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Einstein's German World
Fritz Stern

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"[In these] elegantly written essays. . . . we come to understand something about the fabric of this world that no abstract social or cultural theory can provide. . . . [I]t was a bright and shining moment and we should thank Fritz Stern for bringing it back to life so vividly."--Omer Barton, The Wall Street Journal

"In his wide-ranging collection of nine essays, lectures and Festschriften, the eminent historian Fritz Stern, who grew up in Germany 'in the shadow of the First World War,' assembles a complex mosaic--mainly from historical and personal profiles of eminent Jewish scientists--illustrating the attitudes, prejudices, complexities, intricacies and subtle ambiguities of the relationship between Germans and Jews before Adolf Hitler and thereafter. Anti-Semitism, Mr. Stern finds, came in the most diverse guises--from irritation at Jewish successes to paranoid fear and fury at the thought of Jewish power threatening German life and virtue. He dismisses the view that the rabid anti-Semitism in Hitler's party was a reflection of the sentiments of German culture and questions theories that it formed an important bond between Hitler and the German population."--Viola Herms Drath, The Washington Times

"[E]ssential reading for any student of Einstein."--Jeremy Bernstein, The Times Higher Education Supplement

"Well-documented, extremely readable collection. . . . What makes this compendium a must for those interested in European history is that Stern not only places all of these people within the history of science, but also discusses how they both reflected and influenced the times in which they lived."--Choice

"A small series of fine . . . essays on eminent personalities surrounding Albert Einstein in pre-Hitler Germany, and some considerations illuminating the changes that followed each of the two world wars."--Helmut Rechenberg, Physics Today

"Fritz Stern is alive to moral and historical ambiguity, arguing that there is no simple judgement on the compromises of a Max Planck, any more that there is a simple way to characterize German-Jewish relations or the circumstances that made the Holocaust possible."--London Review of Books


"This wide-ranging collection of essays reminds us again that Fritz Stern is a living national treasure--in both Germany and the United States. It will interest and delight anyone who wishes to think deeply about how and why Germany, with all its potential, wrecked the century that it tried to dominate, and left a legacy that haunts us still. From Einstein to Goldhagen, Fritz Stern shows us again the extraordinary depth of his historical insights, and raises our understanding to a different level."--Ambassador Richard Holbrooke

"Stern gives us penetrating character sketches of eminent Jews in pre-Nazi Germany, and he makes us feel for those whose lives ended in tragedy."--Max Perutz, Nobel Laureate in chemistry and author of I Wish I'd Made You Angry Earlier: Essays on Science, Scientists, and Humanity

"Stern, prominent historian of Germany, who knew Einstein personally, a cousin of the late Otto Stern, intimate friend of Einstein, is uniquely qualified to write of Einstein's world. His main essay on Einstein and Haber, Stern's godfather, brilliantly sketches the contrast between those who saw the Nazi threat in time and those who saw it too late. A splendid book."--Abraham Pais, Rockefeller University, author of A Tale of Two Continents and Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and Life of Albert Einstein

"The essays are clearly from a master's hand--well-crafted, thoughtful, learned, and wise. The biographical essays display Stern's gifts as a portraitist. With a few swift and confident strokes, he captures a series of extraordinary characters at moments of personal and public crisis. The historiographical essays display the author's critical intelligence and synthetic ability."--James Sheehan, Stanford University

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File created: 4/21/2017

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