Only individuals have a sense of responsibility. --Nietzsche
     This  book does not represent  a complete collection  of the  articles,
addresses,  and pronouncements of  Albert Einstein;  it is  a selection made
with a definite object-- namely, to give a picture of a man. To-day this man
is  being  drawn, contrary  to  his  own intention, into  the  whirlpool  of
political  passions  and contemporary  history. As  a  result,  Einstein  is
experiencing the fate that so  many of the great men of history experienced:
his character and opinions  are being exhibited to the world  in an  utterly
distorted form.
     To forestall this fate is the real object of this book. It meets a wish
that  has  constantly  been expressed both by Einstein's friends and  by the
wider  public. It contains work belonging to  the most  various dates--  the
article on "The International  of  Science"  dates  from  the year 1922, the
address on "The Principles of Scientific Research" from 1923, the "Letter to
an Arab" from 1930--and the most various spheres, held together by the unity
of the personality which stands behind all these utterances. Albert Einstein
believes in humanity, in a peaceful  world of mutual helpfulness, and in the
high mission of science. This book is intended as a plea for  this belief at
a time which compels every one of us to overhaul his mental attitude and his

     In  his biography  of Einstein Mr. H. Gordou Garbedian relates that  an
American  newspaper man  asked the great physicist for  a  definition of his
theory of  relativity in one sentence. Einstein replied  that it would  take
him  three days to give a short definition of relativity. He might well have
added  that  unless  his  questioner  had   an  intimate  acquaintance  with
mathematics and physics, the definition would be incomprehensible.
     To  the  majority of people Einstein's  theory is  a complete  mystery.
Their  attitude  towards Einstein is  like that of Mark  Twain  towards  the
writer of a work on  mathematics: here was a  man  who had written an entire
book  of which  Mark could  not  understand  a  single  sentence.  Einstein,
therefore,  is  great  in   the  public  eye  partly  because  he  has  made
revolutionary discoveries which cannot be translated into the common tongue.
We stand in proper  awe of a man whose thoughts  move  on heights far beyond
our range, whose  achievements can be  measured only by the few who are able
to follow his reasoning and challenge his conclusions.
     There is, however, another side to his personality. It  is  revealed in
the addresses,  letters, and  occasional writings  brought  together in this
book. These  fragments form a mosaic portrait of Einstein the man.  Each one
is, in a sense, complete  in itself; it presents his views on some aspect of
progress, education, peace,  war, liberty,  or  other problems of  universal
interest. Their combined effect  is to demonstrate  that the Einstein we can
all understand is no less great than the Einstein we take on trust.
     Einstein  has  asked nothing more from life  than the freedom to pursue
his researches  into  the mechanism of the  universe.  His nature is of rare
simplicity  and sincerity; he always  has  been, and  he  remains, genuinely
indifferent to wealth and fame and the  other prizes so dear to ambition. At
the same  time he is no recluse, shutting himself off from  the  sorrows and
agitations of the world around  him. Himself  familiar from early years with
the handicap of poverty and with some of the worst forms of man's inhumanity
to  man,  he has  never  spared  himself  in  defence  of  the weak  and the
oppressed. Nothing could be more unwelcome  to  his  sensitive and  retiring
character than the glare of the platform and the heat of public controversy,
yet he  has never hesitated when he felt that his  voice or influence  would
help to  redress a  wrong.  History,  surely,  has  few  parallels with this
introspective mathematical  genius  who  laboured  unceasingly  as  an eager
champion of the rights of man.
     Albert Einstein was born in 1879 at Ulm. When he was four years old his
father, who owned an electrochemical works,  moved to Munich, and  two years
later the boy went to school, experiencing a rigid, almost military, type of
discipline and also the  isolation of a shy and  contemplative  Jewish child
among Roman Catholics-- factors which  made a  deep and enduring impression.
From  the point  of view of  his  teachers he was  an unsatisfactory  pupil,
apparently incapable of progress in languages, history, geography, and other
primary  subjects.  His  interest  in  mathematics  was  roused, not by  his
instructors,  but  by  a Jewish medical student, Max  Talmey, who gave him a
book  on geometry, and so set him upon a course of enthusiastic study  which
made him,  at the age of fourteen, a better mathematician than his  masters.
At this stage also he began the study of philosophy, reading and  re-reading
the words of Kant and other metaphysicians.
     Business reverses  led the  elder  Einstein to make  a  fresh  start in
Milan, thus introducing Albert to the joys of a freer, sunnier life than had
been possible in Germany. Necessity, however, made this holiday a brief one,
and after a few months of freedom  the  preparation for  a career  began. It
opened  with an effort,  backed by a certificate of mathematical proficiency
given by  a teacher in  the Gymnasium at Munich, to obtain admission to  the
Polytechnic  Academy at  Zurich.  A year  passed  in the study of  necessary
subjects which  he  had neglected for  mathematics, but once  admitted,  the
young Einstein became absorbed in the pursuit  of science and philosophy and
made astonishing progress. After five distinguished years at the Polytechnic
he hoped to step into the post of assistant  professor,  but  found that the
kindly words  of  the  professors  who  had  stimulated  the  hope  did  not
     Then  followed  a weary  search  for  work,  two  brief  interludes  of
teaching,  and a stable appointment as  examiner at  the  Confederate Patent
Office at Berrie. Humdrum as the work  was, it had the double  advantage  of
providing a competence  and of  leaving  his mind free for the  mathematical
speculations which were then taking  shape  in the theory of  relativity. In
1905 his first monograph on  the theory was published in a  Swiss scientific
journal, the Annalen der Physik. Zurich awoke  to the fact that it possessed
a genius in the form of a patent office clerk, promoted him to be a lecturer
at the University and four years later--in 1909--installed him as Professor.
     His next appointment was (in 1911) at the  University of  Prague, where
he  remained  for  eighteen months. Following a brief return  to  Zurich, he
went, early in 1914,  to  Berlin  as  a professor in the Prussian Academy of
Sciences  and  director  of  the  Kaiser  Wilhelm  Institute for Theoretical
Physics. The period of the Great  War was a  trying  time for Einstein,  who
could  not conceal his ardent pacifism, but he found what solace he could in
his  studies. Later events brought him into  the open and into many parts of
the world, as an exponent not only of pacifism but also of world-disarmament
and the cause of Jewry. To a man of such views, as passionately held as they
were  by Einstein, Germany under the Nazis  was patently impossible. In 1933
Einstein made his famous declaration: "As long  as I have any choice, I will
stay only in a country where political liberty, toleration, and equality  of
all citizens before the law  are  the rule." For a time he  was  a  homeless
exile; after offers had come to him from Spain  and France and  Britain,  he
settled  in Princeton as Professor of Mathematical and Theoretical  Physics,
happy in his work,  rejoicing in a free environment, but  haunted always  by
the tragedy of war and oppression.
     The World  As I See  It, in  its  original  form,  includes  essays  by
Einstein  on relativity  and cognate  subjects. For reasons indicated above,
these  have been omitted in the  present edition; the object of this reprint
is simply to reveal to the  general reader the human side of one of the most
dominating figures of our day.

     The World As I See It
     The Meaning of Life
     What is the meaning  of human life,  or of organic life  altogether? To
answer this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you
ask, in putting it? I answer, the man who regards  his own life  and that of
his  fellow-creatures  as  meaningless is not merely  unfortunate but almost
disqualified for life.
     The World as I see it
     What an  extraordinary situation is that of us mortals! Each  of us  is
here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes
thinks he feels  it. But from the point of view of daily life, without going
deeper,  we exist for our fellow-men--in the first place for those  on whose
smiles and welfare all our happiness depends, and next for all those unknown
to  us  personally  with  whose destinies we  are  bound  up by  the tie  of
sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my  inner and outer
life depend on the labours of other men, living  and dead,  and that  I must
exert myself in order to give in the  same measure as I have received and am
still  receiving.  I  am  strongly  drawn  to the simple  life  and am often
oppressed  by the feeling that I am engrossing an unnecessary amount  of the
labour of my fellow-men.  I regard class differences as  contrary to justice
and, in the last resort,  based on force.  I also consider that plain living
is good for everybody, physically and mentally.
     In  human  freedom  in  the  philosophical  sense  I  am  definitely  a
disbeliever. Everybody acts  not only under external compulsion but  also in
accordance  with inner necessity.  Schopenhauer's saying, that "a man can do
as he will, but not will as he will," has been an inspiration to me since my
youth up, and a continual consolation  and unfailing well-spring of patience
in the  face of the hardships of life,  my  own and  others'.  This  feeling
mercifully mitigates the  sense of  responsibility which so  easily  becomes
paralysing, and it prevents  us  from taking  ourselves and other people too
seriously; it conduces to a view of life in which humour, above all, has its
due place.
     To  inquire after the meaning or object  of one's own  existence or  of
creation generally has always seemed to me absurd from an objective point of
view. And yet  everybody has certain ideals which determine the direction of
his endeavours and his  judgments. In  this  sense I  have never looked upon
ease and  happiness as ends in themselves--such an ethical basis I call more
proper  for a herd of swine. The  ideals which have lighted me on my way and
time  after  time given  me new courage to  face life cheerfully,  have been
Truth,  Goodness, and Beauty. Without the  sense of  fellowship with  men of
like mind, of  preoccupation  with the objective, the eternally unattainable
in  the field of art and scientific  research, life  would have seemed to me
empty. The  ordinary objects of  human endeavour--property, outward success,
luxury--have always seemed to me contemptible.
     My  passionate sense of  social justice and  social  responsibility has
always contrasted oddly with  my pronounced freedom from the need for direct
contact  with other human beings and  human communities. I gang my own  gait
and  have  never belonged  to my  country, my home, my friends,  or even  my
immediate family,  with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties I have
never lost  an obstinate sense  of detachment, of  the need  for solitude--a
feeling  which  increases  with  the years. One  is  sharply  conscious, yet
without regret, of the limits to the possibility of mutual understanding and
sympathy with one's fellow-creatures. Such a person no doubt loses something
in the  way of geniality  and light-heartedness  ; on the other  hand, he is
largely independent of  the opinions, habits,  and judgments of his  fellows
and avoids the temptation to take his stand on such insecure foundations.
     My political ideal  is that of democracy. Let every man be respected as
an individual and no man idolized. It is an irony of fate that I myself have
been  the recipient  of excessive admiration  and respect  from  my  fellows
through no fault, and no merit, of my own. The cause of this may well be the
desire, unattainable for many, to understand the one or two ideas to which I
have with my feeble powers attained through ceaseless  struggle. I am  quite
aware  that it is  necessary for the success of any complex undertaking that
one  man should do  the  thinking  and  directing and  in  general bear  the
responsibility. But  the led must  not be  compelled, they must  be able  to
choose their  leader. An autocratic  system of coercion, in my opinion, soon
degenerates. For force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it
to be an invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels.
For this reason I have always been passionately opposed to  systems such  as
we see in Italy and Russia to-day. The thing that has brought discredit upon
the prevailing form of democracy in Europe to-day is  not to be  laid to the
door of the democratic idea as such, but to lack of stability on the part of
the  heads of governments and to the  impersonal  character of the electoral
system. I  believe that  in this respect the  United States of  America have
found the right way. They have a  responsible President who is elected for a
sufficiently long period and has sufficient powers to be really responsible.
On  the  other hand,  what  I  value in  our political  system is  the  more
extensive provision that  it makes  for the individual in case of illness or
need. The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not
the State  but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it  alone
creates the  noble and the sublime, while  the herd as  such remains dull in
thought and dull in feeling.
     This topic  brings me to that worst outcrop of  the  herd  nature,  the
military system, which I abhor. That a man  can take pleasure in marching in
formation to the strains of a band is enough to make me despise  him. He has
only been given his big brain by mistake; a backbone was all he needed. This
plague-spot  of civilization ought to  be abolished with all possible speed.
Heroism  by order, senseless  violence,  and all the pestilent nonsense that
does  by the name of patriotism--how I hate  them!  War seems to me a  mean,
contemptible thing:  I would rather be  hacked  in pieces  than take part in
such an abominable business. And yet so high,  in spite of everything, is my
opinion of the  human race that  I believe this bogey would have disappeared
long  ago,  had  the  sound  sense  of  the nations not been  systematically
corrupted by commercial and political  interests acting through the  schools
and the Press.
     The  fairest  thing we  can  experience is  the  mysterious.  It is the
fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.
He who  knows  it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is
as  good  as  dead,  a  snuffed-out  candle.  It  was   the   experience  of
mystery--even if  mixed with  fear--that engendered religion. A knowledge of
the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the
profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to
our reason  in  their most  elementary  forms--it is this knowledge and this
emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this  sense, and in
this  alone, I  am  a deeply religious man. I cannot  conceive of a God  who
rewards and punishes his creatures, or  has a will of the type  of  which we
are conscious  in ourselves.  An  individual who should survive his physical
death  is  also beyond  my comprehension, nor  do I wish it otherwise;  such
notions are for the  fears or absurd  egoism of feeble souls.  Enough for me
the  mystery  of the eternity of  life, and the inkling  of  the  marvellous
structure  of   reality,  together  with  the  single-hearted  endeavour  to
comprehend  a  portion, be  it  never so tiny, of the  reason that manifests
itself in nature.
