Einstein's newly published travel diaries reveal the genius's racism — and people are shocked

Business Insider | 6/14/2018 | Tom Murray, INSIDER
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Newly-published travel diaries from the 1920s reveal that Albert Einstein harboured racist thoughts.

The diaries detail Einstein's tour of Asia, where he calls the Chinese "industrious, filthy, obtuse people."

Commentators - Revelations - Einstein - History - Involvement

Commentators were shocked at the revelations given Einstein's history of involvement in America's civil rights movement.

Albert Einstein is remembered for his theory of relativity — one of the biggest achievements in 20th-century physics.

Genius - Memory - Travel - Diaries - Experiences

However, the genius's memory has been tainted somewhat by his newly-published travel diaries, which detail his experiences in Asia in the 1920s.

In the diaries, Einstein calls the Chinese "industrious, filthy, obtuse people."

Benches - Squat - Europeans - Leafy - Woods

He explains how the "Chinese don't sit on benches while eating but squat like Europeans do when they relieve themselves out in the leafy woods. All this occurs quietly and demurely. Even the children are spiritless and look obtuse."

"It would be a pity if these Chinese supplant all other races. For the likes of us the mere thought is unspeakably dreary."

Ze'ev - Rosenkranz - Director - California - Institute

Ze'ev Rosenkranz, assistant director of the California Institute of Technology's Einstein Papers Project, said: "I think a lot of comments strike us as pretty unpleasant - what he says about the Chinese in particular.

"They're kind of in contrast to the public image of the great humanitarian icon. I think it's quite a shock to read those and contrast them with his more public statements. They're more off guard, he didn't intend them for publication."

Rosekranz - Travel - Diaries - Albert - Einstein

Rosekranz, who translated and edited "The Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein", said, "I'm not apologizing for him or anything. … I still feel that the unpleasant remarks are quite shocking, but they do reveal that we all have this darker side to our attitudes and prejudices."

Naturally, people were shocked to find that such a pillar of modern science had such abhorrent views, particularly when he had been such an outspoken critic of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Business Insider
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