Albert Einstein’s ‘support’ for the Church in the face of Hitler is bogus

Einstein

manicstreetpreacher shows that a statement by the exiled pantheist scientist praising the Church in Nazi Germany falls down on closer examination.

Religious-types seem to think that massaging the words of prominent non-believers into concessions to faith approximates an argument for the truth or usefulness of religion.  I have long grown tired of this bogus and dishonest tactic.  If a theist told me Richard Dawkins’ or Charles Darwin’s take on the colour of an orange, I would scrutinise the primary source carefully.

Apologists are often desperate to claim that the Jewish-born, agnostic scientist, Albert Einstein was a theist.  Continuing in this tradition, you will hear and read the following statement attributed to the atomic scientist trotted out by those eager to defend the reprehensible (in)actions of the Catholic Church in the face of Nazism:

Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced.  Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks…

Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth.  I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom.  I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.

The statement first appeared in an article entitled “German Martyrs” which was published in Time magazine on 23 December 1940.  You will find it posted on many religious websites and repeated by clergymen.  Christian historian, Michael Burleigh, quotes it point-blank in his study of religion and politics in the 20th century, Sacred Causes, before rambling into a highly selective and ultimately, disingenuous defence of the Church during the Second World War.

Nevertheless, a superb piece by the analyst, William Waterhouse, first published in Skeptic (Volume 12, Number 3, Fall 2005), has exposed the statement as an exaggeration at best and a fabrication at worst by those eager to abuse Einstein’s prestigious reputation rather than convey his real opinions.

For starters, the statement appeared without any source or attribution when it was first published in Time.  It is not known whether the reporter personally heard Einstein say it.  The statement does not appear in the definitive collection of Einstein’s sayings, The Expanded Quotable Einstein.  Any reference to the treatment of Europe’s Jews is also conspicuously absent.

In addition, the language is too flamboyant compared to Einstein’s usual style, with its reference to “great editors” and “flaming editorials”.  The statement is also unlikely to have come from a scientist, stating as it does that Einstein “despised” something immediately after saying that he “never had any special interest” in it.

For comparison, here is a statement that Einstein definitely made in response to Nazism in 1933:

I hope that healthy conditions will soon supervene in Germany and that in future her great men like Kant and Goethe will not merely be commemorated from time to time but that the principle which they taught will also prevail in public life and in the general consciousness.

As Waterhouse points out, Einstein (like most German Jews) hoped for support not from Christianity as such, but from the German Enlightenment tradition.

Waterhouse’s enquiries with the Einstein Archives in Jerusalem lead to the discovery of a letter written by Einstein in 1947 stating that in the early years of Hitler’s regime he had casually mentioned to a journalist that hardly any German intellectuals except a few churchmen were supporting individual rights and intellectual freedom.  He added that this statement had subsequently been drastically exaggerated beyond anything that he could recognise as his own.

As Christopher Hitchens writes in God Is Not Great, “Those who seek to misrepresent the man who gave us an alternative theory of the cosmos (as well as those who remained silent or worse while his fellow Jews were being deported and destroyed) betray the prickings of their bad consciences.”

NaziPriestsSaluteHitler

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41 Responses to “Albert Einstein’s ‘support’ for the Church in the face of Hitler is bogus”

  1. manicstreetpreacher Says:

    From: MSP
    To: mail@wylieagency.com
    Date: 27 August 2009 20:52
    Subject: For the attention of Michael Burleigh – Einstein quote in Sacred Causes

    Dear Mr Burleigh

    I recently re-read your 2006 book, Sacred Causes, and noticed that at the end of Chapter 3 you quote a statement purporting to be from Albert Einstein showing great support for the Church’s opposition to Nazism.

    After reading Christopher Hitchens’ discussion of this statement as part of his treatment of “secular” totalitarian regimes in God Is Not Great, I tracked down the source piece by William Waterhouse, first published in Skeptic magazine in 2005. Below is a link to my blog article (which links to Waterhouse’s piece) which I respectfully recommend you read before including what is clearly a highly dubious and unreliable quote in future editions:

    https://edthemanicstreetpreacher.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/einstein-statement-church/

    With kind regards

    MSP

  2. elvis ckristian Says:

    Einstein has made a very large contribution to the world, especially in the field of physics. Although he is a very clever man, but he’s still human, and certainly has a mistake.

