[PW] Need source for anti-war quotation Albert Einstein

Fred W. Helenius fredh at ix.netcom.com
Thu Nov 5 18:02:50 PST 2015


On 11/5/2015 8:07 PM, Robin Leigh wrote:
> Please help with locating a source for this quotation, presumably by Albert Einstein.
> It is my convictionthat killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.
>
> Here is the entirepassage:
>
> He who joyfully marches tomusic rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has beengiven a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord wouldsurely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done awaywith at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, howdespicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds thanbe a part of so base an action. It is myconviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an actof murder.

This entire quotation, in two variant translations, appears in Wikiquote 
on the "Albert Einstein and politics" page, 
https://en.m.wikiquote.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein_and_politics .
There the source is given as "Mein Weltbild" ("My World-view"), 1931.

Curiously, the two translations do not quite correspond; the second is 
the one you have, but the first begins a sentence earlier and ends a 
sentence earlier, thus omitting the sentence you are most interested in, 
but making it clearer that the "disgrace" in your third sentence refers 
to militarism.

The German-language Wikiquote page for Einstein 
(https://de.wikiquote.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein) only contains the 
equivalent of your first two sentences, rendered as one sentence: "Wenn 
jemand Freude daran hat, bei Musik in Reih' und Glied zu marschieren, 
dann verachte ich ihn schon deswegen, weil er sein Gehirn nur wegen 
eines Irrtums bekommen hat; ein Rückenmark hätte gereicht."  Here the 
citation is more precise: "Wie ich die Welt sehe", Living Philosophies, 
Bd. 13, New York 1931, in: Carl Seelig (Hrsg.): "Albert Einstein. Mein 
Weltbild", Ullstein Verlag, Ulm 2005, ISBN 3548367283, Seite 11.

-- 
Fred W. Helenius
fredh at ix.netcom.com



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