London (Oct. 3)
A threat to assassinate Professor Albert Einstein at tonight’s meeting in Albert Hall was received by Scotland Yard today, in an anonymous communication.
“Be on guard, there is a plot to assassinate Einstein,” the communication read. “The prime movers term themselves members of the League of Gentiles against the Jewish war mongers.”
While Scotland Yard officials attached very little importance to the message, they nevertheless took precautions to prevent trouble. Special branch police, strengthened by officers of the secret police, attended the meeting in force, in addition to the police already arranged for to prevent counter demonstrations. Two hours before the meeting started, hundreds of policemen were posted in the district around Albert Hall, guarding all roads leading to the Hall.
At the same time, the Evening News vigorously attacked Professor Einstein in an editorial, stating that even if fair play for Jews had been a proper subject for a demonstration. Professor Einstein was not the right man to advocate it.
Germany gave him citizenship as a scientist and not as a politician, the editorial declares, quoting Professor Einstein’s pronouncements against war and his alleged patronage of the Workers International Relief.
He is welcome in England as a mathematician but as an alien agitator, or as a simple puppet of trouble-mongering politicians, Professor Einstein is not welcome in England, just as he is unwelcome in Germany, the News declared.
More than ten thousand people, a capacity audience, crowded into Albert Hall to listen to Professor Einstein’s address. At the last moment the title of the address was changed to “Science and Civilization,” the address having originally been called “Fair Play.”
Lord Rutherford, famous British physicist, presided at the meeting. Sir Austen Chamberlain, distinguished British statesman, and Commander Oliver Locker-Lampson, Professor Einstein’s English host, also spoke. The platform was occupied by a group of distinguished personalities, representing all branches of English life. Many appeared on the platform in academic robes.
Professor Einstein, who delivered his address in English, avoided raising directly the Jewish question in Germany, declaring: “It cannot be my task today to act as judge of the conduct of the nation which for many years considered me her own. Perhaps it is an idle task to judge in a time when action counts.”
Thanking the refugee assistance committee for organizing the meeting, Professor Einstein praised the British people for maintaining the “tradition of tolerance and justice. It is in a time of economic distress that one sees the strength of the moral forces living in people.
“Undoubtedly,” said Professor Einstein, “the world crisis and the suffering and privation that are the results of the crisis are in some measure responsible for the dangerous upheavals which we are witnessing.
“In such periods discontent breeds hatred and hatred leads to acts of violence, revolution and even to war.
“We are concerned not merely with the technical problem of securing and maintaining peace, but also with the important task of education and enlightenment.
“If we want to resist the powers threatening to suppress intellectual and individual freedom, we must keep clearly before us what is at stake and what we owe to that freedom which our ancestors won for us after a hard struggle,” the famous scientist declared.
“Shall we worry over the fact that we are living in a time of danger and want?” Professor Einstein asked.
“Men in distress begin to think about the failure of economic practice and about the necessity for political combinations that are supernatural.
“Only through perils and upheavals can nations be brought to further development. May the present upheaval lead to a better world,” Professor Einstein concluded.