     The Liberty of Doctrine--ř propos of the Guntbel Case
     Academic  chairs are  many,  but  wise  and  noble  teachers  are  few;
lecture-rooms are numerous  and large, but the  number  of young people  who
genuinely thirst  after  truth  and  justice is small. Nature  scatters  her
common wares  with  a  lavish hand, but the  choice  sort she  produces  but
seldom. We all  know that, so why complain? Was it not ever thus and will it
not ever thus remain? Certainly, and  one must take what Nature gives as one
finds it. But  there is  also such a  thing  as a spirit  of the  times,  an
attitude of mind characteristic of a  particular generation, which is passed
on from  individual to individual and gives  a society its particular  tone.
Each of  us has to do his little bit towards transforming this spirit of the
     Compare  the  spirit which  animated the  youth  in  our universities a
hundred years ago  with  that  prevailing  to-day.  They  had faith  in  the
amelioration  of  human  society,  respect  for  every honest  opinion,  the
tolerance for which our classics  had  lived  and fought. In those days  men
strove for  a larger political unity, which at that time was called Germany.
It  was the students and  the teachers at  the universities who  kept  these
ideals alive.
     To-day also there is an urge towards social progress, towards tolerance
and  freedom of thought, towards a  larger political  unity, which we to-day
call  Europe. But the students at our universities have ceased as completely
as their teachers to enshrine the hopes and ideals of the nation. Anyone who
looks at our times coolly and dispassionately must admit this.
     We are assembled to-day to take stock of ourselves. The external reason
for  this  meeting is  the Gumbel case.  This apostle of justice has written
about unexpiated political crimes with  devoted industry, high  courage, and
exemplary  fairness, and has  done the  community  a  signal  service by his
books. And this is  the man whom the students, and a good many of the staff,
of his university are to-day doing their best to expel.
     Political  passion  cannot be allowed  to  go  to  such  lengths. I  am
convinced  that every man who reads  Herr Gumbel's books with  an open  mind
will get the same impression from them as I have. Men like him are needed if
we are ever to build up a healthy political society.
     Let every  man judge  according  to his own standards, by  what  he has
himself read, not by what others tell him.
     If that  happens, this Gumbel case, after  an unedifying beginning, may
still do good.
     Good and Evil
     It is right in principle that those should be  the best loved  who have
contributed most to the elevation of the  human race and human life. But, if
one goes on to ask  who they are,  one  finds  oneself  in no inconsiderable
difficulties. In the  case of political, and even  of religious, leaders, it
is often very doubtful  whether they  have done more good or  harm.  Hence I
most seriously believe that  one does people the best service by giving them
some  elevating work to do and thus indirectly elevating them. This  applies
most  of  all  to the  great  artist,  but  also  in a lesser  degree to the
scientist. To  be sure, it  is  not  the fruits  of scientific research that
elevate  a  man  and  enrich  his nature,  but the urge to  understand,  the
intellectual work, creative or receptive. It would surely be absurd to judge
the value of the Talmud, for instance, by its intellectual fruits.
     The true value of  a human being is determined primarily by the measure
and the sense in which he has attained to liberation from the self.
     Society and Personality
     When we survey our lives and endeavours we soon observe that almost the
whole of our actions and  desires are  bound up with the  existence of other
human beings. We see that  our  whole nature  resembles that  of  the social
animals. We eat  food that others  have grow, wear clothes that others  have
made,  live in  houses  that others  have built. The  greater  part  of  our
knowledge  and beliefs has been communicated to us by other  people  through
the  medium of  a language which others have created.  Without language  our
mental capacities  wuuld be poor indeed,  comparable to  those of the higher
animals; we have, therefore,  to admit  that  we owe our principal advantage
over the beasts to  the fact of living  in human society. The individual, if
left  alone from birth would remain primitive and beast-like in his thoughts
and feelings to a degree that we can hardly conceive. The individual is what
he  is and  has  the significance that he has not so  much in virtue of  his
individuality, but  rather as  a  member  of  a great  human society,  which
directs his material and spiritual existence from the cradle to the grave.
     A  man's  value  to the  community depends  primarily  on  how far  his
feelings, thoughts, and actions  are directed  towards promoting the good of
his  fellows.  We call him good or bad according to how he  stands  in  this
matter.  It looks  at  first  sight  as if our estimate  of a  man  depended
entirely on his social qualities.
     And yet  such an  attitude would  be wrong. It is  clear  that all  the
valuable things, material,  spiritual, and  moral,  which  we  receive  from
society can be traced back through countless generations to certain creative
individuals. The use of fire, the cultivation of edible  plants,  the  steam
engine--each was discovered by one man.
     Only  the  individual can think,  and thereby  create  new  values  for
society--nay,  even  set up new moral  standards  to which the  life  of the
community  conforms. Without  creative,  independently  thinking and judging
personalities the  upward development  of society  is as unthinkable as  the
development of the individual personality without the nourishing soil of the
     The health of society thus depends quite as much on the independence of
the  individuals composing  it  as on their close political cohesion. It has
been said very justly that Gr‘co-Europeo-American culture as a whole, and in
particular its brilliant flowering in the Italian Renaissance,  which put an
end to the  stagnation of  medi‘val Europe, is based on  the  liberation and
comparative isolation of the individual.
     Let us now consider the  times in which we live. How does society fare,
how the individual? The population  of the civilized countries  is extremely
dense  as compared  with former times;  Europe  to-day  contains about three
times  as many people as it did a hundred years ago. But the number of great
men has decreased out of all proportion. Only a few individuals are known to
the  masses   as  personalities,   through   their  creative   achievements.
Organization  has  to  some  extent  taken  the  place  of  the  great  man,
particularly in  the technical sphere, but also to a very perceptible extent
in the scientific.
     The lack of outstanding figures is particularly striking in  the domain
of  art. Painting  and music have  definitely degenerated and  largely  lost
their popular  appeal.  In politics  not only are leaders  lacking, but  the
independence of  spent  and  the sense  of justice of the citizen have to  a
great  extent  declined.  The democratic, parliamentarian regime,  which  is
based on  such  independence, has in many places  been shaken, dictatorships
have sprung up and are tolerated, because men's sense of the dignity and the
rights of the  individual is  no  longer  strong  enough. In  two weeks  the
sheep-like  masses can  be worked up by the  newspapers into such a state of
excited fury that the men are prepared to  put  on uniform and  kill  and be
billed,  for the sake  of the  worthless aims of  a  few interested parties.
Compulsory military service seems to me the most disgraceful symptom of that
deficiency in  personal dignity  from which  civilized mankind is  suffering
to-day. No  wonder there is  no lack  of  prophets  who  prophesy the  early
eclipse  of  our civilization. I am  not one of these  pessimists; I believe
that better  times are  coming.  Let me  shortly  state my reasons for  such
     In my opinion,  the  present symptoms of decadence are explained by the
fact that the development of industry and  machinery has  made the  struggle
for existence  very much more severe,  greatly  to the detriment of the free
development  of the individual. But the development  of machinery means that
less and less work is needed from the individual for the satisfaction of the
community's needs. A planned division of labour is becoming more and more of
a crying necessity, and this division will  lead to the material security of
the  individual.  This security  and  the  spare time and energy  which  the
individual will have at his command  can be made to further his development.
In  this  way the community may  regain  its  health, and  we will hope that
future historians will explain the morbid symptoms of present-day society as
the  childhood  ailments  of  an  aspiring humanity,  due  entirely  to  the
excessive speed at which civilization was advancing.
     Address at the Grave of H. A. Lorentz
     It is as the representative of the  German-speaking academic world, and
in particular the Prussian Academy of Sciences, but above all as a pupil and
affectionate admirer that I  stand at the grave of  the greatest and noblest
man of our  times. His genius was  the torch  which lighted the way from the
teachings of  Clerk Maxwell to the achievements of contemporary  physics, to
the fabric of which he contributed valuable materials and methods.
     His life  was ordered  like a work  of art down to the smallest detail.
His never-failing kindness and magnanimity and his sense of justice, coupled
with an intuitive understanding of  people and things,  made him a leader in
any  sphere he  entered. Everyone followed him gladly, for they felt that he
never set out to dominate  but always  simply to be of use. His work and his
example will live on as an inspiration and guide to future generations.
     H. A. Lorentz's work in the cause of International Co-operation
     With  the  extensive  specialization  of scientific research which  the
nineteenth century brought about,  it has become rare for a  man occupying a
leading position  in one  of the sciences  to manage at the same  time to do
valuable  service   to  the  community  in   the   sphere  of  international
organization  and  international. politics.  Such  service  demands not only
energy, insight,  and a reputation based on solid achievements, but  also  a
freedom  from national prejudice  and a devotion to the common  ends of all,
which  have  become rare in our times. I have met  no one who  combined  all
these qualities  in himself so perfectly as  H. A. Lorentz.  The  marvellous
thing  about  the  effect  of  his  personality was  this:  Independent  and
headstrong  natures, such as are particularly common among men  of learning,
do not readily  bow to another's will and  for the most part only accept his
leadership grudgingly. But,  when  Lorentz is in the  presidential chair, an
atmosphere of happy co-operation is invariably created, however  much  those
present may differ in their aims and habits of thought. The secret  of  this
success lies not only in his  swift comprehension of  people and things  and
his marvellous command  of language, but above all in  this, that one  feels
that his whole  heart is  in the business in hand, and that,  when he  is at
work,  he has  room  for  nothing  else  in his mind.  Nothing  disarms  the
recalcitrant so much as this.
     Before  the  war  Lorentz's activities  in the  cause of  international
relations  were   confined  to   presiding  at  congresses   of  physicists.
Particularly  noteworthy among  these were the Solvay Congresses, the  first
two of which were held at Brussels in 1909 and 1912.  Then came the European
war,  which  was a crushing blow to all who  had  the  improvement  of human
relations  in general at heart. Even before the war was over, and still more
after  its end, Lorentz devoted himself  to the work  of reconciliation. His
efforts  were  especially directed towards the  re-establishment of fruitful
and friendly co-operation between men of learning and  scientific societies.
An outsider can hardly conceive  what  uphill work this is. The  accumulated
resentment of the war period has not yet died down, and many influential men
persist in the irreconcilable attitude into which they allowed themselves to
be driven by the pressure of circumstances. Hence Lorentz's efforts resemble
those  of a  doctor  with a  recalcitrant  patient who  refuses to  take the
medicines carefully prepared for his benefit.
     But Lorentz is not to be deterred, once he has  recognized  a course of
action as  the  right one.  The moment  the  war  was  over,  he joined  the
governing  body of  the "Conseil  de recherche," which  was  founded by  the
savants of the victorious countries,  and from which the savants and learned
societies of  the Central Powers  were excluded.  His  object in taking this
step,  which  caused  great offence  to the academic  world  of  the Central
Powers,  was to influence  this institution  in such a way that  it could be
expanded into something truly  international. He  and other right-minded men
succeeded, after repeated efforts,  in securing the removal of the offensive
exclusion-clause from  the statutes of the "Conseil." The goal, which is the
restoration  of  normal and fruitful co-operation between learned societies,
is,  however, not yet attained, because the  academic world  of  the Central
Powers, exasperated by  nearly ten years  of exclusion from practically  all
international gatherings, has  got into a habit of keeping itself to itself.
Now, however, there  are good grounds for hoping  that the  ice will soon be
broken,  thanks  to  the  tactful  efforts  of  Lorentz,  prompted  by  pure
enthusiasm for the good cause.
     Lorentz has also  devoted his energies to  the service of international
cultural ends  in  another  way,  by  consenting  to serve on the  League of
Nations  Commission  for international intellectual co-operation, which  was
called into existence some  five years ago with Bergson as chairman. For the
last year Lorentz has presided  over the Commission, which, with the  active
support of its  subordinate, the Paris  Institute, is to act as a go-between
in the domain of intellectual and artistic work among the various spheres of
culture. There too the beneficent influence of this intelligent, humane, and
modest personality,  whose unspoken  but faithfully followed advice is, "Not
mastery but service," will lead people in the right way.
     May his example contribute to the triumph of that spirit !
     In Honour of Arnold Berliner's Seventieth Birthday
     (Arnold   Berliner    is    the    editor   of   the   periodical   Die
     I  should like  to take this opportunity of telling  my friend Berliner
and the readers of this paper  why I rate him and his work so highly. It has
to be done here because it is one's only chance of getting such things said;
since our training in objectivity has led to a taboo on everything personal,
which  we mortals may transgress only on quite exceptional occasions such as
the present one.
     And  now, after this  dash for liberty,  back  to  the  objective!  The
province  of scientifically determined  fact has  been  enormously extended,
theoretical knowledge has become vastly more profound in every department of
science. But the assimilative  power of the  human intellect is  and remains
strictly  limited.  Hence  it  was  inevitable  that  the  activity  of  the
individual investigator should be confined  to a smaller and smaller section
of human knowledge. Worse  still, as a  result of this specialization, it is
becoming increasingly difficult for even a rough general grasp of science as
a   whole,  without  which  the  true  spirit  of   research  is  inevitably
handicapped, to  keep  pace with progress. A situation is developing similar
to the  one symbolically represented in the Bible by  the story of the Tower
of  Babel.  Every serious  scientific worker is painfully conscious of  this
involuntary  relegation to an  ever-narrowing sphere of knowledge, which  is
threatening to deprive the investigator of his broad horizon and degrade him
to the level of a mechanic.