  3. manicstreetpreacher Says:

    I agree with you about Einstein’s immeasurable contribution to science and public discourse. However, I don’t think the mistake on this occasion was his, but the religious opportunists who did not care about misrepresenting his true views in support of their own interests.

  4. Rocker Says:

    The quote is real – if Einstein was so totally misquoted he would have issued a statement about that – he never did. Fact is it appeared in Time, which was reputable then as now. Those who are hostile to Religion will just have to deal with it. Sorry Hitchens and the like – possibly the most creative and fascinating mind of the last century gave kudos that the Church had the courage to speak out against the Nazis, when the liberal Universities and Media people lost their nerve – that’s hard for you to deal with, so try to discredit the quote, but we’re not fooled…

    • manicstreetpreacher Says:

      No, it is not a genuine quote.

      Einstein told close friends that his comments about the gallant actions of certain churchmen were completely blown out of all proportion.

      So what if they were published in Time? Hugh Trevor-Roper was once the most respected WWII historian of his day. Until he threw his weight behind the bogus “Hitler Diaries”, which incidentally were exposed as a fraud by the Holocaust-denying historian, David Irving.

      Reliance on authority without evidence to back it up does not make a sound argument.

      I suggest you watch this satirical but relevant clip about Hitler’s true religious views and what the Church did and did not do in the face of them.

  5. Marc Patiou Says:

    Well, the agnostic that I am is asked to believe that Kant, indeed part of the German enlightenment, wasn’t a theist (as well as dedicated bible reader)…
    You can’t separate German enlightenment from theism, unless you are a liar,
    or a fool, and probably both.

  6. Alex Says:

    “Einstein told close friends that his comments about the gallant actions of certain churchmen were completely blown out of all proportion.”

    Is it okay if I could get the source for this?

    And is it possible that his view on the church (although I don’t think it was ever VERY significant) could have changed somewhat from his quote in 1933 to the quote in 1942? A lot happened during that period of time.

    • Brian Says:

      Why do you need a source? MSP is your source. Did you not read what he said: “the language is too flamboyant compared to Einstein’s usual style?” And then he quotes Christopher Hitchens. What more proof do you need?

  7. manicstreetpreacher Says:

    “Einstein told close friends that his comments about the gallant actions of certain churchmen were completely blown out of all proportion.”

    Is it okay if I could get the source for this?

    Sure.

    Just read my original piece properly and pay particular attention to the penultimate paragraph.

    And is it possible that his view on the church (although I don’t think it was ever VERY significant) could have changed somewhat from his quote in 1933 to the quote in 1942? A lot happened during that period of time.

    Indeed it did.

    Pope Pius XII refused speak out against the Holocaust despite almost certainly knowing what was happening, save for a pathetic reference to “the hundreds of thousands of persons who, without any fault on their part, sometimes only because of their nationality or race, have been consigned to death or to a slow decline” in his Christmas radio message that year.

  8. Simon Says:

    I often wonder what kind of mindset is needed to accept fabrication as fact, and dismiss fact as fabrication, without totally smashing it’s gearbox to smithereens.

  9. Federico Flores Says:

    “There is no public figure that has received as many grateful tokens from the jewish community as Pius XII” – historian Peter Gumpel

    this is to silence this misinformed quote by mancistreetpreacher: Pope Pius XII refused speak out against the Holocaust despite almost certainly knowing what was happening

    if the jewish community is so grateful towards him, it is ver understandable that einstein, a very rational man, could be touched by him. Your words have no weight when compared to the words of the jewish leaders in this matter.

    • manicstreetpreacher Says:

      if the jewish community is so grateful towards him, it is ver understandable that einstein, a very rational man, could be touched by him. Your words have no weight when compared to the words of the jewish leaders in this matter.

      Yeah, right.

