This book is the first edition (which precedes the American edition by one year) of this volume of Albert Einstein’s speeches and letters concerning his views on Zionism. Einstein was not a conventional thinker, and as we might expect, his views on Zionism were not conventional either.
He was an assimilated Jew who saw that the price of assimilation was a loss of solidarity, of moral independence and of self respect. These, in his view, can only be regained if assimilated Jews find some common cause, such as the restoration of Jewish life in Palestine (as it was called then).
Einstein was a prominent supporter of both Labor Zionism and efforts to encourage Jewish-Arab cooperation. He supported the creation of a Jewish national homeland in the British mandate of Palestine but was opposed to the idea of a Jewish state “with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power.”
In a letter to Jawaharlal Nehru dated June 13, 1947, he asserted, “Long before the emergence of Hitler I made the cause of Zionism mine because through it I saw a means of correcting a flagrant wrong.The Jewish people alone has for centuries been in the anomalous position of being victimized and hounded as a people, though bereft of all the rights and protections which even the smallest people normally has.Zionism offered the means of ending this discrimination.”
This is one of the earliest books published by the Soncino Press in England, printed on quality paper and set in an unusual Ludlow Jensen typeface.