Einstein & the Jews

In response to:

Jews and Geniuses from the February 16, 1989 issue

To the Editors:

It is not at all clear that Einstein, as Robert Craft says [NYR, February 16], “felt no ties at all with the faith of his fathers.” Einstein’s friend Willi Hermanns reports in his Einstein and the Poet that the physicist, in a 1948 conversation with a Protestant minister says:

My religion is based on Moses: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. And for me God is the First Cause. David and the prophets knew that there would be no love without justice or justice without love. I don’t need any other religious trappingsā€¦. The cross was used to make wars, to make warriors, to make a concordat with Hitler. I feel that such a cross has lost its meaning.

Shloime Perel
Montreal, Quebec

Robert Craft replies:

Isn’t it just possible that Einstein, like lesser mortals, could have changed his mind over the years and after the Holocaust, felt one way in the period with which my article is concerned, and another as an older man?