     We have  all  suffered under  this evil, without  making any effort  to
mitigate  it.  But  Berliner  has  come  to  the  rescue,  as  far   as  the
German-speaking world is  concerned, in the most admirable way:  He saw that
the  existing popular  periodicals were sufficient to instruct and stimulate
the layman; but he also saw that a first-class, well-edited organ was needed
for the guidance of the scientific worker who desired to be put sufficiently
au courant of developments in scientific problems,  methods, and  results to
be able to form  a judgment of his own. Through many years  of hard work  he
has devoted himself to this object with great intelligence and no less great
determination,  and done us all, and science, a  service for which we cannot
be too grateful.
     It  was necessary for him  to  secure  the co-operation  of  successful
scientific writers and induce them to say what they had  to say in a form as
far as possible intelligible to non-specialists. He has often told me of the
fights  he had in pursuing this object,  the  difficulties of  which he once
described to  me in the following riddle:  Question : What is  a  scientific
author?  Answer:  A  cross between  a  mimosa and  a  porcupine.* Berliner's
achievement would have been impossible but for the peculiar intensity of his
longing for a  clear, comprehensive  view of the  largest  possible area  of
scientific country. This feeling  also drove him  to  produce a text-book of
physics,  the  fruit of many years  of  strenuous work,  of which  a medical
student said to me the other day: "I don't know how I should ever have got a
clear idea of the principles  of modern physics  in the  time at my disposal
without this book."
     Berliner's fight for clarity and  comprehensiveness of outlook has done
a great deal to  bring the problems, methods, and results of science home to
many people's minds. The scientific life of our time is simply inconceivable
vzthout  his paper. It is  just as important to make knowledge  live and  to
keep it alive as to solve specific problems. We are all conscious of what we
owe to Arnold Berliner.
     *Do not be angry with me for this indiscretion, my dear Berliner. A
     serious-minded man enjoys a good laugh now and then.
     Popper-Lynhaus was more than  a brilliant engineer  and writer.  He was
one  of the few  outstanding  personalities who  embody  the conscience of a
generation. He has drummed it into us  that society  is responsible for  the
fate of every individual and  shown  us a way  to  translate the  consequent
obligation of the community into fact. The  community or State was no fetish
to him; he based its right  to demand sacrifices  of the individual entirely
on  its duty  to give  the  individual personality a  chance  of  harmonious
     Obituary of the Surgeon, M. Katzenstein
     During the eighteen years I spent in Berlin I  had  few  close friends,
and the closest was Professor Katzenstein. For more than  ten years  I spent
my leisure hours during the summer months with him, mostly on his delightful
yacht. There we confided our experiences, ambitions, emotions to each other.
We both  felt  that  this friendship was  not  only a blessing  because each
understood the other, was enriched by him, and found ins him that responsive
echo so essential to anybody who is truly alive; it also helped to make both
of  us more  independent  of  external  experience, to  objectivize it  more
     I  was a  free  man,  bound  neither by  many duties nor  by  harassing
responsibilities; my friend,  on the contrary, was never free  from the grip
of urgent duties and anxious fears for the fate of  those  in peril.  If, as
was invariably the  case, he had performed  some dangerous operations in the
morning, he  would ring up  on the telephone, immediately before we got into
the boat, to enquire after the condition of the patients about  whom  he was
worried; I  could see how deeply concerned he was for the lives entrusted to
his  care.  It was marvellous that  this  shackled outward existence did not
clip the  wings  of his  soul; his imagination and  his sense of humour were
irrepressible. He never became the typical  conscientious North German, whom
the Italians in the days of their freedom  used  to call bestia  seriosa. He
was sensitive  as a  youth to  the tonic beauty  of  the  lakes and woods of
Brandenburg, and as he sailed the boat  with  an expert hand  through  these
beloved and familiar surroundings he opened the secret  treasure-chamber  of
his  heart  to me--he  spoke  of  his  experiments,  scientific  ideas,  and
ambitions. How he found time and energy for them was always a mystery to me;
but  the passion for scientific enquiry is not to be crushed by any burdens.
The man who is possessed with it perishes sooner than it does.
     There were two  types of problems that engaged his attention. The first
forced itself on him  out  of  the necessities of his practice.  Thus he was
always thinking out  new ways of inducing healthy muscles to  take the place
of  lost  ones,  by  ingenious transplantation  of  tendons. He  found  this
remarkably  easy,  as  he possessed an uncommonly strong spatial imagination
and  a remarkably  sure feeling for mechanism.  How happy he was when he had
succeeded in making somebody  fit  for  normal  life by  putting  right  the
muscular system of  his face, foot, or arm!  And the same when he avoided an
operation, even  in  cases  which  had been sent  to him  by physicians  for
surgical treatment in  cases of gastric ulcer by neutralizing the pepsin. He
also  set  great store  by the  treatment of peritonitis  by  an  anti-toxic
coli-serum which he discovered, and  rejoiced in  the successes he  achieved
with  it.  In talking of  it he often lamented  the fact that this method of
treatment was not endorsed by his colleagues.
     The second group of problems had to do with the common conception of an
antagonism between different sorts  of tissue. He believed that he was  here
on the track of a general biological principle of  widest application, whose
implications  he  followed  out  with  admirable boldness  and  persistence.
Starting out  from  this basic  notion  he  discovered that  osteomyelon and
periosteum prevent each other's  growth if they  are not separated from each
other by bone. In this way he  succeeded in explaining hitherto inexplicable
cases of wounds ailing to heal, and in bringing about a cure.
     This  general notion  of the  antagonism of the  tissues, especially of
epithelium and connective tissue, was  the subject to  which he  devoted his
scientific  energies,  especially  in  the  last  ten  years  of  his  life.
Experiments  on animals and a  systematic  investigation  of the  growth  of
tissues in  a nutrient fluid were carried out side  by side. How thankful he
was, with  his hands  tied as they were by his duties, to have found such an
admirable  and infinitely  enthusiastic fellow-worker  in Frńlein Knake!  He
succeeded in securing wonderful results bearing on the factors  which favour
the  growth of  epithelium at  the  expense of  that  of connective  tissue,
results which may well be of decisive importance for the study of cancer. He
also had the pleasure of inspiring his own son to become his intelligent and
independent   fellow-worker,  and  of   exciting   the  warm  interest   and
co-operation of Sauerbruch just  in the last years of  his  life, so that he
was able to die  with the  consoling thought  that his life's work would not
perish, but would be vigorously continued on the lines he had laid down.
     I for my part am grateful  to fate for  having given me  this man, with
his inexhaustible goodness and high creative gifts, for a friend.
     Congratulations to Dr. Solf
     I am delighted  to  be  able to offer  you,  Dr.  Solf,  the  heartiest
congratulations, the  congratulations of  Lessing College, of which you have
become  an  indispensable  pillar, and  the congratulations  of all  who are
convinced  of the  need  for  close contact between science and  art and the
public which is hungry for spiritual nourishment.
     You have not hesitated to  apply your  energies to a  field where there
are no laurels to be won, but quiet, loyal work  to be done in the interests
of  the general  standard of  intellectual and  spiritual life, which  is in
peculiar  danger to-day  owing to  a  variety of circumstances.  Exaggerated
respect  for  athletics,   an  excess  of   coarse  impressions   which  the
complications of life through the technical discoveries of  recent years has
brought with it, the increased severity of the struggle for existence due to
the economic crisis,  the brutalization of political life--all these factors
are hostile  to  the  ripening  of  the  character  and the desire for  real
culture, and  stamp  our age  as  barbarous, materialistic, and superficial.
Specialization  in  every  sphere  of  intellectual  work  is  producing  an
everwidening gulf between  the intellectual worker  and  the non-specialist,
which makes it more difficult for the life of  the  nation  to be fertilized
and enriched by the achievements of art and science.
     But contact between  the intellectual and the masses must not be  lost.
It is necessary for the elevation of society and no less so for renewing the
strength of the intellectual worker; for the flower of science does not grow
in the  desert. For this  reason you, Herr  Solf, have devoted  a portion of
your energies to Lessing College, and we are  grateful  to you for doing so.
And we wish you further success  and  happiness in your  work for this noble
     Of Wealth
     I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity
forward, even in the  hands of the most  devoted worker  in this  cause. The
example of great and pure characters is the only thing that can produce fine
ideas and noble deeds. Money only appeals to  selfishness and always  tempts
its owners irresistibly to abuse it.
     Can anyone imagine Moses, Jesus, or Gandhi armed with the money-bags of
     Education and Educators
     A letter.
     Dear Miss _____,
     I have read about sixteen pages of your manuscript and it made
     me--smile. It is clever, well observed, honest, it stands on its
     own feet up to a point, and yet it is so typically feminine, by
     which I mean derivative and vitiated by personal rancour. I
     suffered exactly the same treatment at the hands of my teachers,
     who disliked me for my independence and passed me over
     when they wanted assistants (I must admit that I was somewhat
     less of a model student than you). But it would not have been
     worth my while to write anything about my school life, still less
     would I have liked to be responsible for anyone's printing or
     actually reading it. Besides, one always cuts a poor figure if one
     complains about others who are struggling for their place in the
     sun too after their own fashion.
     Therefore pocket your temperament and keep your manuscript
     for your sons and daughters, m order that they may derive
     consolation from it and--not give a damn for what their teachers
     tell them or think of them.
     Incidentally I am only coming to Princeton to research, not to
     teach. There is too much education altogether, especially in
     American schools. The only rational way of educating is to be an
     example--of what to avoid, if one can't be the other sort.
     With best wishes.
     To the Schoolchildren of Japan
     In  sending this greeting  to  you Japanese schoolchildren,  I can  lay
claim to a special right to do so. For I have myself visited your  beautiful
country, seen its  cities  and  houses, its mountains and woods, and in them
Japanese boys who had learnt from them to love their country. A big fat book
full of coloured drawings by Japanese children lies always on my table.
     If you get my message  of greeting from  all this distance, bethink you
that  ours  is  the  first  age  in  history  to  bring  about  friendly and
understanding intercourse  between people of different  countries; in former
times nations  passed their lives in mutual ignorance, and  in fact hated or
feared  one another. May the  spirit of brotherly understanding gain  ground
more and more  among them.  With  this  in  mind I, an  old  man, greet  you
Japanese schoolchildren from afar and hope that your generation may some day
put mine to shame.
     Teachers and Pupils
     An address to children
     (The principal art of the teacher is to awaken the joy in creation
     and knowledge.)
     My dear Children,
     I  rejoice  to  see you before me to-day, happy  youth  of a sunny  and
fortunate land.
     Bear in mind  that  the wonderful things  you learn in your schools are
the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic  effort and  infinite
labour in  every  country of  the world. All  this is put into your hands as
your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honour it, add to it, and
one day  faithfully hand it on  to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve
immortality in the permanent things which we create in common.
     If you always keep  that in mind you will  find  a meaning in  life and
work and acquire the right attitude towards other nations and ages.
     Paradise Lost
     As late as  the  seventeenth  century the  savants  and  artists of all
Europe  were  so  closely  united  by  the  bond  of  a  common  ideal  that
co-operation between them was  scarcely  affected  by political events. This
unity was further strengthened by the general use of the Latin language.
     To-day we look back at this state of affairs as at a lost paradise. The
passions of  nationalism have destroyed this community of the intellect, and
the Latin language,  which once united the whole  world, is dead. The men of
learning have become the  chief mouthpieces  of national tradition and  lost
their sense of an intellectual commonwealth.
     Nowadays we are faced  with the curious fact  that the politicians, the
practical men  of affairs, have become the exponents of international ideas.
It is they who have created the League of Nations.
     Religion and Science
     Everything that the human race  has done and thought is  concerned with
the satisfaction of  felt needs and the assuagement of pain. One has to keep
this constantly in mind  if one wishes to understand spiritual movements and
their development. Feeling and desire are the motive forces behind all human
endeavour  and  human creation, in however exalted a  guise  the latter  may
present itself to us. Now what are the feelings and needs  that have led men
to  religious thought and  belief in the widest sense of the words? A little
consideration will suffice to show us that the most varying emotions preside
over the birth of religious thought and experience. With primitive man it is
above all fear that evokes  religious notions--fear of hunger,  wild beasts,
sickness, death.  Since  at this stage of existence  understanding of causal
connexions is  usually  poorly developed, the human mind creates for  itself
more or less  analogous  beings  on whose wills  and  actions  these fearful
happenings depend. One's object  now is to secure the favour of these beings
by  carrying  out  actions  and offering sacrifices which, according to  the
tradition handed down from generation to generation, propitiate them or make
them well disposed towards  a mortal. I  am speaking now of  the religion of
fear. This, though not created, is in  an important degree stabilized by the
formation  of  a special priestly caste which sets up as a mediator  between
the people and the beings they fear, and erects a hegemony on this basis. In
many cases the leader or ruler whose position depends on other factors, or a
privileged class, combines  priestly functions with its secular authority in
order  to  make the latter  more  secure; or  the  political rulers and  the
priestly caste make common cause in their own interests.