      If you read my later piece
      about the continuing criticism of Pacelli, ‘Ratzinger’s recent drive to canonise Pius XII has been discouraged by the Church’s own theologians as likely to cause grave damage to relations between the Catholic Church and Jews and that he had become a de facto “symbol of Christian anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism”.’

      There is clearly enough bad feeling towards Pius from the Jewish community to go around.

  10. The Sinful Christian Says:

    You all are funny! One theorist arguing with another. Remember there is no concensus in science. Science is fact not theory unless you are Darwin, Evolutionist or Al Gore ! have a great day! Whether he said it or not – it is obviously true and support by Britian and History. I believe Stalin wrote ” the first thing we must do is re-write history”

  11. Emilio Says:

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Kolbe.html

    Hiding under a Different Religion
    Thousands of Jewish children survived the Holocaust because they were protected by people and institutions of other faiths. Dozens of Catholic convents in German-occupied Poland independently took in Jewish youngsters. Belgian Catholics hid hundreds of children in their homes, schools, and orphanages, and French Protestant townspeople in and around Le Chambon-sur-Lignon sheltered several thousand Jews. In Albania and Yugoslavia, some Muslim families concealed youngsters.

    Children quickly learned to master the prayers and rituals of their “adopted” religion in order to keep their Jewish identity hidden from even their closest friends. Many Jewish youngsters were baptized into Christianity, with or without the consent of their parents.

    ”During the 10 years of Nazi terror, when our people went through the horrors of martyrdom, the Pope raised his voice to condemn the persecutors and commiserate with their victims.”
    -Golda Meir-

    sent to Rome as Chief Rabbi.

    Zolli devoted an entire chapter in his memoirs to the German occupation of Rome and praised the Pope’s leadership: “… The people of Rome loathed the Nazis and had intense pity for the Jews. They willingly assisted in the evacuation of the Jewish population into remote villages, where they were concealed and protected by Christian families. Christian families in the heart of Rome accepted Jews. There was money in the treasury for the support of destitute refugees thus hidden. The Holy Father sent by hand a letter to the bishops instructing them to lift the enclosure from convents and monasteries, so that they could become refuges for the Jews. I know of one convent where the Sisters slept in the basement, giving up their beds to Jewish refugees. In face of this charity, the fate of so many of the persecuted is especially tragic.”

    Rabbi Zolli is the most important non-Catholic witness to the role of Pius XII in wartime Italy during the Nazi occupation and persecution of Jews. A biblical scholar whose courage and integrity cannot be challenged, Zolli, his wife and his twenty-year-old daughter Miriam, were each hidden my different members of the Roman resistance party Giustizia e Libertà. They were eye-witnesses of the deportation of Rome’s Jews by the Gestapo in 1943.

    Zolli asked to be received by the Pope. The meeting with Pius XII took place on July 25, 1944. Notes by Vatican Secretary of State Giovanni Battista Montini confirm the fact that on July 23 Rabbi Zolli addressed the Jewish Community in the Synagogue and publicly thanked the Holy Father for all he did to save the Jewish Community of Rome. His talk was transmitted by radio. On February 13, 1945, Rabbi Zolli was baptized by Rome’s Auxiliary Bishop Luigi Traglia in the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli. Present for the ceremony was Father Agostino Bea, the Pope’s confessor and future protagonist during the Council with regard to the dialog between religions. In gratitude to Pius XII, Israel Zolli took the name, Eugenio. A year later his wife and daughter were also baptized.

    Throughout his papacy. Pope Pius XII was almost universally, regarded as a saintly man, a scholar, a man of peace, a tower of strength, and a compassionate defender and protector of all victims of the war and genocide that had drenched Europe in blood. At the end of the war Western nations paid tribute to his efforts on behalf of the oppressed. When Pius XII died, Jews praised him for his help and were among the first to express sorrow and gratitude for his solicitude during the Holocaust.

