Monday, 13 February 2012

Never from so many at once

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In 1932, a Mrs Randolph Frothingham, then President of the "Woman Patriot Corporation," wrote a lengthy letter to the US government and demanded that Albert Einstein be barred from the country due to his being "affiliated with more anarchist and Communist groups than Josef Stalin himself." The charges against him spanned 16 pages, and included observations such as, "[He is] a German who cannot talk English."

On hearing the news, Einstein responded by way of the following open letter. It was printed in the New York Times.

(Source: Einstein Archives, via Einstein on Politics; Image: Albert Einstein, via.)

3rd December, 1932

Never yet have I experienced from the fair sex such energetic rejection of all advances; or, if I have, never from so many at once.

But are they not quite right, these watchful citizenesses? Why should one open one's doors to a person who devours hard-boiled capitalists with as much appetite and gusto as the Cretan Minotaur in days gone by devoured luscious Greek maidens, and on top of that is low-down enough to reject every sort of war, except the unavoidable war with one's own wife? Therefore give heed to your clever and patriotic womenfolk and remember that the Capitol of mighty Rome was once saved by the cackling of its faithful geese.

Albert Einstein