Albert Einstein’s Warning to American Jews: Do Not Be Complacent, But Actively Combat Fascism and Discrimination In America Now While It is Not Too Late

“Unfortunately, the present Jewish leaders do not understand the seriousness of the situation, much like German Jews in the pre-Hitlerite era. They believe that they are able to put an end to the problem by being silent and disregarding it…”

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He also discusses his article “The Particle Problem in the General Theory of Relativity”, which postulated the famous Einstein-Rosen Bridge, known today as the “wormhole’ solution of general relativity”

The question is often asked how the German Jews could have found themselves powerless to combat the rise of Naziism. In the late...

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Albert Einstein’s Warning to American Jews: Do Not Be Complacent, But Actively Combat Fascism and Discrimination In America Now While It is Not Too Late

“Unfortunately, the present Jewish leaders do not understand the seriousness of the situation, much like German Jews in the pre-Hitlerite era. They believe that they are able to put an end to the problem by being silent and disregarding it…”

He also discusses his article “The Particle Problem in the General Theory of Relativity”, which postulated the famous Einstein-Rosen Bridge, known today as the “wormhole’ solution of general relativity”

The question is often asked how the German Jews could have found themselves powerless to combat the rise of Naziism. In the late 1920s and into the 1930s, Germany’s Jews – some 500,000 people – made up less than one percent of the German population. But it was a visible one percent. Most considered themselves loyal Germans, linked to the German way of life by language and culture. They excelled in science, literature, the arts, and economic enterprise. 24% of Germany’s Nobel Prize winners were Jewish. Moreover, conversion, intermarriage, and declining birth rates, led some to believe that Jewish life was destined to disappear as Jews eagerly acculturated and sought to be assimilated into the German people. Even as the Nazi ideology of anti-Semitism gained strength, there was a widespread belief amongst Jews that the role they played within industry and trade, their contributions to the German economy, and their friendships with Germans generally would shield them from being excluded from German life. Many thought it was a phase that would pass, like other waves of anti-Semitism that had preceded it. Then, as the Nazis came into power, they did not all at once impose their full panoply of measures against the Jews. Instead it was drip, drip, drip, a little, then a little more, then a little more. After a few years of that, the Jews had been effectively isolated, their friends silenced, and they were stuck at the bottom with no way out.

Einstein saw all this happen before his eyes, as he lived in Berlin before immigrating to the United States in 1933. When he got to America, he found discrimination against the Jews there as well, though of a less brutal kind. All but one medical school in the United States had imposed quotas on Jewish matriculants, and most of the best private universities (such a Princeton) did the same with admissions. Many hotels and clubs were closed to Jews. Fascism in Europe was just beginning to spread into the U.S., and anti-Semitic tirades were on the radio (made by such men as Father Coughlin and Henry Ford). Yet Einstein found many American Jews complacent.

On July 1, 1935, Einstein and Nathan Rosen published in the “Physical Review” of the American Institute of Physics their article “The Particle Problem in the General Theory of Relativity”, which investigated the possibility of an atomistic theory of matter and electricity which, while excluding singularities of the field, makes use of no other variables than the gμν of the Einsteinian general relativity theory and the ϕμ of the Maxwell theory. By the consideration of a simple example they were led to modify slightly the gravitational equations which then permit regular solutions for the static spherically symmetric case. These solutions involve the mathematical representation of physical space by a space of two identical sheets, a particle being represented by a “bridge” connecting these sheets. This became famous as the Einstein-Rosen Bridge, which physicist John Moffat writes is “known today as the ‘wormhole’ solution of general relativity. Beloved on science-fiction writers, the wormhole was Einstein’s attempt to remove the problem of unphysical singularities in his gravitation theory. The wormhole is a mathematical portal in space-time, allowing a space traveller to move more or less instantaneously through the universe and come out in a distant part of it, or into another universe.”

Paul S. Epstein was a physicist who wrote a series of important papers on quantum theory and its applications. In his classic paper on the theory of the Stark effect, the splitting of the spectral lines in a hydrogen atom by a strong electric field, he worked out the quantization rules in an invariant form and then used them to calculate the splitting of the hydrogen lines. The splitting effect, first observed by Johannes Stark in 1913, could not be explained along classical lines. Showing that Niels Bohr’s Quantum description of the hydrogen atom could solve the problem made Epstein’s reputation as a theoretical physicist. The match between his theoretical predictions and Stark’s data furnished striking support for the Rutherford/Bohr atomic theory. Like Einstein, Epstein came from a Jewish family in Europe. Epstein immigrated to the United States and joined the faculty of the new California Institute of Technology in 1921 as professor of theoretical physics.

Richard C. Tolman was a physical chemist and physicist who demonstrated the electron to be the charge-carrying particle in the flow of electricity in metals and determined its mass. Like Epstein, he was at CalTech, serving as a professor and dean of graduate studies. He published two treatises on relativity theory, one in 1934. His articles often appeared in the “Physical Review”. Dr. S. M. Melamed was a philosophy professor and editor of the Zionist publication ”Reflex.”

Einstein’s love of sailing is well known. In the summer of 1935, Einstein rented a home in Old Lyme, Connecticut, called the “White House” and did his sailing from there. Typed Letter Signed, on his personal letterhead, Old Lyme, June 8, 1935, Epstein, regarding the plight of Jews, and particularly Jewish intellectuals, in the United States, and the necessity for Jewish teaching institutions. He also discusses his “Particle Problem in the General Theory of Relativity.” “I was extremely happy to gather from your letter that you take such an active interest in creating vital connections among the Jewish intellectuals in this country, as well as to read that the excellent writer Melamed has taken in hand the editorship of the journal ‘Reflex’. I will be happy to join the editorial board, of course. The hostile attitude of universities towards Jewish teaching staff and students has been increasing perilously, even though it manifests in a genteel or hypocritical manner. Unless we are able in time to awaken the understanding that establishing Jewish teaching institutions is an absolute imperative, the Jews in this country will become intellectually proletarianized. Unfortunately, the current Jewish leaders do not comprehend the seriousness of the situation, similar to the German Jews in the time before Hitler. They believe that they are able to put an end to the problem by being silent and disregarding it, and they thus miss the time for creating places of support. This is not just true for the functions of the educational system, of course, but in economic and social terms as well.

Much to my surprise, I discovered that the centro-symmetric solutions for the gravitational field as well as the electromagnetic field are singularity-free, if we allow for hyper-surfaces, on which the determinant of [handwritten:] g n r disappears. I sent a copy of the manuscript to Tolman; perhaps you will be able to have him tell you about it in more detail. I do not think it impossible that this might prove to be the nucleus for a theory of the atomistic structure of matter and electricity. Warm greetings to you, to your wife and your little daughter.”

An extraordinary letter relating to relativity, Hitler, and warning that American Jews must actively combat anti-Semitism or risk suffering the fate of German Jews.

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