    Documentary evidence and the testimony of his contemporaries prove that Pius XII was a committed defender and protector of the victims of war and hatred which drenched Europe in blood. Pius XII ordered the Congregation of the Holy Office to issue a formal and explicit condemnation of the mass murder going on in Germany in the name of improving the race. The decree was published on December 6, 1940, in L’Osservatore Romano. At the end of World War II, western nations paid tribute to Pius XII’s efforts on behalf of the oppressed. When he died in 1958, the Jewish communities of Europe praised him for his help and expressed sorrow and gratitude for his solicitude during the Holocaust. In the 1960s, there began a campaign of vilification against Pius XII. Today, his detractors continue to claim that he lacked courage, human compassion and a sense of moral rectitude. Hostile attacks by the media replace the historical record that showed him as a great leader.

  12. Emilio Says:

    This history is recounted in “The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis” by Rabbi David G. Dalin
    He wrote this book because Pope Pius XII has been under attack for a very long time by dissident Catholic authors. It should escape no one’s notice that the author’s faith is Judaism and this lends particular weight to his carefully documented rebuttal. “There has been a tradition of papal support for the Jews of Europe since at least the fourteenth century.”

    “It is an abominable slander to spread blame that belongs to Hitler and the Nazis to a pope who was a friend of the Jews,” says Rabbi Dalin. For example, during the Nazi occupation of Rome, there is ample documentation that Pope Pius XII was personally responsible for saving the lives of close to five thousands Roman Jews, sheltering them in the Vatican and in the numerous monasteries and convents throughout the city. He did much more, however.

    He was following in a tradition that dates back to Pope Gregory I (590-604) who issued an historic decree, Sicut Judaeis, affirming that Jews “should have no infringement of their rights…We forbid to vilify the Jews.” This decree was taken up by Pope Calixitus (1119-1124) and reissued at least twenty-two times by successive popes between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. During the Black Plague, Pope Clement VI (1342-1552) was the only European leader to defend the Jews against the charge they were responsible for it. Renaissance popes were instrumental in collecting and protecting 116 Hebrew books and manuscripts. Pope Leo X (1513-1521) repealed the obligation of Jews to wear badges, a precursor to the Nazi requirement of the infamous Yellow Star.

    In the twentieth century, both Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII vigorously condemned the Nazis. Pius XII, Eugenio Pacelli, who had spent his years of service to the Church as one of its greatest statesman, regarded Hitler as “the greatest enemy of Christ and of the Church in modern times.” Pacelli was the papal nuncio in Germany from 1917 to 1929 and, during this time delivered forty-four speeches, using forty of them to denounce some aspect of the emerging Nazi ideology. Elected Pope in 1939, just months before the beginning of WWII, the College of Cardinals deliberated just one day and selected the first Vatican secretary of state to the office.

    Thus, the creation and maintenance of the slander of Pius XII needs to be examined for its true purpose. Rabbi Dalin identifies it succinctly. “The liberal culture war against tradition—of which the Pope Pius XII controversy is a microcosm—must be recognized for what it is: an assault on the institution of the Catholic Church and traditional religion.”

    • manicstreetpreacher Says:

      Thank you for sharing extracts of your PhD thesis with us, Emilio.

      My post on Richard Dawkins’ and P Z Myers’ attacks on Pius XII a few years ago may be of interest to you:

      The best defence anyone has been able to advance is that Pacelli’s scope for action was severely limited. Hindsight is the cheapest form of wisdom. Perhaps Pius XII would have inspired a mass uprising against the forces of darkness that had overwhelmed Europe by publically opposing Hitler. By the same token, his actions could have backfired with the consequences for Europe’s population better left imagined than described.

      (…)

      Dawkins was referencing Pius XII, the man who while the Vatican’s Secretary of State concluded concordats with practically every fascist regime in Europe, including the 1929 Lateran Pact with Benito Mussolini of Italy and the 1933 Reichskonkordat with Adolf Hitler’s German Wehrmacht Republic. These treaties, which incidentally were the first agreements signed respectively by both dictators upon taking power, guaranteed the Church’s total withdrawal from politics, embodied by the dissolution of the German Catholic Centre Party, a source of effective opposition to National Socialism, in return for control of state education and other ameliorations.