     The  social  feelings  are another source  of  the  crystallization  of
religion. Fathers  and mothers and  the leaders  of larger human communities
are mortal and fallible. The  desire for guidance, love, and support prompts
men to  form the  social  or moral  conception of  God.  This is  the God of
Providence  who  protects,  disposes,  rewards, and  punishes, the  God who,
according  to the width of the believer's  outlook,  loves and cherishes the
life of the tribe or of the human race, or even life  as such, the comforter
in sorrow and unsatisfied longing, who preserves the souls of the dead. This
is the social or moral conception of God.
     The  Jewish scriptures admirably  illustrate  the development  from the
religion of fear to moral religion, which is continued in the New Testament.
The  religions  of all  civilized peoples,  especially  the  peoples  of the
Orient, are primarily moral religions.  The  development from a religion  of
fear to moral religion is  a great step in a nation's  life. That  primitive
religions are based entirely on fear and the religions  of civilized peoples
purely on morality is a prejudice against which we must be on our guard. The
truth  is that they are  all intermediate types, with this reservation, that
on the higher levels of social life the religion of morality predominates.
     Common to  all these  types is  the anthropomorphic character of  their
conception  of   God.   Only  individuals  of   exceptional  endowments  and
exceptionally  high-minded communities, as a general rule,  get in any  real
sense beyond this level. But there is  a third state of religious experience
which belongs to all of them, even though it is rarely found in a pure form,
and  which I will  call cosmic  religious feeling. It is  very  difficult to
explain this  feeling to  anyone who is entirely  without  it, especially as
there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it.
     The individual feels the nothingness of human desires  and aims and the
sublimity and marvellous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in
the world of thought. He looks upon individual existence as a sort of prison
and  wants to  experience the  universe as a  single  significant whole. The
beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already  appear in  earlier stages of
development--e.g.,  in  many of the  Psalms of David  and  in  some  of  the
Prophets.  Buddhism,  as  we  have  learnt  from the  wonderful writings  of
Schopenhauer especially, contains a much stronger element of it.
     The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind
of religious  feeling,  which knows no  dogma and no God  conceived in man's
image; so that there can be no Church whose  central teachings are  based on
it. Hence it is precisely among the  heretics of every  age that we find men
who were filled with the highest  kind of religious feeling and were in many
cases  regarded  by their  contemporaries  as Atheists,  sometimes  also  as
saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and
Spinoza are closely akin to one another.
     How  can  cosmic  religious feeling be communicated from  one person to
another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology?
In  my view, it is the most important function of  art and science to awaken
this feeling and keep it alive in those who are capable of it.
     We  thus arrive at a conception of the relation of science to  religion
very different  from the usual one.  When one views the matter  historically
one  is  inclined  to  look  upon  science and  religion  as  irreconcilable
antagonists,  and  for a  very obvious  reason. The  man who  is  thoroughly
convinced of  the universal  operation of the law of  causation cannot for a
moment entertain  the idea of  a  being  who  interferes in  the  course  of
events--that is, if he takes the hypothesis  of  causality really seriously.
He has no  use for the  religion of fear and equally little  for  social  or
moral religion. A God who  rewards and  punishes is inconceivable to him for
the simple reason that a man's actions are determined by necessity, external
and  internal, so that in God's eyes he cannot be responsible, any more than
an inanimate object is responsible for  the motions it  goes  through. Hence
science has been  charged  with  undermining  morality,  but  the charge  is
unjust. A man's  ethical behaviour should be based effectually on  sympathy,
education,  and social ties;  no religious  basis  is  necessary. Man  would
indeed  be in  a poor way if he had to be  restrained by fear and punishment
and hope of reward after death.
     It is therefore easy to see why the Churches have always fought science
and  persecuted its  devotees.  On  the other hand,  I maintain  that cosmic
religious  feeling  is  the strongest and  noblest incitement to  scientific
research. Only those who realize the immense  efforts  and,  above  all, the
devotion  which pioneer work in theoretical  science  demands, can grasp the
strength of the emotion out of which alone such work, remote as it  is  from
the immediate  realities of life,  can issue. What a  deep conviction of the
rationality of the universe and what a yearning to understand, were it but a
feeble reflection of the mind revealed in this world, Kepler and Newton must
have had to enable them to spend years of solitary labour  in  disentangling
the  principles  of  celestial  mechanics!  Those  whose  acquaintance  with
scientific  research  is derived chiefly from  its practical results  easily
develop  a  completely  false  notion  of  the mentality  of  the  men  who,
surrounded  by  a sceptical world, have shown the  way to those  like-minded
with themselves, scattered through the earth and the centuries. Only one who
has  devoted his life to similar ends can have  a  vivid realization of what
has  inspired these men and  given them the strength to remain true to their
purpose in  spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religious feeling that
gives a man strength  of this sort.  A contemporary  has said, not unjustly,
that  in  this materialistic age of ours  the serious scientific workers are
the only profoundly religious people.
     The Religiousness of Science
     You will  hardly find one among the profounder sort of scientific minds
without a peculiar religious feeling of his  own. But  it is  different from
the religion of the naive man. For the latter God is a being from whose care
one  hopes to benefit and whose punishment  one fears;  a  sublimation  of a
feeling similar to  that  of  a child  for its  father, a being to  whom one
stands  to some  extent in a personal relation,  however deeply  it  may  be
tinged with awe.
     But the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation. The
future, to him, is every whit as necessary and determined as the past. There
is nothing divine about morality, it is a purely human affair. His religious
feeling  takes  the form  of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural
law,  which reveals  an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with
it, all the systematic  thinking  and  acting of human  beings is an utterly
insignificant reflection. This feeling is the guiding  principle of his life
and  work,  in so far as he succeeds in keeping himself from the shackles of
selfish  desire. It is  beyond  question  closely  akin  to that  which  has
possessed the religious geniuses of all ages.
     The Plight of Science
     The German-speaking countries are menaced by a danger to which those in
the know are in duty bound to call attention in the most emphatic terms. The
economic stress which  political  events  bring  in their train does not hit
everybody equally hard.  Among the  hardest  hit are  the  institutions  and
individuals whose material existence depends directly on the State.  To this
category belong  the scientific institutions and workers  on  whose work not
merely the well-being of science  but also the  position occupied by Germany
and Austria in the scale of culture very largely depends.
     To grasp the full gravity of the situation it is necessary to  bear  in
mind the  following consideration. In times  of crisis  people are generally
blind to  everything outside their immediate necessities.  For work which is
directly productive of material  wealth they will pay. But science, if it is
to flourish,  must have no practical end  in  view.  As  a general rule, the
knowledge  and  the methods which  it  creates  only subserve practical ends
indirectly  and,  in  many  cases,  not  till after  the  lapse  of  several
generations. Neglect of science leads to a subsequent dearth of intellectual
workers  able, in virtue of their independent outlook and judgment, to blaze
new  trails  for  industry  or  adapt  themselves  to new  situations. Where
scientific enquiry is stunted the intellectual life of the nation dries  up,
which means the withering of many possibilities  of future development. This
is what we have to prevent. Now that the State has been weakened as a result
of nonpolitical causes, it is up to the economically stronger members of the
community  to  come  to  the rescue  directly,  and  prevent  the  decay  of
scientific life.
     Far-sighted men with a clear understanding of the situation have set up
institutions by which scientific  work of every sort is  to be kept going in
Germany  and  Austria.  Help  to  make these efforts  a real success. In  my
teaching  work  I see  with  admiration that economic  troubles have not yet
succeeded in stifling the  will and the  enthusiasm for scientific research.
Far from it! Indeed, it looks as if our disasters had actually quickened the
devotion to non-material goods. Everywhere people are  working  with burning
enthusiasm  in  the  most  difficult  circumstances.  See  to  it  that  the
will-power  and  the talents of the youth  of  to-day  do  not perish to the
grievous hurt of the community as a whole.
     Fascism and Science
     A letter to Signor Rocco, Minister of State, Rome.
     My dear Sir,
     Two of the most eminent and respected men of science in Italy
     have applied to me in their difficulties of conscience and
     requested me to write to you with the object of preventing, if
     possible, a piece of cruel persecution with which men of learning
     are threatened in Italy. I refer to a form of oath in which fidelity
     to the Fascist system is to be promised. The burden of my
     request is that you should please advise Signor Mussolini to
     spare the flower of Italy's intellect this humiliation.
     However much our political convictions may differ, I know that
     we agree on one point: in the progressive achievements of the
     European mind both of us see and love our highest good. Those
     achievements are based on the freedom of thought and of
     teaching, on the principle that the desire for truth must take
     precedence of all other desires. It was this basis alone that
     enabled our civilization to take its rise in Greece and to celebrate
     its rebirth in Italy at the Renaissance. This supreme good has
     been paid for by the martyr's blood of pure and great men, for
     whose sake Italy is still loved and reverenced to-day.
     Far be it from me to argue with you about what inroads on
     human liberty may be justified by reasons of State. But the
     pursuit of scientific truth, detached from the practical interests of
     everyday life, ought to be treated as sacred by every
     Government, and it is in the highest interests of all that honest
     servants of truth should be left in peace. This is also undoubtedly
     in the interests of the Italian State and its prestige in the eyes of
     the world.
     Hoping that my request will not fall on deaf ears, I am, etc.

     May I begin with an article of political faith? It runs as follows: The
State is made  for man, not man for  the State.  And in this respect science
resembles  the  State. These are  old  sayings, coined by men for whom human
personality was the highest human good. I should shrink from repeating them,
were  it not that they  are  for  ever threatening  to  fall  into oblivion,
particularly in these days of organization and mechanization. I regard it as
the  chief  duty of the  State  to protect the  individual  and give him the
opportunity to develop into a creative personality.
     That is to say, the State should be our servant and not  we its slaves.
The  State  transgresses this  commandment when it  compels us  by force  to
engage  in  military and war service, the  more so since the  object and the
effect  of  this slavish  service  is  to  kill people  belonging  to  other
countries  or interfere with  their  freedom of development. We are  only to
make such sacrifices to  the State as will promote the  free  development of
individual human beings.  To  any American all this may  be a platitude, but
not to any European. Hence we may  hope that the fight against war will find
strong support among Americans.
     And now for the Disarmament  Conference.  Ought one to laugh, weep,  or
hope when  one  thinks of it?  Imagine a city  inhabited by  fiery-tempered,
dishonest, and quarrelsome citizens.  The constant  danger to life  there is
felt as  a  serious handicap which makes all healthy development impossible.
The magistrate desires to remedy this  abominable state of affairs, although
all  his  counsellors and the rest of the citizens insist  on continuing  to
carry a  dagger in their  girdles. After years of preparation the magistrate
determines to compromise and raises the question, how long and how sharp the
dagger is allowed to be which anyone may carry in his belt when he goes out.
As long as the cunning citizens do not suppress knifing  by legislation, the
courts, and the police, things go on in the old way, of course. A definition
of the  length and sharpness of  the  permitted  dagger  will  help only the
strongest and most  turbulent and  leave the weaker at their mercy. You will
all understand the meaning of this parable. It is true that we have a League
of  Nations and a Court of Arbitration. But the League is not much more than
a meeting-hall, and the Court has no means of enforcing its decisions. These
institutions provide no security for any country in case of an attack on it.
If you bear this  in mind,  you will judge the attitude of the French, their
refusal  to disarm without  security, less harshly than it is usually judged
at present.
     Unless we can agree to limit the sovereignty of the individual State by
all binding ourselves  to take joint action against any country which openly
or secretly resists a  judgment of the Court  of Arbitration, we shall never
get out of a state of universal anarchy and  terror. No sleight of  hand can
reconcile the unlimited sovereignty of the individual country  with security
against attack.  Will it  need new  disasters to  induce  the  countries  to
undertake to enforce every decision of  the recognized  international court?
The progress of events  so far scarcely justifies us in  hoping for anything
better  in the  near  future.  But everyone who cares  for  civilization and
justice must exert all his strength to convince his fellows of the necessity
for laying all countries under an international obligation of this kind.
     It  will  be  urged   against  this  notion,  not   without  a  certain
justification,  that  it  over-estimates  the  efficacy  of  machinery,  and
neglects   the   psychological,  or  rather  the  moral,  factor.  Spiritual
disarmament, people  insist,  must  precede material  disarmament.  They say
further, and  truly, that  the greatest obstacle to  international  order is
that monstrously exaggerated  spirit of  nationalism which also goes  by the
fair-sounding but misused  name of patriotism. During the last century and a
half  this idol  has acquired  an uncanny and  exceedingly pernicious  power
     To estimate this objection at its proper worth, one must realize that a
reciprocal relation exists between external machinery and internal states of
mind. Not only does the machinery depend on traditional modes of feeling and
owe its origin and its survival to  them, but  the existing machinery in its
turn exercises a powerful influence on national modes of feeling.
     The present deplorably high development of  nationalism everywhere  is,
in  my opinion,  intimately connected  with the  institution  of  compulsory
military service or, to call it by its less offensive name, national armies.
