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Author Topic: Genuine Einstein quote, or just glurge?
StomachUpset
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OK, so does anyone know if this is a legit quote from Albert?

quote:
"Being a lover of freedom, when the [Nazi] revolution came, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but no, the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, whose flaming editorials in days gone had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks.... Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing the truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration for it because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual and moral freedom. I am forced to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly."


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noreen
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quote:
Originally posted by StomachUpset:
OK, so does anyone know if this is a legit quote from Albert?

[QUOTE]"Being a lover of freedom, when the [Nazi] revolution came, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but no, the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, whose flaming editorials in days gone had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks.... Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing the truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration for it because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual and moral freedom. I am forced to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly."


[/QUOTE]


I strongly doubt it.


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StomachUpset
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quote:
Originally posted by noreen:

I strongly doubt it.

Because?


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Gus
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by StomachUpset:
OK, so does anyone know if this is a legit quote from Albert?

I haven't heard this- what's your source?


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Gus
The Red and the Green Stamps


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This from the Catholic League:

quote:
An interesting document is the testimony of Albert Einstein who, disenchanted by the silence of universities and editors of newspapers, stated in Time magazine (December 23, 1940): "Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. …The Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom."

So there's a source for you to go to. I also saw the statement you quoted attributed to Einstein in a speech from 1944.


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Chava
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Actually the Church has come in from a lot of criticism from Jews in recent years for not standing up to the Nazis. In particular, there has been a lot of criticism of Pius XII.

Chava


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Don Gato
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Chava:
Actually the Church has come in from a lot of criticism from Jews in recent years for [b]not standing up to the Nazis. In particular, there has been a lot of criticism of Pius XII.

Chava[/B]


Also, I believe the Vatican was the first to establish diplomatic relations with the Third Reich, in the infamous Concordat of 1933. In their defense, they saw it as the best way to protect the interests of German Catholics.

Of course, none of this has any bearing as to whether Einstein actually said the quote.

Frank


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Il-Mari
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I have to assume this is false, as Einstein was a devout atheist during his life. Could you tell me where you heard it, quotes from dead people tend to be hard to substantiate unless there's a written record of it.

Einstein was always critical of the church, mainly because it inhibited scientific progress.

And yes, the German church supported Hitler. He often used religious propaganda to stirr more hatred agianst the Jews by saying that they killed Christ and even comparing himself to Jesus in that he was leading his people to glory.

Here's some examples of Einstein's quotes on the church:

"The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press,
usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This enables it to
organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them."
- Albert Einstein, letter to Sigmund Freud, 30 July 1932

"I am convinced that some political and social activities and practices
of the Catholic organizations are detrimental and even dangerous for the
community as a whole, here and everywhere. I mention here only the fight
against birth control at a time when overpopulation in various countries
has become a serious threat to the health of people and a grave obstacle
to any attempt to organize peace on this planet."
- Albert Einstein, letter, 1954

Here is his response to a claim that a Jesuit priest had him to convert from atheism:

"I received your letter of June 10th. I have never talked to a
Jesuit priest in my life and I am astonished by the audacity
to tell such lies about me. From the viewpoint of a Jesuit
priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist."
- Albert Einstein to Guy H. Raner Jr, July 2, 1945

Thus it seems thoroughly unlike that Einstein would have said this, both since he was an atheist and because the church was in favor of what the Nazi party was doing and certainly didn't help the victims.


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Lackwit
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quote:
Originally posted by Il-Mari:
I have to assume this is false, as Einstein was a devout atheist during his life.

Perhaps he was an atheist according to Christian standards, but statements he made clearly indicate he believed in some sort of supreme being--perhaps not an personal, rational being, but some sort of higher order, and he may be safely classified as a Pantheist. In fact, I just found a quote:

quote:
"Certain it is that a conviction, akin to religious feeling, of the rationality and intelligibility of the world lies behind all scientific work of a higher order. The firm belief, which is bound up with deep feeling, in a superior mind revealing himself in the world of experience, represents my conception of God, which may, therefore be described in common parlance as 'pantheistic'.

From an interesting page on Einstein's concept of God: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/3806/eingod.html


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Chava
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One of Einstein's most famous statements about quantum mechanics, in reference to the probabilisting interpretation of Schrödinger's wave function,

quote:
God does not play dice.

Chava


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Il-Mari
We Three Blings


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I stand corrected, to be honest, I didn't even know what a Pantheist was until I looked it up. Basicaly what I was trying to convey was that Einstein was not a member of any church. I would not be certain what to really classify him as being, he did at one point call himself an agnostic, but it seems to me from his later writings and analysis of his later life that he believed mainly in the beauty and mysteries of the universe.

A fairly good explanation of the "God does not play dice" remark is on this page:
http://www.2think.org/einstein.shtml

The main idea here, going back to the original post, is that Einstein though the church was a harmful structure, which is correct, since it did help the Nazis discriminate against and kill the Jews in Germany. To quote from the book "The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany":

"Henceforth anyone applying for government employment - and soon for various other positions as well - had to submit proof that he was not a Jew. Since prior to 1874-1876 births had been registered only by the churches, the latter were asked to help in determining who was or was not fully Aryan, for under Nazi law this depended on the racial (i.e., religious) status of the parents and grandparents. The Church co-operated as a matter of course, complaining only that priests already overburdened with work were not receiving compensation for this special service to the state. The very
question of whether the Church should lend its help to the Nazi state in sorting out people of Jewish descent was never debated. ... And the co-operation of the Church in this matter continued right through the war years, when the price of being Jewish was no longer dismissal from a
government job and loss of livelihood, but deportation and outright physical destruction."


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Fusca 1976
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Il-Mari:
I have to assume this is false, as Einstein was a devout atheist during his life

Einstein? Atheist? Where did you get this idea?

Luís "unhappily he was not" Henrique


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Kate
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Eugh, I've just waded through several dozen sites that cite this Einstein quotation, the least offensive of them vehemently defending Pope Pius XII, the most offensive outright racist. Only two gave a reference for this quotation, both of them in the Pius XII defence camp. Thomas F. Torrance attributes it to "Evening Yews, Baltimore, April 13, 1979", which apparently quotes it as "a letter Einstein once sent to an American Episcopal Bishop about the behaviour of the Church during the holocaust". Interestingly, Mr. Torrance also states that "Albert Einstein was born in 1979 of secular Jewish parents". Typos don't seem to bother Mr. Torrance.

The other attribution is by Sister Margherita Marchione. Ph.D., also (not surprisingly) a Pius supporter. She attributes the quotation to Einstein in "Time magazine (December 23, 1940)".

I don't have the resources to check the Baltimore News (or is there really a paper called the Baltimore Yews?) or Time magazine, but maybe someone else does.

It's also interesting that everyone who uses this quotation assumes that by "the Church" Einstein meant the Roman Catholic church. German Christians are more or less equally divided between Catholics and Protestants, and I can see nothing in the quotation to suggest one rather than the other. It's my impression that in fact no church in Germany made much of a stand against Hitler, although individual Christians (Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a famous example) did so. In any case Hitler didn't have a lot of time for the church: "Kinder, Kirche Kueche" is his dismissive prescription for what ought to occupy women (as opposed to public life).

Kate


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