These entries in the diary of the Nobel-winner were made public recently and have triggered a debate on Einstein’s views on race and of people from India, Sri Lanka and China
The Hush Post: Contrary to his public image of being a great humanitarian, Nobel-winning scientist Albert Einstein believed that Indians were “biologically inferior”. A bunch of diary entries by the physicist during an Asia tour suggest that his belief about the Indians was “a clear hallmark of racism”. These diary entries the Nobel-winning scientist wrote during an Asia tour.
These entries in the diary of the Nobel-winner were made public recently and have triggered a debate on Einstein’s views on race and of people from India, Sri Lanka and China, a report said.
The entries suggest that Einstein believed that Indians were “biologically inferior” and were hampered by the Asia subcontinent’s climate that “prevented them from thinking backward or forward by more than a quarter of an hour”, the report said.
Ze’ev Rosenkranz, assistant director of the Einstein Papers Project at the California Institute of Technology, who is also the editor of a book that compiles Albert Einstein’s travel diaries, revealed this. These entries are from the scientist’s travels to the Far East, Palestine and Spain between October 1922 and March 1923, it was reported.
“In them Einstein makes comments that are in contrast to the public image of the great humanitarian icon,” Rosenkranz was quoted by the British newspaper, The Guardian.
In the introduction of his compilation of travel dairies of Einstein, Rosenkranz said that the physicist’s comments about Indians, Chinese and Japanese display a belief that is “a clear hallmark of racism”.
Rosenkranz wrote that Einstein came across Indians in Colombo during his Far East voyage and mentioned their existence by referring to their “primitive lives”.
“[Einstein] also believes that ‘the climate prevents them from thinking backward or forward by more than a quarter of an hour’, an attitude that reveals both Einstein’s belief in geographical determinism and in the Indians’ alleged intellectual inferiority,” Rosenkranz has written.
As per Rosenkranz, the Nobel-winning scientist attributes the “alleged stoicism of the Indians he encounters to geographical determination [by asking]: ‘Wouldn’t we too, in this climate, become like the Indians?’,” the report said.
Rosenkranz further wrote: “Einstein’s diary entries on the biological origin of the alleged intellectual inferiority of the Japanese, Chinese, and Indians are definitely not understated and can be viewed as racist – in these instances, other peoples are portrayed as being biologically inferior, a clear hallmark of racism.”