      As if that wasn’t enough, Pius XII notoriously remained silence in public about the Holocaust, despite constant and reliable intelligence of the atrocities committed against the Jews. This was only one in a whole litany of sins for which atonement was begged by the former pontiff, John Paul II, during a papacy largely defined by repeated requests for forgiveness.

      Perhaps sceptics are being too hard on Pacelli. Perhaps they are using him as a pawn in their private war against the parties of God. Perhaps his back really was up against a wall. Perhaps public condemnation of Hitler would have been foolhardy and lead only to Nazi aggression being redirected towards Catholics. Perhaps he achieved more by remaining silent in public and while waging a “secret war” against the Führer. The figures I’ve read for the number of Jews that the Vatican saved during the War range from half a million to 800,000. I am quite prepared to accept the higher figure.

      But while the Pope’s rural retreat of Castel Gandolfo and indeed the Vatican itself was used to hide Jews escaping the German occupation of Rome in 1943, the same “safe houses” were used to harbour escaping Nazi war criminals, not least of who was Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the “Final Solution”. After the war Eichmann, along with many other Nazi war criminals, was spirited away to South America on an illegally acquired Red Cross humanitarian passport via a “Ratline”, before finally being kidnapped by Mossad agents in Argentina, standing trial in Israel and executed for crimes against humanity in 1962.

      It is not proven that Pacelli had personal knowledge of the Ratlines, their chief architect being Austrian Bishop Alois Hudal, author of the Hitler-fawning tract, The Foundations of National Socialism. But since Pacelli clearly turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the death camps during the war, it is not unreasonable to draw negative inferences.

      The Vatican could always exonerate Pacelli once and for all by releasing the wartime documents from the archives which would prove the Pontiff’s defence, surely? So far, they have declined to do this, making the utterly lame excuse that the copious documents have not yet been properly catalogued.

      Ratzinger’s recent drive to canonise Pius XII has been discouraged by the Church’s own theologians as likely to cause grave damage to relations between the Catholic Church and Jews and that he had become a de facto “symbol of Christian anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism”.

      One very eloquent reviewer of Dalin’s book, The Myth of Hitler’s Pope, on Amazon US described the Church’s stance thus:

      “As long as Pope Pius XII allowed Hitler to remain a Catholic, the Pope supported his actions, period, and end of story. There was no conspiracy, just failed responsibility, and lack of action. David Dalin’s book, The Myth of Hitler’s Pope demonstrates very little except to try and defend the ridiculous.”

      I also suggest you read Gregory S Paul’s essays on Christianity’s complicity with Fascism and National Socialism.

  13. Bob Larimer Says:

    I’m sorry, but your zeal to denounce anything positive for Christianity has blinded you to some embarassing facts.
    Einstein did indeed praise the Church for standing against Hitler.
    Nothing bogus about it.
    PBS a good enough source for you?
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/archive/200706A19.html
    You can actually see and hear their voices if you want:

    • manicstreetpreacher Says:

      Thank you for your comment, Bob.

      I have viewed the YouTube video and web page to which you link and both of them question the authenticity of Einstein’s comments as quoted in the Time Magazine article.

      In the description section of the video it states:

      The exact wording of Einstein’s response when questioned about the quote, as it appears in his letter in this video is:
      “It’s true that I made a statement which corresponds approximately with the text you quoted. I made this statement during the first years of the Nazi regime– much earlier than 1940– and my expressions were a little more moderate.”

      My post acknowledges that Einstein praised certain churchmen, but this was much earlier than 1940 and since then his comments were blown out of all proportion.

      Your comment simply confirms my original view.

      MSP

  14. Vinicius Machado Ferraz Says:

    Do you know that Pope Paul VI authorized 4 jesuits scholar to have access to the Vatican’s Arquives in the sixties? From this came “Actes et documents du Saint-Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre mondiale” a 12 volume compilation of Vatican’s documents over the war period. And based on this primary source, Pierre Blet one of the scholars published a book in 1997 called “Pie XII et la Seconde Guerre mondiale, d’après des archives du Vatican” on which he shows the profound opposition of the papacy to ethnical persecution during the war, mainly, against jews. You should read this book. I didn’t see anyone talking about it in this discussion.