A country which demands military service  of its inhabitants is compelled to
cultivate a nationalistic spirit  in them,  which provides the psychological
foundation  of military efficiency. Along with this religion it has to  hold
up  its  instrument, brute  force, to  the admiration of the  youth  in  its
     The  introduction  of compulsory service  is therefore, to my mind, the
prime cause  of  the  moral collapse  of  the white  race,  which  seriously
threatens  not  merely  the  survival  of  our  civilization  but  our  very
existence. This curse, along  with great social blessings, started with  the
French Revolution,  and  before long dragged all the  other  nations in  its
     Therefore those who desire to encourage the growth of an  international
spirit  and  to combat chauvinism must  take their stand  against compulsory
service.  Is  the severe  persecution  to  which conscientious objectors  to
military  service  are  subjected  to-day  a  whit less  disgraceful to  the
community than those to which the martyrs of religion were exposed in former
centuries? Can you, as the  Kellogg Pact does, condemn  war  and at the same
time leave the  individual to the tender  mercies of the war machine in each
     If, in  view  of  the Disarmament Conference,  we are not  to  restrict
ourselves to the  technical  problems  of  organization involved but also to
tackle the psychological question more directly from educational motives, we
must try  on international  lines  to  invent  some legal way by  which  the
individual  can  refuse  to  serve  in  the  army.  Such a regulation  would
undoubtedly produce a great moral effect.
     This  is my position in a nutshell: Mere agreements  to limit armaments
furnish no sort of security. Compulsory arbitration  must be supported by an
executive force,  guaranteed  by all the  participating  countries, which is
ready  to  proceed  against the disturber of  the  peace with  economic  and
military  sanctions.  Compulsory   service,  as  the  bulwark  of  unhealthy
nationalism,  must  be  combated;  most  important  of  all,   conscientious
objectors must be protected on an international basis.
     Finally, I would draw your attention to a book, War again To-morrow, by
Ludwig Bauer, which  discusses  the  issues  here  involved  in an acute and
unprejudiced manner and with great psychological insight.

     The  benefits  that the inventive genius of man has conferred on  us in
the last hundred  years could make life  happy and care-free if organization
had been able to keep pace with technical progress. As it is, these hard-won
achievements in the hands of our generation are like a razor in the hands of
a  child  of three.  The possession  of marvellous means of  production  has
brought care and hunger instead of freedom.
     The  results of technical progress are most  baleful where they furnish
means for the destruction of human life and the hard-won  fruits of toil, as
we of the older generation experienced to our horror in the Great  War. More
dreadful  even  than the destruction,  in  my  opinion, is  the  humiliating
slavery into which war plunges the individual. Is it not a terrible thing to
be forced by the community to do  things which  every  individual regards as
abominable  crimes?  Only a  few had the moral greatness to  resist;  them I
regard as the real heroes of the Great War.
     There is one ray of hope. I believe that the responsible leaders of the
nations do, in the  main, honestly desire to abolish war.  The resistance to
this essential step forward comes from those unfortunate national traditions
which  are handed on like a hereditary disease from generation to generation
through  the  workings of the educational system.  The principal  vehicle of
this  tradition is military  training and its  glorification, and,  equally,
that  portion of the Press  which is  controlled by heavy  industry and  the
soldiers. Without disarmament there can be no lasting peace. Conversely, the
continuation of military  preparations on the present  scale will inevitably
lead to new catastrophes.
     That is why the Disarmament Conference of 1932 will decide the fate  of
this  generation and the next. When  one thinks  how pitiable,  taken  as  a
whole, have been the results of former conferences, it becomes clear that it
is the duty of  all intelligent and  responsible people to exert  their full
powers to  remind public opinion  again and again  of the  importance of the
1932 Conference. Only if the statesmen have behind them the will to peace of
a decisive  majority in their own countries can they attain their great end,
and for the  formation  of this public opinion each one of us is responsible
in every word and deed.
     The doom of the Conference would be sealed  if the delegates came to it
with ready-made instructions, the carrying out of which would soon  become a
matter  of prestige.  This  seems  to be  generally  realized. For  meetings
between  the statesmen  of  two nations  at a  time, which have become  very
frequent of late, have been used to prepare the ground for the Conference by
conversations  about the disarmament problem.  This seems to me a very happy
device, for two  men or  groups of  men can usually discuss things  together
most reasonably, honestly, and dispassionately when there is no third person
present in front of whom they think they must be careful what they say. Only
if exhaustive  preparations  of this  kind are made  for  the Conference, if
surprises are thereby ruled out, and an atmosphere of  confidence is created
by genuine good will, can we hope for a happy issue.
     In  these great matters success is not  a matter of  cleverness,  still
less of cunning, but of honesty and confidence. The  moral element cannot be
displaced by  reason, thank heaven  ! It is not  the individual  spectator's
duty merely  to wait and  criticize. He must serve the cause by all means in
his power. The fate of the world will be such as the world deserves.
     America and the Disarmasnent Conference
     The  Americans of  to-day  are  filled  with  the cares arising out  of
economic  conditions in their own country. The  efforts of their responsible
leaders are directed  primarily  to  remedying  the  serious unemployment at
home. The sense of being  involved in the destiny of  the rest of the world,
and in particular of the mother country of Europe, is even less strong  than
in normal times.
     But the  free play of  economic forces will not by itself automatically
overcome these difficulties. Regulative measures by the community are needed
to bring about a  sound distribution  of  labour and consumption-goods among
mankind; without them even the people  of the richest country suffocate. The
fact is that since the amount of work needed to supply everybody's needs has
been reduced through the  improvement of technical methods, the free play of
economic  forces  no  longer produces  a state of affairs  in which  all the
available labour can find employment. Deliberate regulation and organization
are becoming necessary  to make the results of technical progress beneficial
to all.
     If the  economic  situation  cannot  be cleared up  without  systematic
regulation, how much  more necessary is such regulation for dealing with the
problems of international  politics!  Few  people  still cling to the notion
that acts of violence in the shape of wars are either advantageous or worthy
of humanity as a method of solving international  problems. But they are not
logical enough  to  make vigorous  efforts on  behalf of  the measures which
might prevent war, that savage  and unworthy relic  of the age of barbarism.
It requires some power of reflection to see the  issue clearly and a certain
courage to serve this great cause resolutely and effectively.
     Anybody who really wants to abolish war must resolutely declare himself
in favour of his  own country's resigning  a portion  of  its sovereignty in
favour of  international  institutions: he  must be  ready  to make  his own
country amenable, in  case of a  dispute,  to the award of  an international
court. He must  in the most  uncompromising fashion  support disarmament all
round,  which is actually envisaged in the unfortunate Treaty of Versailles;
unless military and aggressively  patriotic education  is  abolished, we can
hope for no progress.
     No event of  the last few years reflects  such disgrace on the  leading
civilized  countries  of  the  world  as  the  failure  of  all  disarmament
conferences so  far; for this  failure is  due not  only to the intrigues of
ambitious  and unscrupulous  politicians, but also to the  indifference  and
slackness of the public  in all countries. Unless this  is  changed we shall
destroy all the really valuable achievements of our predecessors.
     I believe  that the American  nation  is only imperfectly  aware of the
responsibility which  rests  with  it  in  this matter. People in America no
doubt  think as follows: "Let Europe go  to the dogs,  if it is destroyed by
the quarrelsomeness and wickedness of its inhabitants. The  good seed of our
Wilson has produced a mighty poor crop in the stony ground of Europe. We are
strong  and  safe and in  no  hurry to  mix ourselves  up  in other people's
     Such an attitude is at once base and shortsighted. America is partly to
blame for the difficulties of Europe. By ruthlessly pressing her  claims she
is hastening  the economic and therewith  the moral collapse of  Europe; she
has helped to Balkanize Europe, and therefore shares the responsibility  for
the breakdown of political morality and the growth of that spirit of revenge
which  feeds on despair.  This spirit  will  not stop short  of the gates of
America--I had almost  said, has not  stopped  short. Look  around, and look
     The truth can be briefly  stated: The Disarmament Conference comes as a
final  chance, to  you no  less than  to  us, of  preserving  the  best that
civilized  humanity has produced. And  it is on  you, as  the strongest  and
comparatively soundest among us, that the eyes and hopes of all are focused.
     Active Pacifism
     I  consider myself  lucky in  witnessing  the great peace demonstration
organized by the Flemish people.  To  all concerned in it I feel impelled to
call out in the name  of men of good will  with a care  for the  future: "In
this hour of opened eyes and awakening conscience  we feel  ourselves united
with you by the deepest ties."
     We must not conceal  from ourselves that  an improvement in the present
depressing  situation  is  impossible  without  a  severe  struggle; for the
handful of  those who are really  determined to  do something  is minute  in
comparison with the mass of  the lukewarm and the  misguided.  And those who
have an interest in keeping  the machinery of war going  are a very powerful
body; they  will stop at nothing to make public opinion subservient to their
murderous ends.
     It looks  as if  the ruling statesmen of  to-day  were really trying to
secure permanent peace. But the ceaseless piling-up of armaments shows  only
too clearly  that they are unequal to coping  with the  hostile forces which
are preparing  for war. In  my opinion, deliverance can only  come  from the
peoples  themselves.  If  they  wish  to  avoid  the  degrading  slavery  of
war-service,  they  must  declare  with  no  uncertain  voice  for  complete
disarmament. As long as armies exist, any serious quarrel  will lead to war.
A pacifism which does not actually try to prevent the nations from arming is
and must remain impotent.
     May the conscience  and the common sense of the peoples be awakened, so
that we may reach a new stage in the life of nations, where people will look
back on war as an incomprehensible aberration of their forefathers!
     Letter to a Friend of Peace
     It has come to  my  ears that in your greatheartedness you  are quietly
accomplishing a splendid work,  impelled by solicitude for humanity and  its
fate. Small is the number of them that see with their own eyes and feel with
their own  hearts.  But  it is their strength that will  decide  whether the
human race must relapse into that hopeless condition which a blind multitude
appears to-day to regard as the ideal.
     O that the nations might see, before it is too late, how much of  their
self-determination they have got to sacrifice in order to avoid the struggle
of all against all! The power of conscience and the international spirit has
proved  itself  inadequate. At present it is  being so weak  as  to tolerate
parleying  with  the  worst  enemies  of  civilization.  There is a kind  of
conciliation which is a crime against humanity,  and it passes for political
     We cannot despair of humanity, since we are ourselves human beings. And
it is a  comfort that there  still exist individuals like yourself, whom one
knows to be alive and undismayed.
     Another ditto
     Dear friend and spiritual brother,
     To be quite frank, a declaration like the one before me in a
     country which submits to conscription in peace-time seems to
     me valueless. What you must fight for is liberation from universal
     military service. Verily the French nation has had to pay heavily
     for the victory of 1918; for that victory has been largely
     responsible for holding it down in the most degrading of all forms
     of slavery. Let your efforts in this struggle be unceasing. You
     have a mighty ally in the German reactionaries and militarists. If
     France clings to universal military service, it will be impossible in
     the long run to prevent its introduction into Germany. For the
     demand of the Germans for equal rights will succeed in the end;
     and then there will be two German military slaves to every
     French one, which would certainly not be in the interests of
     Only if we succeed in abolishing compulsory service altogether
     will it be possible to educate the youth in the spirit of
     reconciliation, joy in life, and love towards all living creatures.
     I believe that a refusal on conscientious grounds to serve in the
     army when called up, if carried out by 50,000 men at the same
     moment, would be irresistible. The individual can accomplish
     little here, nor can one wish to see the best among us devoted to
     destruction through the machinery behind which stand the three
     great powers of stupidity, fear, and greed.
     A third ditto
     Dear Sir,
     The point with which you deal in your letter is one of prime
     importance. The armament industry is, as you say, one of the
     greatest dangers that beset mankind. It is the hidden evil power
     behind the nationalism which is rampant everywhere.…
     Possibly something might be gained by nationalization. But it is
     extremely hard to determine exactly what industries should be
     included. Should the aircraft industry? And how much of the
     metal industry and the chemical industry?
     As regards the munitions industry and the export of war material,
     the League of Nations has busied itself for years with efforts to
     get this horrible traffic controlled--with what little success, we all
     know. Last year I asked a well-known American diplomat why
     Japan was not forced by a commercial boycott to desist from
     her policy of force. "Our commercial interests are too strong,"
     was the answer. How can one help people who rest satisfied
     with a statement like that?
     You believe that a word from me would suffice to get something
     done in this sphere? What an illusion! People flatter me as long
     as I do not get in their way. But if I direct my efforts towards
     objects which do not suit them, they immediately turn to abuse
     and calumny in defence of their interests. And the onlookers
     mostly keep out of the light, the cowards! Have you ever tested
     the civil courage of your countrymen? The silently accepted
     motto is "Leave it alone and don't speak of it." You may be sure
     that I shall do everything in my power along the lines you
     indicate, but nothing can be achieved as directly as you think.
     Women and War
     In my opinion, the patriotic women ought to be sent to the front in the
next war instead  of the men. It would at least be a novelty in this  dreary
sphere  of  infinite  confusion,  and  besides--why should  not  such heroic
feelings on the part of the fair sex find a more  picturesque outlet than in
attacks on a defenceless civilian?
