclaimed at the top of his voice that, the traditional attitude of

the Jews being what it was, the establishment of a national home

or, more accurately, a centre in Palestine, was a suitable object

on which to concentrate our efforts.

All this you call nationalism, and there is something in the

accusation. But a communal purpose, without which we can

neither live nor die in this hostile world, can always be called by

that ugly name. In any case it is a nationalism whose aim is not

power but dignity and health. If we did not have to live among

intolerant, narrow-minded, and violent people, I should be the

first to throw over all nationalism in favour of universal humanity.

The objection that we Jews cannot be proper citizens of the

German State, for example, if we want to be a "nation," is based

on a misunderstanding of the nature of the State which springs

from the intolerance of national majorities. Against that

intolerance we shall never be safe, whether we call ourselves a

"people" (or "nation") or not.

I have put all this with brutal frankness for the sake of brevity,

but I know from your writings that you are a man who attends to

the sense, not the form.

Letter to an Arab

March 15, 1930


Your letter has given me great pleasure. It shows me that there is good will available on your side too for solving the present difficulties in a manner worthy of both our nations. I believe that these difficulties are more psychological than real, and that they can be got over if both sides bring honesty and good will to the task.

What makes the present position so bad is the fact that Jews and Arabs confront each other as opponents before the mandatory power. This state of affairs is unworthy of both nations and can only be altered by our finding a via media on which both sides agree.

I will now tell you how I think that the present difficulties might be remedied; at the same time I must add that this is only my personal opinion, which I have discussed with nobody. I am writing this letter in German because I am not capable of writing it in English myself and because I want myself to bear the entire responsibility for it. You will, I am sure, be able to get some Jewish friend of conciliation to translate it.

A Privy Council is to be formed to which the Jews and Arabs shall each send four representatives, who must be independent of all political parties.

Each group to be composed as follows:--

A doctor, elected by the Medical Association;

A lawyer, elected by the lawyers;

A working men's representative, elected by the trade unions;

An ecclesiastic, elected by the ecclesiastics.

These eight people are to meet once a week. They undertake not to espouse the sectional interests of their profession or nation but conscientiously and to the best of their power to aim at the welfare of the whole population of the country. Their deliberations shall be secret and they are strictly forbidden to give any information about them, even in private. When a decision has been reached on any subject in which not less than three members on each side concur, it may be published, but only in the name of the whole Council. If a member dissents he may retire from the Council, but he is not thereby released from the obligation to secrecy. If one of the elective bodies above specified is dissatisfied with a resolution of the Council, it may repiace its representative by another.

Even if this "Privy Council" has no definite powers it may nevertheless bring about the gradual composition of differences, and secure as united representation of the common interests of the country before the mandatory power, clear of the dust of ephemeral politics.

Christianity and Judaism

If one purges the Judaism of the Prophets and Christianity as Jesus Christ taught it of all subsequent additions, especially those of the priests, one is left with a teaching which is capable of curing all the social ills of humanity.

It is the duty of every man of good will to strive steadfastly in his own little world to make this teaching of pure humanity a living force, so far as he can. If he makes an honest attempt in this direction without being crushed and trampled under foot by his contemporaries, he may consider himself and the community to which he belongs lucky.

Название книги: The world as I see it
Автор: Альберт Эйнштейн
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