Princeton University Press has recently published a book called The Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein: The Far East, Palestine, and Spain, 1922-1923, which contains the travel diaries of famed physicist Albert Einstein. He reportedly wrote them between October 1922 and March 1923, and, among other things, they reveal his racist views. A clear example of this is the names he was giving to the Chinese people, calling them “filthy” or “obtuse”. It’s interesting that even if at the time his views seemed rather racist, he would later go on and advocate for civil rights in the United States. At one point, he even called racism a “disease of white people”.
It’s worth noting that this is the first time that his travel diaries have been published in English, as a standalone book. Back then, Albert Einstein travelled from Spain to the Middle East through Sri Lanka, or Ceylon back then. He then continued on to China and Japan. At one point, he called the people trying to sell their goods in Port Said in Egypt “Levantines…spewed from hell”. About the people of Colombo, Ceylon, he wrote that they were filthy, did little and needed little.
Albert Einstein’s racist views revealed by his travel journals
However, he had the most radical opinions about the Chinese people. He called China a “herd-like nation”, with its “spiritless” people. Einstein compared them with automatons and said that there was little difference between the Chinese men and women.
As a Jew, Albert Einstein emigrated to the United States in 1933. That was immediately after the rise to power of Adolf Hitler. In 1946, during a speech at the Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, he described racism as a “disease of white people.” Experts are now saying that his diaries further prove how much and how frequently he changed his views, an idea that was first brought forward a while ago.
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