     Thoughts on the World Economic Crisis
     If there is one thing that can give a layman in the sphere of economics
the courage  to  express an opinion on  the  nature of the alarming economic
difficulties  of the  present day, it is the hopeless confusion of  opinions
among the experts. What I have to say is nothing new and does not pretend to
be  anything  more than the opinion  of  an independent and honest man  who,
unburdened by class or national  prejudices, desires nothing but the good of
humanity and the  most harmonious possible scheme of human  existence. If in
what follows I write as if I were clear about certain things and sure of the
truth of what  I am  saying, this is  done merely for the  sake of an easier
mode of expression; it does not proceed from  unwarranted self-confidence or
a belief in the infallibility of my somewhat simple intellectual  conception
of problems which are in reality uncommonly complex.
     As I see it,  this crisis differs in character from past crises in that
it is based on an entirely new  set of  conditions, due to rapid progress in
methods of production. Only  a fraction of the available human labour in the
world  is needed for the production of the total amount of consumption-goods
necessary  to life. Under  a completely free economic  system  this fact  is
bound to lead to unemployment. For reasons which I do not propose to analyse
here, the majority of people are  compelled to work  for the minimum wage on
which life can  be supported.  If  two  factories produce  the  same sort of
goods, other things being  equal, that one will be able to produce them more
cheaply  which employs less workmen--i.e.,  makes the individual worker work
as long and as hard as human nature permits. From this it follows inevitably
that, with methods of production what they are to-day, only a portion of the
available labour can  be used. While unreasonable demands are  made  on this
portion,  the  remainder  is  automatically  excluded  from  the  process of
production. This leads to a fall in sales and profits.  Businesses go smash,
which further increases unemployment and diminishes confidence in industrial
concerns and  therewith  public  participation  in  these  mediating  banks;
finally the banks become insolvent through the sudden withdrawal of deposits
and the wheels of industry therewith come to a complete standstill.
     The crisis has also  been  attributed to other causes which we will now
     (1)  Over-production.   We  have  to  distinguish  between  two  things
here--real   over-production   and   apparent   over-production.   By   real
overproduction I mean a production so great that it exceeds the demand. This
m4y  perhaps  apply  to  motor-cars and  wheat in the  United States  at the
present moment, although even that  is doubtful. By "over-production" people
usually  mean a condition  of things in which more of one particular article
is produced  than  can, in existing  circumstances, be sold,  in spite of  a
shortage of consumption-goods among consumers. This  condition  of  things I
call apparent over-production.  In  this case it is not  the  demand that is
lacking  but the consumers' purchasing-power. Such apparent  over-production
is only  another  word  for  a  crisis,  and therefore cannot  serve  as  an
explanation of the  latter;  hence  people  who try to  make over-production
responsible for the crisis are merely juggling with words.
     (2)  Reparations.  The obligation to pay  reparations lies heavy on the
debtor nations and their industries, compels them to go in for  dumping, and
so harms the creditor nations too This is beyond dispute. But the appearance
of the crisis  in  the  United  States, in  spite of  the  high  tariff-wall
protecting them, proves that this cannot be the principal cause of the world
crisis. The  shortage of gold in the debtor countries due to reparations can
at most serve as an argument for putting an end to these payments; it cannot
be dragged in as an explanation of the world crisis.
     (3) Erection  of near tariff-walls. Increase in the unproductive burden
of armaments. Political in security owing to latent danger of war. All these
things add considerably to the  troubles of  Europe, but  do not  materially
affect America.  The appearance  of the  crisis  in America shows  that they
cannot be its principal causes.
     (4) The dropping-out of the two Powers, China and Russia. This blow  to
world trade also does not touch America very nearly, and therefore cannot be
a principal cause of the crisis.
     (5)  The  economic rise  of the  lower  classes since  the  War.  This,
supposing it to be a reality, could only produce a scarcity of goods, not an
excessive supply.
     I will not weary the reader by enumerating further contentions which do
not seem to me  to  get  to the  heart of the matter.  Of  one thing I  feel
certain:  this  same technical  progress  which,  in  itself, might  relieve
mankind of a great part  of the labour necessary to  its subsistence, is the
main cause of  our present troubles. Hence there are those  who would in all
seriousness  forbid  the  introduction  of technical  improvements. This  is
obviously absurd.  But  how can  we find  a  more  rational  way  out of our
     If we could somehow  manage to  prevent  the  purchasing-power  of  the
masses,  measured  in terms of goods, from sinking below a  certain minimum,
stoppages in  the industrial cycle such as we  are experiencing to-day would
be rendered impossible.
     The logically simplest but also most daring method of achieving this is
a completely  planned economy, in  which consumption-goods are produced  and
distributed  by  the  community.  That,  in  essentials,  is  what is  being
attempted  in Russia to-day. Much will depend on  what  results  this mighty
experiment  produces. To  hazard a prophecy here would  be presumption.  Can
goods  be  produced as economically under such a  system  as under one which
leaves  more freedom  to  individual  enterprise?  Can this  system maintain
itself at all without the terror that has  so far accompanied it, which none
of us "westerners" would care to let himself in for? Does not such a  rigid,
centralized  system  tend towards protection  and hostility  to advantageous
innovations? We must take  care,  however, not  to allow these suspicions to
become prejudices which prevent us from forming an objective judgment.
     My personal opinion is that those methods  are preferable which respect
existing traditions and habits so far as that is in any way  compatible with
the end in view. Nor do I believe that a sudden transference of the  control
of industry to the hands of the public would be beneficial from the point of
view  of production;  private  enterprise  should  be  left  its  sphere  of
activity, in so far as it has not already been eliminated by industry itself
in the form of cartelization.
     There are, however, two respects  in  which this economic freedom ought
to  be limited. In each branch  of industry the number of working  hours per
week ought  so  to be reduced  by  law  that unemployment is  systematically
abolished. At  the same time minimum wages must  be fixed in such a way that
the purchasing power of the workers keeps pace with production.
     Further,  in   those  industries  which  have  become  monopolistic  in
character through organization on  the part of the producers, prices must be
controlled by the State in order to keep the creation of new capital  within
reasonable bounds  and  prevent the artificial strangling  of production and
     In  this way it might perhaps be possible to establish a proper balance
between  production and consumption without too  great a limitation  of free
enterprise,  and at  the same  time to stop the  intolerable  tyranny of the
owners of the  means  of production (land, machinery) over the wage-earners,
in the widest sense of the term.
     Culture and Prosperity
     If  one  would  estimate  the  damage  done   by  the  great  political
catastrophe to the development of human civilization, one must remember that
culture  in  its  higher  forms  is a  delicate  plant which  depends  on  a
complicated  set of conditions and is wont to  flourish only in a few places
at any given  time.  For  it to blossom there  is  needed, first  of all,  a
certain degree of prosperity, which enables a fraction of  the population to
work at things not directly necessary to the maintenance  of life; secondly,
a moral tradition of respect for cultural values and achievements, in virtue
of  which this class is  provided with  the  means  of living  by the  other
classes, those who provide the immediate necessities of life.
     During the past century Germany has been one of the countries in  which
both conditions were fulfilled. The prosperity was, taken as a whole, modest
but sufficient; the tradition of respect for culture vigorous. On this basis
the German nation has brought forth fruits of culture which form an integral
part of the  development of  the modern  world. The  tradition, in the main,
still  stands;  the prosperity is gone. The  industries of the  country have
been cut  off almost completely  from the sources of raw materials on  which
the  existence of  the  industrial part of  the  population was  based.  The
surplus necessary to support the intellectual worker has suddenly  ceased to
exist.  With  it the tradition which  depends on it will inevitably collapse
also, and a fruitful nursery of culture turn to wilderness.
     The  human race,  in  so  far  as  it sets a value  on  culture, has an
interest in preventing such impoverishment. It will give what help it can in
the  immediate crisis and reawaken  that higher  community of  feeling,  now
thrust into the background by national egotism, for which human  values have
a validity independent of politics and  frontiers. It will then procure  for
every nation conditions of work  under which it can exist and under which it
can bring forth fruits of culture.
     Production and Purchasing Power
     I do not believe that the remedy for our present difficulties lies in a
knowledge of productive capacity  and consumption, because this knowledge is
likely, in the main, to come too late. Moreover the trouble in Germany seems
to  me to  be not hypertrophy of the  machinery of production but  deficient
purchasing power  in a large section  of the population, which has been cast
out of the productive process through rationalization.
     The gold standard  has, in my opinion, the serious  disadvantage that a
shortage in the  supply of  gold  automatically leads  to  a contraction  of
credit  and  also  of  the  amount  of  currency  in  circulation, to  which
contraction prices and wages  cannot adjust themselves sufficiently quickly.
The natural remedies for our troubles are, in my opinion, as follows:--
     (1)  A  statutory  reduction  of  working  hours,  graduated  for  each
department of industry, in  order to get  rid of unemployment, combined with
the  fixing   of  minimum   wages   for  the   purpose   of   adjusting  the
purchasing-power of the masses to the amount of goods available.
     (2) Control of the amount of money in  circulation and of the volume of
credit  in  such  a  way as  to  keep  the  price-level  steady, all special
protection being abolished.
     (3)  Statutory  limitation  of prices  for such articles  as  have been
practically  withdrawn from free competition by  monopolies or the formation
of cartels.
     Production and Work
     An answer to Cederstr∆m
     Dear Herr Cederstr∆m,
     Thank you for sending me your proposals, which interest me
     very much. Having myself given so much thought to this subject I
     feel that it is right that I should give you my perfectly frank
     opinion on them.
     The fundamental trouble seems to me to be the almost unlimited
     freedom of the labour market combined with extraordinary
     progress in the methods of production. To satisfy the needs of
     the world to-day nothing like all the available labour is wanted.
     The result is unemployment and excessive competition among
     the workers, both of which reduce purchasing power and put
     the whole economic system intolerably out of gear.
     I know Liberal economists maintain that every economy in
     labour is counterbalanced by an increase in demand. But, to
     begin with, I don't believe it, and even if it were true, the
     above-mentioned factors would always operate to force the
     standard of living of a large portion of the human race doom to
     an unnaturally low level.
     I also share your conviction that steps absolutely must be taken
     to make it possible and necessary for the younger people to take
     part in the productive process. Further, that the older people
     ought to be excluded from certain sorts of work (which I call
     "unqualified" work), receiving instead a certain income, as having
     by that time done enough work of a kind accepted by society as
     I too am in favour of abolishing large cities, but not of settling
     people of a particular type--e.g., old people--in particular
     towns. Frankly, the idea strikes me as horrible. I am also of
     opinion that fluctuations in the value of money must be avoided,
     by substituting for the gold standard a standard based on certain
     classes of goods selected according to the conditions of
     consumption--as Keynes, if I am not mistaken, long ago
     proposed. With the introduction of this system one might
     consent to a certain amount of "inflation," as compared with the
     present monetary situation, if one could believe that the State
     would really make a rational use of the windfall thus accruing to
     The weaknesses of your plan lie, so it seems to me, in the sphere
     of psychology, or rather, in your neglect of it. It is no accident
     that capitalism has brought with it progress not merely in
     production but also in knowledge. Egoism and competition are,
     alas, stronger forces than public spirit and sense of duty. In
     Russia, they say, it is impossible to get a decent piece of
     bread.…Perhaps I am over-pessimistic concerning State
     and other forms of communal enterprise, but I expect little good
     from them. Bureaucracy is the death of all sound work. I have
     seen and experienced too many dreadful warnings, even in
     comparatively model Switzerland.
     I am inclined to the view that the State can only be of real use to
     industry as a limiting and regulative force. It must see to it that
     competition among the workers is kept within healthy limits, that
     all children are given a chance to develop soundly, and that
     wages are high enough for the goods produced to be consumed.
     But it can exert a decisive influence through its regulative function
     if--and there again you are right--its measures are framed in an
     objective spirit by independent experts.
     I would like to write to you at greater length, but cannot find the
     It  seems to be a  universal  fact that minorities--especially when the
individuals composing them are distinguished by physical  peculiarities--are
treated  by  the  majorities among whom they  live as an inferior  order  of
beings.  The tragedy of such a fate  lies not merely in the unfair treatment
to which these minorities are automatically subjected in social and economic
matters,  but also in  the  fact that under the  suggestive influence of the
majority most of  the victims themselves succumb to the  same prejudice  and
regard  their brethren  as inferior beings. This  second and greater part of
the  evil can be overcome by  closer combination and by deliberate education
of the minority, whose spiritual liberation can thus be accomplished.
     The efforts of the American negroes in this  direction are deserving of
all commendation and assistance.
     Observations on the Present Situation in Europe
     The distinguishing feature of  the  present political situation of  the
world, and in particular of Europe,  seems to me to be this, that political.
development  has  failed, both  materially and intellectually, to keep  pace
with economic necessity,  which has changed its character in a comparatively
short  time.  The interests  of  each country must  be subordinated  to  the
interests  of the wider community.  The struggle for this new orientation of
political thought and feeling is a severe one, because it has  the tradition
of  centuries  against  it.  But  the  survival  of  Europe  depends on  its
successful  issue.  It is  my  firm  conviction  that once the psychological
impediments are overcome the solution of the real  problems will not be such
a  terribly difficult matter. In  order  to create the right atmosphere, the
most essential thing is personal co-operation between men  of like mind. May
our united efforts succeed in building  a bridge of mutual trust between the
     The Heirs of the Ages
     Previous generations were  able to look upon intellectual  and cultural
progress as simply the  inherited  fruits of their forebears' labours, which
made  life  easier and more  beautiful for them. But the calamities  of  our
times show us that this was a fatal illusion.