    • manicstreetpreacher Says:

      Thank you for your comment, Vinicius Machado Ferraz.

      No, I haven’t read that book. If you could point me in the direction of an English translation, I would be very grateful.

      I have read Catholic journalist and historian John Cornwell’s 1999 biography of Pacelli, Hitler’s Pope. Although I handle it with a pair of tongs by recognising the criticism it has attracted and that the author no longer stands by all of its claims, it is worth noting that Cornwell claims to have been granted access to the Vatican’s archives as he wanted to exonerate Pacelli. When Cornwell’s findings “lead not to an exoneration, but a wider indictment”, predictably, the Vatican denied all knowledge of Cornwell’s very existence, let alone his access to the archives.

      Finally, I can only repeat the contents of my previous comment on this post and refer to you to another post of mine from 2010 that comments further on the (in)actions of Pacelli’s Church in the face of the Holocaust.

      I’ll also recommend you read Gregory S Paul’s essays published in 2003 on the subject.

      MSP

      • Vinicius Machado Ferraz Says:

        Thanks for your quick answer. I’ve indicated this works because they are the only reference to the Vatican’s archives, the most relevant primary source. And to which Cornwell’s references are made only 21 times, among his 600 hundreds. In fact, Cornwell had access to the archives but just a few hours, contrary to his claim of months-long research, and his book’s conclusions lacks foundation, have you thoughtfully read it? So the absence of Blet’s work in this argument shows me that this discussions is very biased once it make no reference to a research based on foundamental primary sources defending the opposing side. Then I will recommend you to spend a little more time studying this subject scientifically before defending a conclusion. Just a matter of intellectual honesty.

      • manicstreetpreacher Says:

        I have read Hitler’s Pope twice over and am planning to include a section on it in an epic set of posts on the Church’s behaviour in the ‘30s and ‘40s as the worst scenario case against Pacelli and then counter-balance it with opposing evidence and refutations from Pacelli’s supporters.

        Cornwell amended his thesis against Pacelli slightly in his 2004 polemic against John Paul II, A Pontiff In Winter, saying that he had so little scope for action that it is not possible to judge the wartime Pope’s motives. However, it was still incumbent on Pacelli to explain his inactions after the war, which he never did.

        I have also read Cornwell’s reply to Dawkins’ case against God, Darwin’s Angel and was dismayed at Cornwell’s snide tone and deliberate distortions at what Dawkins actually wrote in The God Delusion. Following an exchange on the UK’s Radio 4, Dawkins published an essay tellingly entitled “Honest Mistakes or Willful Mendacity?”.

        In short, my respect and trust for Cornwell’s objectivity has been much eroded in recent years.

        If you read my piece on Dawkins’ and Myers’ damning assessment of Pacelli, I link to an article that reports on the Church’s refusal to open up their wartime archives to academics who wish to study the period citing the lame excuse that the collection has not been properly catalogued. Furthermore, the beatification of Pacelli has been blocked by the Church’s academic advisors who have warned that he is a “symbol of Christian anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism”.

        Given the Church’s policy in recent years of covering up child abuse by those in its orders, threatening the victims and their families with excommunication and hellfire if they uttered a word in public about their crimes and relocating the offenders into new parishes so that they could offend all over again, the drawing of adverse inferences is far from unreasonable.

        Finally, while researching my reply, I have replaced the dead YouTube link to Dawkins referring to Pius XII as “Pope… Nazi” on my other post and have discovered this fascinating article on a poster for Hitler’s campaign for the Reichstag election of 12 November 1933 that relies upon the Reichskonkordat with the Church.

        MSP

      • Vinicius Machado Ferraz Says:

        Let me give you a little science lesson. it’s very simple. You gathered data and based on it you formed an hypothesis. Now you try to break this hypothesis testing it on other data. In this case I’m showing you the existence of a profound data you’ve lost, test your hypothesis on it. If it survives, ok. If it doesn’t, time to change the hypothesis. Don’t be a childish proud. Make your home lesson. Because your behaviour proofs your dogmatic opposition to Catholic Church and your intellectual desonesty. Try to grown up and be a little more humble accepting the holes in your biased study. Don’t be such irrational fanatic.

