Chicago (Mar. 15)
More than 350 of Chicago’s leading citizens gathered at the Standard Club yesterday at a luncheon to pay tribute to Professor Albert Einstein, on the occasion of his 54th birthday.
Professor Arthur H. Compton of the University of Chicago, a Nobel Prize winner, presided, while James H. Becker was Chairman of the Arrangements Committee.
Einstein thanked the assembly for attending, explaining that they thus promoted the welfare of two extremely worthy and necessary Jewish organizations, the Jewish University at Jerusalem and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
About the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Professor Einstein said, “It is very important to have an organization which can give to the world facts about the difficulties of Jewish life all over the globe.”
In the course of his address, Einstein dealt in a simple manner with the theory of relativity and used it as a parable for his remark on the world’s economic condition and the need for settling outstanding international problems. He declared that he sees a danger of a new war, unless steps were taken in time to examine the causes and introduce a spirit of good-will. Of particular interest was his observation that the United States need never have entered the world war.
Touching on the duty of individuals in world problems, Dr. Einstein called on every citizen to assert his individual will and to urge a settlement of all international problems by peaceful means.
After his speech, Professor Einstein spoke over the N.B.C. net-work from the Standard Club on the subject of peace. He said that the peace question is the most important question of the day, declaring, “There is need of an international organization to settle all possible conflicts and wars. The need is greater today than ever before.”
Before the luncheon, Professor Einstein was presented with a parchment scroll signed by more than 60 of Chicago’s leading advocates of peace. The inscription on the scroll reads, “We, the undersigned, advocates of peace, welcome and salute you as the world’s most distinguished and uncompromising antiwar leader. You have reinforced the peace movement with the momentum of your fame as scientist and thinker. You have stimulated it with convincing and unanswerable arguments and have lifted the down-trodden world of pacificism to the plane of a benevolent and practical philosophy. Your versatile qualities of genius have made you, par excellence, the first citizen of the world. We offer you our gratitude and our affection on your birthday visit to Chicago.”
A humorous rejoinder by Professor Einstein at the luncheon occasioned a great deal of amusement. In reply to Professor Compton’s reference to the fact that it was Einstein’s 54th birthday, Einstein replied, “You have my mother to thank for this, not me.”
Einstein is to sail from New York on Saturday on the S.S. “Belgenland,” his baggage being marked for Antwerp. He said he will not be returning to Germany for the time being, but would probably go to Switzerland, and later to Poland.