Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

I would like to express my gratitude to individuals at Syracuse University Press: Jennika Baines, my earlier acquisitions editor, for her enthusiasm and perseverance regarding my book; Deborah Manion, my later acquisitions editor, for her steady guidance toward the end of the process; editor-in-chief Suzanne Guiod, Kay Steinmetz, Kaitlin Carruthers-Busser, Elizabeth Myers, and others for help in preparing the manuscript; Mona Hamlin and others for marketing; Matthew Kudelka for developmental editing; and Modern Jewish History series editor Henry Feingold...

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Introduction

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pp. xv-xxiv

Entering the fateful year of 1914 at age thirty-five with long-standing but untested pacifist and internationalist leanings, Albert Einstein found his incipient pacifism and dormant capacity for political engagement awakened by the First World War. His thoughts and feelings in response to World War I evolved across the years of the War, from horrified disbelief; to ironic alienation from both the War’s violence and patriotic support for it by the German people, including most of his scientific colleagues (he characterized the “war-enthusiasm” [Kriegsbegeisterung] as a peculiar...

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1 Horror at War, Pacifist Affiliation, and Alienation from Colleagues 1914–1915

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pp. 1-28

When Albert Einstein was confronted with the beginning of World War I, he already had pacifist inclinations from earlier in his life. According to his younger sister, Maja Winteler-Einstein, as a child he disliked competitive, physical games, and often served as referee to other children’s disputes. He even disliked games often enjoyed by the scientific and technically oriented, such as chess, because of the element of competition, the need for there to be winners and losers. He also felt an aversion to military discipline, coercion, and obedience. On one occasion in his childhood,...

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2 Disgust with War, Pessimism, and International Organization 1916–1917

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pp. 29-53

In early 1916, developments in the War included the ending of the battles of Gallipoli after massive casualties, the first bombings of civilian targets on both sides, and the start of the battle of Verdun, which would last through the end of that year.1 On February 7, 1916, the New Fatherland League (Bund Neues Vaterland) was outlawed in Germany for the duration of the War.2 In mid-April, Einstein expressed to Elsa his continuing concern about Georg Friedrich Nicolai, the University of Berlin medical school professor and author of the “Appeal to the Europeans” who...

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3 Hope and Optimism beyond the Turbulence of Defeatand Revolution 1918

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pp. 54-78

On January 8, 1918, in his “Fourteen Points” speech, US president Woodrow Wilson announced his plan for the aftermath of World War I, a plan aimed at maintaining future world peace. It envisioned the following: open diplomacy; free navigation and trade; self-determination for colonial populations and subject peoples of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires; independence for Poland; German forfeiture of territory taken from Russia, Belgium, and France, including Alsace-Lorraine, which had been taken in 1871; and the creation of an association of nations to guarantee...

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4 Uprisings, Paris Peace Conference, Treaty of Versailles, and the Publication of Lille 1919

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pp. 79-117

In 1919, as Einstein became a more prominent figure due to his scientific achievements, he increasingly utilized his name recognition to take public stands on political and humanitarian issues. After Germany’s defeat in the World War and the fall of its empire, at a time of hunger, strikes, revolution, and counterrevolution, he based his hopes for Germany’s new democratic republic on education of the German public. The volatile first months of the Weimar Republic were marked by the murders of the revolutionary leaders Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg, and Kurt Eisner, and...

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5 Economic Crisis, Reactionary Politics, and Ongoing Engagement 1920–1921

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pp. 133-160

At the start of 1920, the German people were feeling and often expressing a collective anger at the harshly punitive provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, which they widely regarded as an illegitimate “dictated peace” (Friedens-Diktat). The Versailles treaty had been ratified on January 1, 1920, and had come into effect on January 10.1 Also on January 10, German troops were compelled to relinquish Upper Silesia to Allied troops, who were mostly French and tended to support the Poles.2

On January 6, 1920, in a letter to fellow New Fatherland League and Lille commission member...

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6 Social Justice Advocacy for Jews, and Confident Jewish Identity 1914–1921

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pp. 161-186

Pacifists typically advocate for social justice, as discussed earlier, seeing a psychological and economic violence inherent in social injustice. Einstein’s passion for social justice, compassion for the underdog, and identification with his fellow Jews—with special feeling for East European Jews—was, like his pacifism, awakened by World War I. Woven into his concern for social justice was an impressive confidence in his identity as simultaneously a Jew and a pacifist.1 In October 1916, in response to false accusations that Jews were not serving in proportionate numbers, the German...

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Epilogue. Pacifist Stances and Professed Identity through 1955

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pp. 187-200

The preceding chapters have shown the awakening of Einstein’s incipient pacifism in response to the events of the First World War and interactions with fellow pacifists and other people in his world. Einstein’s identity as a pacifist and actions propelled by that identity continued throughout his life.1 Pacifist sentiments and goals that he acquired during World War I—ranging from disgust at the absurd horror of war, to distrust for political leaders in their warmaking, to a passion for international collaboration as essential to the advancement of science, to a belief in international...

Appendixes, Notes, Bibliography, Index

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Appendix A. German-Language Text of the Manifesto “To the Civilized World” (“An die Kulturwelt!”)

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pp. 203-208

Wir als Vertreter deutscher Wissenschaft und Kunst erheben vor der gesamten Kulturwelt Protest gegen die Lügen und Verleumdungen, mit denen unsere Feinde Deutschlands reine sache in dem ihm aufgeszwungenen schweren Daseinskampfe zu beschmutzen trachten. Der eherne Mund der Ereignisse hat die Ausstreuung erdichteter deutscher Niederlagen widerlegt. Um so eifriger arbeitet man jetzt mit Entstellungen und Verdächtigungen. Gegen sie erheben wir laut unsere Stimme. Sie soll die Verkünderin der...

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Appendix B. German-Language Text of the “Appeal to the Europeans” (“Aufruf an die Europäer”)

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pp. 209-212

Während Technik und Verkehr uns offensichtlilch zur faktischen Anerkennung internationaler Beziehungen und damit zu einer allgemeinen Weltkultur drängen, hat noch nie ein Krieg die kulturelle Gemeinschaftlichkeit des Zusammenarbeitens so intensiv unterbrochen, wie der gegenwärtige. Vielleicht kommt dies uns allerdings auch nur deshalb so auffällig zum Bewußtsein, weil so zahlreiche gemeinschaftliche Bande vorhanden waren, deren Unterbrechung wir schmerzlich verspüren.

Darf uns also dieser Zustand auch nicht wundernehmen, so wären doch diejenigen, denen jene gemeinsame Weltkultur auch nur im geringsten am Herzen...

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Appendix C. “Fourteen Points”: United States President Woodrow Wilson, January 8, 1918

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pp. 213-216

I. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understanding of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.

II. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.

III. The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to...

Notes

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pp. 217-290

Bibliography

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pp. 291-310

Index

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pp. 311-332

About the Author

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pp. 333-334

Image Plates

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pp. 118-132

Back Cover

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