A true and faithful child of God who ennobles religion, was Louis Marshall’s retort to the charges recently made by Cardinal O’Connell of Boston that Einstein’s theories tend to corrupt the youth with atheism.
Herman Bernstein, chairman of the Jubilee Committee, opened the celebration with a short address. Emanuel Neumann, president of the Jewish National Fund, presided. Gerald Warburg, son of Mr. and Mrs. Felix M. Warburg, rendered selections on the ‘cello, Madame Koschetz and Madame Golinkina sang.
Speaking of the achievements of the Jewish National Fund in Palestine, Mr. Neumann stated that the value of National Fund land has already reached a total of ten million dollars. He expressed the hope that as a result of the interest displayed by Einstein in the work of the National Fund in the rebuilding of the Palestine greater achievements could be made possible.
Mr. Neumann then read the following message from Prof. Einstein, which expressed his appreciation of the National Fund and urged American Jews to contribute to this means of rebuilding the Jewish Homeland:
“The greatest national possession of a people is its land,” Einstein cabled. “If every Jew will do his share toward the redemption of Palestine, the soil of our land will become the national possession of the Jewish people. I have received many gifts on my fiftieth birthday but I am particularly gratified by contributions made to Palestine reconstruction work which will result in a revitalized land and a regenerated Jewish people.”
Nathan Straus was then introduced by Mr. Neumann.
Dr. John Haynes Holmes, of the Community Church, referred to Einstein as “the deliverer of the Jewish mind.” Tracing the history of the efforts to restrict Jewish life and to suppress Jewish thought, Dr. Holmes
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pointed out that Jewish genius has always escaped these bonds to contribute triumphantly to the civilization of the world. He spoke of his recent visit to Palestine, and emphasized the relationship between a scientist like Einstein and the pioneers who have undertaken to rebuild the Jewish Homeland.
Einstein’s achievements as a Zionist and his contribution to the development of the Zionist movement were stressed by Morris Rothenberg, speaking as Vice-President of the Zionist Organization of America. Expressing appreciation of the simple character of Einstein, Mr. Rothenberg declared that it was men like Einstein who symbolized the aim of the Zionist ideal for the revitalization of Jewish life.
The guest of honor of the evening and the principal speaker was Hon. Ray Lyman Wilbur, Secretary of the Interior, and formerly President of Stanford University, who declared that it was the simple soul of Einstein which was one of the largest elements of his greatness. During the course of his address, Secretary Wilbur said:
“Einstein goes alone into a great new field and brings back to us these facts. He creates new things, and he becomes, consequently, to us a hero, and rightly so. It is an honor to me to be here tonight just to say a word of appreciation for this great man, this great scientist, but more than that a simple, lovable, loyal human being.”
Secretary Wilbur was followed by Louis Marshall, President of the American Jewish Committee, whose full address is given on another page of this issue.
Count F. W. von Prittwitz, German Ambassador to the United States, came to the celebration specially from Washington, to pay tribute to Einstein. It is believed that this is the first time that a German Jew has thus been honored by his government in a foreign country. In his address, the German Ambassador said:
“It is not for me to emphasize the merits of one of my countrymen. I want, however, to thank you personally very heartily for this celebration, especially for the words spoken and the tribute paid to Albert Einstein by the member of the Cabinet, Mr. Wilbur, and the other speakers. Many relations have been established across the ocean. Nothing. I think, is, however, of more value for furthering that mental understanding, that atmosphere of mutual confidence and trust which is essential for the establishment of international relations on a secure and durable basis than a gathering of this kind.
“Science knows no boundaries. Its aim is to help mankind to advance and to further civilization and culture. The spirit which moves the scientist must be reciprocated by those who profit by his invention or his works. If common opinion is important in national affairs, it surely is just as important in international relations. Through this meeting you have contributed to the formation of a common opinion. Let us take this as a good omen for the future relations between the German and American people.”
Mayor James J. Walker of New York, acknowledged his ignorance of the Einstein theories, but admitted his great admiration for Einstein’s work, which has gripped the imagination of the world. He emphasized the appropriateness of the tribute to Einstein being arranged by the Jewish National Fund, and urged support of its work. He appealed to the people of New York to contribute to the Jewish National Fund in such fashion as to increase its effectiveness in Palestine. He also urged that the Einstein Golden Book, which the Jewish National Fund is presenting to Einstein in honor of his fiftieth birthday, be made a nation-wide success.
NATION SENDS TRIBUTE TO EINSTEIN, BERNSTEIN SAYS
Herman Bernstein, chairman of the Einstein Jubilee Committee, who opened the meeting, declared:
“In the Einstein Jubilee Committee you will find some of the most eminent. American scientists and educators, economists, philosophers, authors, jurists, high government officials, high dignitaries in the Church, Jews and Gentiles, Christian ministers and rabbis, orthodox and reformed, radical and conservative, bankers, merchants, physicians and lawyers-these and countless others throughout the land have gladly identified themselves with the plan of paying tribute to that modest man in Berlin.