     We see  now  that  the greatest  efforts  are  needed if this legacy of
humanity's is to  prove  a blessing and not a curse. For whereas formerly it
was enough for  a man to have  freed  himself  to some extent from  personal
egotism  to make him a  valuable member of society,  to-day he  must also be
required to overcome national and  class egotism. Only  if he  reaches those
heights can he contribute towards improving the lot of humanity.
     As regards  this  most important  need  of the age the inhabitants of a
small State are  better placed than those of a great Power, since the latter
are exposed, both in politics and economics, to the temptation to gain their
ends by brute force. The agreement between Holland and Belgium, which is the
only  bright spot in  European affairs during the last few years, encourages
one to hope that the small nations will  play a leading part in the  attempt
to liberate the world  from  the  degrading  yoke of militarism  through the
renunciation   of   the   individual   country's    unlimited    right    of

     The Jews
     Jewish Ideals
     The  pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of
justice, and the desire for personal independence--these are the features of
the Jewish tradition which make me thank my stars that I belong to it.
     Those who are raging to-day against the ideals of reason and individual
liberty  and are trying to establish  a  spiritless State-slavery  by  brute
force rightly see in us their irreconcilable  foes. History has  given  us a
difficult row to hoe; but so long  as  we remain devoted servants of  truth,
justice, and liberty,  we shall continue not merely to survive as the oldest
of  living  peoples,  but  by creative work  to  bring  forth  fruits  which
contribute to the ennoblement of the human race, as heretofore.
     Is there a Jewish Point of View?
     In  the philosophical sense there  is, in  my  opinion, no specifically
Jewish outlook. Judaism seems to me  to be concerned almost exclusively with
the moral  attitude in life and to life. I look upon it as the essence of an
attitude to life which is  incarnate  in the Jewish people  rather  than the
essence of the laws laid down in the Thora and interpreted in the Talmud. To
me, the Thora and the Talmud are  merely the most important evidence for the
manner in which the Jewish conception of life held sway in earlier times.
     The essence of  that conception seems to  me to  lie in an  affirmative
attitude to the life of all creation. The life of the individual has meaning
only in so far as it aids  in  making the life of every  living thing nobler
and more beautiful. Life is sacred--that is to say, it is the supreme value,
to  which  all   other   values  are  subordinate.  The   hallowing  of  the
supra-individual  life brings  in  its  train  a  reverence  for  everything
spiritual--a particularly characteristic feature of the Jewish tradition.
     Judaism  is  not  a  creed:  the  Jewish  God is simply  a  negation of
superstition, an imaginary result of its elimination. It is also  an attempt
to base the moral law on fear,  a regrettable and discreditable attempt. Yet
it seems to me that the strong moral tradition of the Jewish nation has to a
large  extent  shaken  itself  free  from this  fear. It  is clear also that
"serving God" was equated with "serving the living." The best of the  Jewish
people, especially the Prophets and Jesus, contended tirelessly for this.
     Judaism is thus no  transcendental  religion; it is concerned with life
as we live it and can up to a point grasp it, and nothing  else. It seems to
me, therefore, doubtful whether it can be called a religion in  the accepted
sense of the word, particularly as no "faith" but the sanctification of life
in a supra-personal sense is demanded of the Jew.
     But  the Jewish tradition also contains something else, something which
finds  splendid  expression  in  many  of  the  Psalms--namely,  a  sort  of
intoxicated joy and amazement at the beauty and grandeur  of this world,  of
which,  man can just form  a faint notion. It is the feeling from which true
scientific research  draws its spiritual sustenance, but which also seems to
find  expression  in the song of birds. To tack this on to the idea  of  God
seems mere childish absurdity.
     Is what I have  described a distinguishing mark of Judaism? Is it to be
found anywhere else under another name? In its pure  form, nowhere, not even
in  Judaism,  where the  pure doctrine  is  obscured by much worship of  the
letter.  Yet  Judaism  seems  to  me  one of its  purest and  most  vigorous
manifestations. This applies  particularly to the  fundamental principle  of
the sanctification of life.
     It is characteristic  that the animals were expressly  included in  the
command  to keep holy the Sabbath day,  so  strong was the  feeling that the
ideal demands  the solidarity of  all living  things. The  insistence on the
solidarity of all human beings finds still stronger expression, apd it is no
mere  chance  that  the demands  of  Socialism were for the most part  first
raised by Jews.
     How strongly developed this sense of  the sanctity  of  life is in  the
Jewish  people  is admirably  illustrated by a little  remark  which  Walter
Rathenau once made to me in conversation: "When  a Jew says that  he's going
hunting to amuse himself, he lies." The Jewish sense of the sanctity of life
could not be more simply expressed.
     Jewish Youth
     An Answer to a Questionnaire
     It is important that the young should be induced to take an interest in
Jewish questions and  difficulties, and  you deserve  gratitude for devoting
yourself to this task in your paper.  This is of moment not  merely  for the
destiny of  the Jews, whose welfare  depends  on their sticking together and
helping each other,  but, over and above that,  for  the cultivation of  the
international  spirit,   which  is  in  danger  everywhere  to-day   from  a
narrow-minded nationalism.  Here, since the days of the Prophets, one of the
fairest fields of activity has lain open to  our  nation, scattered as it is
over the earth and united only by a common tradition.
     Addresses on Reconstruction in Palestine

     Ten years  ago,  when I first had  the  pleasure  of addressing  you on
behalf of  the Zionist cause, almost all our  hopes were  still fixed on the
future. To-day we  can look back on  these  ten years with joy; for  in that
time  the united energies of the Jewish people have  accomplished a splendid
piece of successful constructive work in Palestine, which  certainly exceeds
anything that we dared to hope then.
     We have also successfully stood the severe test to which  the events of
the last few  years have subjected us.  Ceaseless work, supported by a noble
purpose, is leading slowly  but surely to success. The latest pronouncements
of  the  British Government  indicate a return to a  juster  judgment of our
case; this we recognize with gratitude.
     But we must never forget what this  crisis has taught  us--namely, that
the  establishment of  satisfactory relations between the Jews and the Arabs
is not  England's  affair but  ours.  We--that  is  to  say,  the  Arabs and
ourselves--have  got  to  agree  on  the  main  outlines  of an advantageous
partnership which  shall satisfy the needs of both nations. A  just solution
of this problem and one worthy  of both nations is an  end no less important
and  no less  worthy  of  our efforts  than the  promotion  of  the  work of
construction itself. Remember that  Switzerland represents a higher stage of
political  development than  any  national state,  precisely  because of the
greater political problems which had to be solved before a  stable community
could be built up out of groups of different nationality.
     Much remains to be done, but one  at least of Herzl's  aims has already
been  realized:  its  task in  Palestine  has  given the  Jewish  people  an
astonishing degree of solidarity  and the optimism without which no organism
can lead a healthy life.
     Anything  we may do for the common purpose is  done  not merely for our
brothers in Palestine, but for the well-being and honour of the whole Jewish

     We are assembled to-day for the purpose of calling  to mind our age-old
community,  its  destiny,  and  its problems.  It is  a  community  of moral
tradition, which  has  always shown its strength and  vitality  in  times of
stress.  In all ages it has produced men  who embodied the conscience of the
Western world, defenders of human dignity and justice.
     So long as we ourselves care about this community  it  will continue to
exist to  the benefit of  mankind, in spite of the fact that it possesses no
self-contained organization. A decade or two ago a group of far-sighted men,
among whom Herzl of  immortal memory  stood out  above the rest, came to the
conclusion that  we needed a spiritual centre in crder to preserve our sense
of  solidarity  in difficult times. Thus  arose the idea of Zionism  and the
work of settlement in Palestine, the successful realization of which we have
been permitted to witness, at least in its highly promising beginnings.
     I have had  the privilege of seeing,  to my great joy and satisfaction,
how much  this  achievement has  contributed to  the recovery  of the Jewish
people,  which  is exposed, as a minority among the nations,  not  merely to
external dangers, but also to internal ones of a psychological nature.
     The  crisis which the work of construction has had  to face in the last
few years has lain heavy upon us and is not  yet completely  surmounted. But
the  most recent  reports  show that the  world, and especially the  British
Government, is disposed to recognize the great  things which lie  behind our
struggle  for the  Zionist  ideal.  Let  us  at  this  moment remember  with
gratitude our leader Weizmann, whose zeal and circumspection have helped the
good cause to success.
     The difficulties we have  been through  have  also brought some good in
their  train.  They  have shown us once more  how  strong the  bond is which
unites  the Jews  of all  countries in a common destiny. The crisis has also
purified our attitude to the  question  of Palestine, purged it of the dross
of  nationalism. It has  been clearly proclaimed that we are not seeking  to
create a political society, but  that our aim is, in accordance with the old
tradition of Jewry, a  cultural  one  in the  widest sense of the word. That
being so, it is for us to solve the  problem of living side by side with our
brother the Arab in an open,  generous, and worthy manner.  We  have here an
opportunity of showing what we have learnt in  the thousands of years of our
martyrdom. If we choose the right path we shall succeed and give the rest of
the world a fine example.
     Whatever we do for Palestine we do it for the  honour and well-being of
the whole Jewish people.

     I am delighted to have the opportunity of addressing a few words to the
youth of this  country which is faithful to the common aims of Jewry. Do not
be  discouraged  by  the difficulties  which confront us in  Palestine. Such
things serve to test the will to live of our community.
     Certain  proceedings  and pronouncements of the  English administration
have  been  justly criticized. We must  not, however, leave  it at that  but
learn by experience.
     We need  to  pay great  attention  to  our relations with the Arabs. By
cultivating  these  carefully we shall  be able in  future to prevent things
from becoming so dangerously strained that people can take advantage of them
to provoke acts  of hostility.  This  goal  is  perfectly within  our reach,
because our work of construction has been, and must continue to be,  carried
out in  such a manner as to serve the real interests  of the Arab population
     In  this way we shall be able to avoid getting ourselves quite so often
into the position, disagreeable for  Jews and Arabs alike, of having to call
in the  mandatory  Power as arbitrator.  We shall thereby  be  following not
merely the dictates of Providence but also our traditions,  which alone give
the Jewish community meaning and stability.
     For that community is not, and must never become, a political one; this
is the  only permanent  source whence it can draw new strength  and the only
ground on which its existence can be justified.

     For the last  two thousand years  the  common  property  of  the Jewish
people has consisted entirely of its  past.  Scattered over the  wide world,
our  nation  possessed  nothing  in  common  except  its  carefully  guarded
tradition. Individual Jews no doubt produced great work, but it seemed as if
the Jewish  people as a whole had not the strength left for great collective
     Now all that is changed. History has set  us a great and noble  task in
the shape of  active cooperation in the building  up  of  Palestine. Eminent
members  of  our  race  are  already at  work  with all their  might on  the
realization of this aim. The  opportunity is presented to us  of  setting up
centres  of civilization  which  the whole Jewish  people can regard  as its
work. We nurse the hope of erecting in Palestine a home of  our own national
culture which shall  help to  awaken  the  near  East to  new  economic  and
spiritual life.
     The object which the leaders of Zionism have in view is not a political
but a social and cultural one. The community  in Palestine must approach the
social ideal of our forefathers as it is laid down in the Bible, and at  the
same time become a seat  of modern intellectual life, a spiritual centre for
the  Jews  of  the  whole   world.  In  accordance  with  this  notion,  the
establishment  of a  Jewish university in  Jerusalem constitutes one  of the
most important aims of the Zionist organization.
     During the last  few months I have  been to America in order to help to
raise the  material basis for this  university  there. The success  of  this
enterprise was quite natural.  Thanks to the  untiring  energy and  splendid
self-sacrificing  spirit of the Jewish doctors in America, we have succeeded
in  collecting enough money for  the creation of  a medical faculty, and the
preliminary work isbeing started at once. After this success I have no doubt
that the material basis for the other  faculties  will  soon be forthcoming.
The medical faculty is first of all to be developed as a research  institute
and  to concentrate on making the country healthy, a most important  item in
the  work  of development.  Teaching on  a  large  scale  will  only  become
important later on. As a number of highly  competent scientific workers have
already signified their readiness to take up appointments at the university,
the establishment of a  medical faculty seems to be placed beyond all doubt.
I may add that a special fund for the university, entirely distinct from the
general  fund  for the  development of the country, has been opened. For the
latter considerable sums have been collected during these months in America,
thanks to the indefatigable labours of Professor Weizmann and  other Zionist
leaders, chiefly through the self-sacrificing spirit of the middle  classes.
I conclude with  a warm appeal to the Jews in Germany to contribute all they
can, in spite of  the present economic difficulties, for the  building up of
the  Jewish home  in Palestine. This is  not  a matter  of charity,  but  an
enterprise which concerns all Jews and the success of which promises to be a
source of the highest satisfaction to all.