      • manicstreetpreacher Says:

        And let me give you a little lesson in debating etiquette.

        If you are going to resort to childish naming calling and ad hominem attacks, then please do so in a language that approximates English rather than writing it in your own dialect and churning it through Google Translate.

        You are very lucky that your last comment was not picked up as spam by WordPress.

        I have accepted that the Church took some covert action against Hitler but that they also publicly supported and assisted his regime. There is much more evidence of the latter than there is of the former.

        I am allowing my views to be falsified, which is why I allow comments on this blog and highlight opinions that differ from my own.

        Where’s the dishonesty in that?

        MSP

    • Vinicius Machado Ferraz Says:

      This conclusion of yours is unreliable because you are making affirmations on the “ratio” of the evidences without studying an very important one. And it is intellectual dishonesty spreading a thesis without a critical research on it. And you did this. Very quickly you have accepted theories that support your worldview and defended it as reasonable or critical. Give me a break. You even don’t know that the Vatican’s archive wasn’t opened yet because of two simply reason: first, the Vatican is a State, it has laws on the minimum time necessary to open its secres archives to public access; second, there are more than 16 million documents of the war period one wastes some time to organize it. Make a quick research on the web and you will found all of it. Go study, grown up and then talk.

    • Karen Salstrom Says:

      Well, someone actually managed to find the reference…TIME Dec. 23, 1940

      http://www.marymeetsdolly.com/blog/index.php?/archives/992-Einstein-The-Church-alone-stood-for-intellectual-truth-and-moral-freedom.html

      • manicstreetpreacher Says:

        Karen

        Have you actually read my blog post fully? I do not dispute that the quote originated from the 1940 TIME article. However, the actual quote cannot be sourced satisfactorily to Einstein himself since the TIME article does not detail whether the reporter themselves heard him say it and it does not appear in any of Einstein’s original writings.

        The final nail in the coffin is a letter that Einstein wrote to close friends in 1947 stating that in the early years of Hitler’s regime, he had made comments praising the actions of certain individual churchmen that had been blown out of all proportions. The 1933 statement expressing hope that Germany would receive support from its Enlightenment tradition are a true reflection of his views on the matter.

        Sorry, but I think this misattribution has been successfully debunked and the article to which you link does nothing to refute it.

        MSP

  15. Allan Lindsay Says:

    The manic in manicstreetpreacher appears to be eminently applicable, maybe even warranting an additional “a” in the ic?

  16. Robert Trainor Says:

    My great-uncle was the eidtor of Time magazine at the time the Einstein quote was published. He WOULD NOT have allowed the quote to be published had the writer not adequately sourced the bona fides of the statement.

    • manicstreetpreacher Says:

      I appreciate your assurances Robert and I am not attacking your great uncle personally, however, the simple facts remain that the article does not source the quote and has since been undermined and discredited. Your appeal to credentials and integrity is rather like saying that Hugh Trevor-Roper’s position as a prominent and respected historian meant that would not have supported the bogus Hitler Diaries if they were not genuine. But Trevor-Roper did support the Hitler Diaries and his reputation as the UK’s foremost historian was severely tarnished as a result. We all make mistakes.

  17. Allan Says:

    Let’s be honest here, and I mean honest . . . .this all essentially boils down to human proclivity and bias..What evidence there is suggests that the quote could be authentic. The Robert Trainor post MSP responds to directly above would on the face of it appear to shed further light on matters in regard to authenticity and we take note that MSP asks no questions or for any proof the Poster may have or allows for any latitude that the poster may well have shed further light on the matter. MSP rather chooses to dismiss matters out of hand and attempts devaluation of the contribution in the “Hugh Trevor Roper faux pas” once again. There are those among us who do not want this to be true in any shape or form NOT for any altruistic rationale or as an attempt to further truth, but simply because it involves:
    A] The Church
    B] It is readily interpreted as shedding a positive light on the Church.
    Therefore there will be no benefit of doubt afforded or allowed whatsoever simply because it is the Church and must therefore be utterly discredited..