“And so for the Jews of the world, Albert Einstein is particularly dear to them because he has so unmistakably made himself part and parcel of Jewish idealism, Jewish sorrows and Jewish hopes. To the Jews he is a great tower of intellectual strength and inspiration because of his unquestioned solidarity with the noblest ideals of Israel, universal peace, brotherly love and the cultural and economic rehabilitation of Zion.
“Albert Einstein is an ardent admirer of America and a firm believer in the moral influence of American idealism. In one of my interviews with him, he said:
” ‘Despite the crude realism of our times, there is a glimmer of a nobler conception of human aspirations. The American people exemplified this by the part they have played in recent years in the affairs of the world. I am absolutely convinced that without the stabilizing influence of the United States, the League of Nations or any other international organization cannot exist.’
“As an idealist and a man of peace, it was but natural that Albert Einstein should identify himself with the idealistic movement of Zionism. And in the light of this knowledge it becomes clear why Prof. Einstein, who shuns all publicity and manifestation of acclaim, has
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given his consent to the holding of this celebration under the auspices of the Jewish National Fund.
“American Jewry, together with eminent American educators and scientists, and representatives of the Christian world, send their hearty greetings to that modest great Jew in Berlin, the intellectual giant across the Atlantic, the idealist and lover of peace who, amidst his mathematical calculations and scientific problems that have baffled scientists for ages, is devoting himself also to the humanitarian task of helping mankind by liberating the world from the ugly passions of hate and the violent madness of war.”
EINSTEIN GIVES MIND TO WORLD; HEART TO HIS PEOPLE, STRAUS SAYS
Despite his advanced age, and his reluctance to attend public affairs, Nathan Straus was among the speakers. Taking issue with Edison who recently said that he had never met a happy man, Mr. Straus said that his recipe for happiness was to give to others. It is this quality in Einstein, Mr. Straus said, which made him so great. In his speech, Mr. Straus said:
“I have come here to identify my self with the tribute that is being paid to that great Jew and great scientist, Albert Einstein, on his fiftieth birthday. We are honoring ourselves by honoring Einstein. I shall not even make the slightest attempt to present an estimate of Albert Einstein’s recognized contributions to science. I know Professor Einstein and have always greatly admired him for his many fine qualities of heart and mind, also for his great contribution as a lover of mankind and a lover of Zion.
“I am happy that God has given me strength to be here with you this evening to glorify the man who is among the world’s immortals and who at the same time is working for the cause of Zion proudly and openly. Professor Einstein gives to the Jewish people his great prestige, his love, his heart. And that is what makes me feel all the more happy. Thomas Edison, the great inventor, said the other day that in all his years he had not met a happy man. I believe he must have been misquoted. I know people who are happy, and I am happy myself. My own recipe for happiness is very simple. Give as much as you actually can to make others happy-and you will be happy yourself. I have tried this recipe and found it working perfectly. I am happier now, at the age of eighty-one, than ever be fore. I can see that the ideals of peace, of brotherly love, are coming nearer and nearer to the point of realization. All those who are contributing to make this world a happier place to live in are to be numbered among the fortunate and happy ones. Some people give of their wealth, others give of their energy, their brains, their hearts, their genius. Some give till it hurts them-they have not yet learned the real joy of giving. When they do, they will give till it makes them happy. Giving to help others is the royal road to happiness.
“And that is why I say to you that I am truly happy to be here and to pay tribute to the great Albert Einstein who gives his mind to the world and his heart to his people-to the rebuilding of the Holy Land, the land of our fathers, the cradle of universal peace and brotherly love.”
During the evening. Rev. Z. H. Masliansky spoke in Hebrew, emphasizing the Jewish origin of Einstein, and contrasting Einstein’s loyalty to his people to some other examples. He said, in part:
“The nations of the world admire him for his great scientific attainments. Germany is rightly proud of this spiritual giant, for there he was born, educated and developed until he became the peerless wizard of the mysteries of nature.
“But the relation of us Hebrews to the expounder of the theory of relativity is greater and deeper, for he is our brother, a son of ancient Israel; a son of an old people who gave the world spiritual giants thousands of years ago.
“Many are the wise and learned men of Jewish origin who, to our regret, have left our camp and come away from their brethren to feed in strange pastures. Albert Einstein, the Giant of Science, when he grew big, came to his brethren. Einstein, too, shares in the grief of his people and in the hope of its re-birth.”
The celebration of Einstein’s fiftieth birthday closed with the singing of “Hatikvah.”