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

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Sat Nov 7 06:00:36 PST 2015


The Ultimate Quotable Einstein contains a line that matches your
target sentence; however, it does not use the phrase "cloak of war".
Your target sentence might be an alternative translation.

[ref] 2010, The Ultimate Quotable Einstein, Edited by Alice Calaprice,
Section: On Pacifism, Disarmament, Government, Quote Page 258,
Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. (Verified on paper)
[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
I believe that the killing of human beings in a war is no better than
common murder.

To the editor of the Japanese magazine Kaizo, September 20, 1952. See
Rowe and Schulmann, Einstein on Politics, 488. Einstein Archives
60-039
[End excerpt]


The longer passage in your message (and in Wikiquote) might be a
mosaic quotation, i.e., it might have been constructed by combining
distinct quotations. Consider the following excerpt from a 1996 book
called "Bite-Size Einstein"; it contains two quotations separated by a
line space. An inattentive person might have combined the two
quotations to yield most of the target passage in your message. To
obtain the full passage the inattentive person would prepend
additional material from the first quotation.

[ref] 1996, Bite-Size Einstein: Quotations on Just About Everything
from the Greatest Mind of the Twentieth Century, Compiled by Jerry
Mayer and John P. Holms, Chapter: On War and Peace, Quote Page 84, A
Thomas Dunne Book: An Imprint of St. Martin's Press, New York. (Google
Books Preview)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
This disgrace to civilization [war] should be done away with at once.
Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country
stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war
is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an
action!

It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but
an act of murder.
[End excerpt]

Garson


On Sat, Nov 7, 2015 at 4:34 AM,  <danjbye at gmail.com> wrote:
> I’ve checked my copy of the following:
>
> The World As I See It
> Albert Einstein
> Translated by Alan Harris
> London: Watts & Co.  The Thinker’s Library, no. 79. 1940 [First published in England 1935]
> “This book is the authorised English translation of the volume “Mein Weltbild” by Albert Einstein.”
>
> [Publisher’s note: This edition of Parts 1 to 4 only of Einstein’s ‘The World As I See It’ is included in “The Thinker’s Library”  by special arrangement with the publishers, John Lane The Bodley Head Limited, 8 Bury Place, London, W.C.1, whose current edition of the complete work, including Part 5, is available in a library edition at 5s. Net.]
>
> So it’s not complete, but only omits Einstein’s scientific essays included in the Bodley Head edition. Part 2, on “politics and pacifism” is included. But I can’t confirm whether other edits were made.
>
>
> Anyway, having been through the book I can find no earlier occurrence of the quote in question.
>
>
> Dan
>
>
> Dan J Bye
> Sheffield Hallam University
>
> Sent from Mail for Windows 10
>
>
>
> From: danjbye at gmail.com
> Sent: 06 November 2015 08:05
> To: Fred W. Helenius;project-wombat at lists.project-wombat.org
> Subject: RE: [PW] Need source for anti-war quotation Albert Einstein
>
>
> I've got a copy of "Ideas and Opinions" by  Albert Einstein, which is based on "Mein Weltbild" (1953), edited by Carl Seelig, and other Einstein collections. "New translations and revisions by Sonja Benjamin".  It's a 2005 reprint by Souvenir Press  of a 1973 Souvenir Press edition of a 1954 collection.  ISBN 0283647253.
>
> On p.165-166 is a section headed "On the abolition of the threat of war", a note to which reads
>
> "Written September 20, 1952. Published in Japanese magazine, Kaizo (Tokyo), Autumn, 1952."
>
> "My part in producing the atomic bomb consisted in a single act: I signed a letter to President Roosevelt, pressing the need for experiments on a large scale in order to explore the possibilities for the production of an atomic bomb.
>
> I was fully aware of the terrible danger of mankind in case this attempt succeeded. But the likelihood that the Germans were working on the same problem with a chance of succeeding forced me to this step.   I could do nothing else although I have always been a committed pacifist. To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder." (p165).
>
> I've got an English translation of Mein Weltbild somewhere, so will check in that later to confirm earlier usage.    Maybe he used the line more than once?
>
> Dan
>
>
> Dan J Bye
> Sheffield Hallam University
>
> Sent from Mail for Windows 10
>
>
>
> From: Fred W. Helenius
> Sent: 06 November 2015 02:02
> To: project-wombat at lists.project-wombat.org
> Subject: Re: [PW] Need source for anti-war quotation Albert Einstein
>
>
> 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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