    The two points mentioned are enough to get many people’s hackles up no matter what and the truth becomes completely irrelevant to matters. To reiterate, the Church must be discredited at each and every turn. If Einstein had been quoted as saying something like “Hitler initially had a phenomenal economic policy and the Church involved itself and completely ruined the German economy, thereby they created the Holocaust” . . . . .The chances of that “quote” being contended in any context would be very remote indeed and in some if not many quarters would be lauded as completely and utterly true mere;y because it discredits the Church. I think some among us term matters pertaining as the way of the world?

    • manicstreetpreacher Says:

      Allen

      You make a very good point about confirmation bias and only trusting expert opinion when it conforms to your own preconceived notions, however, I still follow the evidence even if it provides uncomfortable conclusions.

      If Einstein had genuinely supported the Church’s stance during Nazism and there existed reliable quotes from disinterested sources, then I would have to accept that was indeed his view. The modern-day atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel has written some encouraging words about Intelligent Design that are undoubtedly from his own pen. I accept that those are Nagel’s views; I just don’t agree with him.

      Similarly, atheists have long-heralded atheistic countries in Scandinavia as modern-day utopias and proof that irreligious societies can be happy and productive and not result in the endgame of Stalin’s gulags and Pol Pot’s killing fields. However, I have recently encountered research to suggest that this view is false and that Denmark, Finland and Iceland actually have very high rates of alcoholism and anti-depressant. It appears that they are not terribly happy places after all.

      I used to rely on the previous happiness and well-being surveys in reply to the “Hitler and Stalin were atheists” card, but now I will think twice before so doing in future.

      MSP

  18. Sullinsea Says:

    Interesting. If you Google the quote there’s an old Snopes message board and several other websites certain it’s not an accurate quote. I offer the following in its defense:

    • manicstreetpreacher Says:

      Sullinsea

      Please explain how the video and the quote source research it presents satisfactorily trace the original quote from the TIME article to Einstein’s pen?

      MSP

      • Allan Says:

        Greetings MSP,

        It seems rather self-evident given the Robert Trainor statement above and now Sillinsea’s contribution that unless you were at Einstein’s shoulder the moment he wrote or dictated what is claimed, that you shall never accept it, some among us might doubt that you would even then. This mindset is not unsual amongst we humans it is common, as I point out above our own bias, our own interpretation of matters becomes the be and end all. The true fundamental involved here is that evidentially it would seem that you are not a Christian, in all probability you are anti-Christian and therefore you cannot accept anything that may show or potentially show the Church in a good light, the only acceptable Church is one that you can throw stones at in the hope of breaking some windows. You are not alone in that either.

      • manicstreetpreacher Says:

        Allan

        I thought your comment had an air of déjà vu about it. I have re-read the comments on this thread and indeed it does. As do my replies, which I suggest you read.

        MSP

      • Allan Says:

        Hi, MSP Greetings.

        Yes, I concede that, but when writing it I remained aware of Dr Johnson’s Maxim, “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.” Sometime ago after spending much time in meditation and silence in order to attempt to “discover” myself the realisation dawned that we as a species are indeed selfish, ego-centric entities and we mostly view outwards as opposed to inwards or combination thereof, often preferring to bring our own view to bear on matters. This condition often finds outlet in a huge flaw, the “need to be right” flaw, this need will even bleed over the strongest evidence. As an example, how often do you hear somebody in an automobile crash readily admit, “yes it was my fault”? Invariably it’s the other person’s fault. This need to be right involves bias, ergo what we want to believe and what we have made our minds up to believe, any evidence is strenuously denied or fought against. This matter under scrutiny here in the light of “our condition” now has the propensity to go in a circle, hence I mention you above needing to be at Einstein’s shoulder when he wrote or dictated what has been claimed and even then you might not want to believe it and you probably wouldn’t. I do believe there may be a parable in the Gospels that alludes to this sort of issue. The evidence for repetition in this matter is written above. How vicious the circle becomes is down to the participants and as I finish with that, it’s self-evident that this too of itself represents repetition or a form thereof.

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