     For us  Jews Palestine is not just a charitable or colonial enterprise,
but a problem of central importance for  the Jewish people. Palestine is not
primarily a  place  of  refuge  for  the  Jews of  Eastern  Europe,  but the
embodiment of the re-awakening corporate spirit  of the whole Jewish nation.
Is  it  the right  moment  for  this corporate  sense  to  be  awakened  and
strengthened? This is a question to which I feel compelled, not merely by my
spontaneous feelings  but  on  rational grounds, to  return  an  unqualified
     Let us  just  cast  our eyes over the history  of  the Jews in  Germany
during the past  hundred  years. A  century  ago our forefathers,  with  few
exceptions,  lived in  the ghetto. They were poor, without political rights,
separated from the Gentiles by a barrier  of religious traditions, habits of
life, and legal restrictions; their  intellectual development was restricted
to their  own  literature, and  they had  remained almost unaffected  by the
mighty advance  of the European intellect  which dates from the Renaissance.
And yet these obscure, humble people had one great advantage over us each of
them belonged in  every  fibre of  his being to a community  m  which he was
completely absorbed, in which he  felt himself a fully pnvileged member, and
which demanded nothing of him that was contrary  to  his natural  habits  of
thought.  Our  forefathers  in  those  days  were   pretty  poor   specimens
intellectually  and  physically,  but  socially  speaking  they  enjoyed  an
enviable spiritual equilibrium.
     Then   came  emancipation,   which  suddenly   opened  up  undreamed-of
possibilities  to the  individual.  Some  few rapidly  made  a position  for
themselves in  the higher walks of business and social life.  They  greedily
lapped  up  the  splendid triumphs which the art and science of the  Western
world  had  achieved.  They joined in the  process with burning  enthusiasm,
themselves making contributions  of  lasting  value. At the same  time  they
imitated  the external forms  of Gentile life,  departed more and  more from
their religious and social traditions, and adopted Gentile customs, manners,
and habits of thought. It seemed as though they were completely losing their
identity in the superior numbers and more  highly  organized  culture of the
nations among whom they  lived, so that in a few generations there  would be
no  trace  of them left. A complete disappearance of  Jewish nationality  in
Central and Western Europe seemed inevitable.
     But events turned out  otherwise. Nationalities of  different race seem
to  have an instinct which prevents them from  fusing. However much the Jews
adapted  themselves, in language, manners, and to a great extent even in the
forms of religion,  to  the  European  peoples  among whom  they  lived, the
feeling of strangeness  between the Jews  and their hosts never disappeared.
This spontaneous feeling  is the  ultimate  cause of anti-Semitism, which is
therefore not to be got rid  of by  well-meaning  propaganda.  Nationalities
want to pursue their own path, not to blend. A satisfactory state of affairs
can be brought about only by mutual toleration and respect.
     The  first step  in that direction is  that  we  Jews should  once more
become  conscious   of  our  existence  as  a  nationality  and  regain  the
self-respect  that is  necessary to a healthy existence. We  must learn once
more to  glory  in  our ancestors and our history and once  again take  upon
ourselves, as  a nation, cultural tasks of a sort  calculated to  strengthen
our  sense of the community.  It is  not enough  for us  to play a  part  as
individuals  in  the cultural development of the human  race, we  must  also
tackle tasks which only nations as a whole can perform. Only so can the Jews
regain social health.
     It is from this point of view that I would have you look at the Zionist
movement. To-day  history  has assigned to  us the task of  taking an active
part  in  the  economic  and  cultural reconstruction  of our  native  land.
Enthusiasts,  men  of  brilliant  gifts, have  cleared  the  way,  and  many
excellent members of our race are prepared  to devote themselves  heart  and
soul  to  the cause.  May every one  of them fully realize the importance of
this work and contribute, according to his powers, to its success!
     The Jewish Community
     A speech in London
     Ladies and Gentlemen,
     It  is  no easy matter  for me to overcome my natural inclination  to a
life of  quiet contemplation. But I could not remain deaf  to the appeal  of
the O.R.T. and  O.Z.E. societies*; for in responding to  it I am responding,
as it were, to the appeal of our sorely oppressed Jewish nation.
     The position of our scattered Jewish community is a moral barometer for
the political world. For what surer index of political  morality and respect
for justice  can there  be  than  the  attitude  of  the nations  towards  a
defenceless minority, whose  peculiarity lies  in their preservation  of  an
ancient cultural tradition?
     *Jewish charitable associations.
     This  barometer is low at the present moment, as we are painfully aware
from the way we are treated. But it is this very lowness that confirms me in
the conviction  that  it  is  our  duty  to  preserve  and  consolidate  our
community. Embedded in the tradition of the Jewish people there is a love of
justice and reason which must continue to work  for the good  of all nations
now and in the future.  In modern times this  tradition has produced Spinoza
and Karl Marx.
     Those who would preserve the  spirit  must also  look after the body to
which it is attached. The O.Z.E. society literally looks after the bodies of
our people. In Eastern Europe it is working day and night to help our people
there, on whom  the economic depression has fallen particularly  heavily, to
keep body and soul together; while the O.R.T.  society is  trying to get rid
of a severe social and  economic handicap under which the Jews have laboured
since the  Middle Ages.  Because  we were  then  excluded from  all directly
productive occupations, we were forced into the purely commercial ones.  The
only way  of really helping  the  Jew in  Eastern  countries is to  give him
access to new fields of  activity, for which he  is  struggling all over the
world.  This is the grave  problem which the  O.R.T. society is successfully
     It is to you English fellow-Jews that we  now appeal to help us in this
great  enterprise which splendid men have  set  on foot. The last few years,
nay,  the last few  days, have brought us a disappointment which  must  have
touched you  in particular nearly. Do not gird at  fate,  but rather look on
these events as  a  reason for remaining  true to the  cause  of  the Jewish
commonwealth. I am  convinced that in doing that we shall also indirectly be
promoting those general  human ends which  we must always  recognize  as the
     Remember  that  difficulties and obstacles are  a  valuable  source  of
health  and  strength  to  any  society.  We should  not  have  survived for
thousands of years as a community if our bed had been of roses; of that I am
quite sure.
     But we  have a still  fairer consolation.  Our  friends are not exactly
numerous,  but  among  them  are men of noble  spirit  and strong  sense  of
justice,  who  have  devoted  their  lives  to  uplifting human  society and
liberating the individual from degrading oppression.
     We are  happy and fortunate  to have such  men from the  Gentile  world
among us to-night; their presence lends an added solemnity to this memorable
evening. It gives me great pleasure to see before  me Bernard Shaw and H. G.
Wells, to whose view of life I am particularly attracted.
     You,  Mr. Shaw, have  succeeded in winning  the  affection  and  joyous
admiration of the world while pursuing a path that has led  many others to a
martyr's crown. You have not merely preached moral sermons to your  fellows;
you have actually mocked at things which many of them held  sacred. You have
done what only the born artist can do. From your magic box you have produced
innumerable little figures which, while resembling human beings, are compact
not of flesh and blood, but of brains, wit, and charm. And yet in a way they
are more human than we are ourselves, and one almost  forgets  that they are
creations not of Nature, but of Bernard Shaw. You make these charming little
figures dance in  a miniature  world  in  front  of which  the  Graces stand
sentinel  and permit no  bitterness to  enter.  He who has  looked into this
little world sees  our  actual world in a  new light;  its puppets insinuate
themselves into real people, making them suddenly  look quite different.  By
thus holding the mirror up to us all you  have had a liberating effect on us
such as  hardly any other  of our  contemporaries has done and have relieved
life of something of its earth-bound heaviness. For this we are all devoutly
grateful  to you, and also to  fate,  which along with  grievous plagues has
also given us the physician and liberator of our souls. I personally am also
grateful to you for  the unforgettable words which you have addressed to  my
mythical namesake who makes life so difficult for me, although he is really,
for all his clumsy, formidable size, quite a harmless fellow.
     To you all I say that  the  existence and destiny  of our people depend
less on external factors than on ourselves  remaining faithful to the  moral
traditions  which  have enabled us to survive for thousands of years despite
the heavy storms  that  have broken over our heads. In the  service  of life
sacrifice becomes grace.
     Working Palestine
     Among Zionist organizations "Working Palestine" is the  one  whose work
is of most  direct  benefit  to the most  valuable  class  of people  living
there--namely,   those   who  are  transforming  deserts   into  flourishing
settlements  by the labour of their hands.  These  workers are a  selection,
made on a  voluntary basis, from the whole Jewish nation,  an »lite composed
of strong,  confident, and unselfish people. They are not ignorant labourers
who sell  the labour of  their hands  to  the highest bidder,  but educated,
intellectually  vigorous, free  men, from  whose  peaceful  struggle  with a
neglected  soil  the whole Jewish  nation  are  the  gainers,  directly  and
indirectly. By  lightening  their  heavy lot as far  as we can we  shall  be
saving  the  most  valuable  sort  of human  life;  for  the first settlers'
struggle  on ground not  yet  made habitable  is a difficult  and  dangerous
business involving  a heavy personal sacrifice. How true this is, only  they
can judge who have seen it with their own eyes. Anyone who helps to  improve
the equipment of these men is helping on the good work at a crucial point.
     It is, moreover, this working class  alone  that has it in its power to
establish  healthy relations with the Arabs,  which is  the  most  important
political  task of  Zionism. Administrations  come and  go;  but it is human
relations that finally turn the scale in the lives of  nations. Therefore to
support  "Working Palestine" is  at  the same  time to  promote a humane and
worthy  policy in Palestine, and to  oppose an effective resistance to those
undercurrents  of narrow  nationalism from which the  whole political world,
and  in  a  less degree  the small  political world of Palestine affairs, is
     Jewish Recovery
     I gladly accede to your paper's request that I should address an appeal
to the Jews of Hungary on behalf of Keren Hajessod.
     The  greatest  enemies of the national consciousness and honour of  the
Jews  are fatty degeneration--by which I  mean the  unconscionableness which
comes  from  wealth  and  ease--and  a  kind  of  inner  dependence  on  the
surrounding Gentile  world which comes from  the loosening of  the fabric of
Jewish society. The best in man can flourish only when he loses himself in a
community. Hence the moral danger of the Jew who has lost touch with his own
people and is regarded as  a foreigner by the people of his  adoption.  Only
too  often  a  contemptible  and  joyless  egoism  has  resulted  from  such
circumstances. The  weight of  outward oppression on  the  Jewish  people is
particularly heavy at the moment. But this very bitterness has done us good.
A revival of Jewish national life, such as the last  generation could  never
have  dreamed of, has begun. Through the operation of a newly awakened sense
of solidarity among the Jews, the scheme of colonizing Palestine launched by
a  handful  of  devoted  and  judicious leaders  in the  face of  apparently
insuperable difficulties, has already prospered so far that I feel  no doubt
about its permanent success.  The  value of  this achievement  for  the Jews
everywhere  is  very  great. Palestine will be a centre of  culture  for all
Jews, a refuge for the most grievously oppressed, a field of action for  the
best among us, a  unifying ideal, and a means of attaining inward health for
the Jews of the whole world.
     Anti-Semitism and Academic Youth
     So long as  we lived in the  ghetto our Jewish nationality involved for
us material  difficulties  and sometimes  physical danger, but no social  or
psychological problems. With emancipation the position changed, particularly
for those Jews who turned to the intellectual professions.  In school and at
the university the young Jew is exposed to the influence of a society with a
definite  national tinge,  which he  respects  and  admires,  from  which he
receives his  mental sustenance, to which he  feels himself to belong, while
it,  on the other hand, treats him, as one of  an alien race, with a certain
contempt  and   hostility.  Driven  by  the  suggestive  influence  of  this
psychological  superiority  rather  than  by utilitarian considerations,  he
turns his back on his  people  and his  traditions, and considers himself as
belonging entirely to the  others while  he  tries  in vain to  conceal from
himself and them the  fact that  the relation  is not reciprocal. Hence that
pathetic creature, the baptized Jewish Geheimrat of yesterday and to-day. In
most cases it  is  not pushfulness and lack of character  that have made him
what he is, but,  as I have  said, the suggestive  power of  an  environment
superior in numbers and influence. He knows, of course,  that many admirable
sons of the Jewish people have made important contributions to the glory  of
European civilization; but have  they not all, with  a  few exceptions, done
much the same as he?
     In  this case,  as in many mental disorders, the cure  lies  in a clear
knowledge  of one's condition  and its causes. We  must  be conscious of our
alien race and draw the logical conclusions from it. It is no  use trying to
convince the others  of our spiritual and intellectual equality by arguments
addressed to  the reason, when  their attitude does  not originate  in their
intellects at all. Rather  must we emancipate ourselves socially  and supply
our social needs, in the main, ourselves. We  must  have  our own  students'
societies and adopt an attitude of courteous but  consistent reserve  to the
Gentiles.  And let us live after our own fashion  there and not ape duelling
and drinking customs which are foreign to our nature. It is possible to be a
civilized European  and a good citizen  and at the  same time a faithful Jew
who loves his race and  honours his fathers.  If  we remember  this  and act
accordingly,  the problem  of anti-Semitism, in so  far as it is of a social
nature, is solved for us.
     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.
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