Einstein’s travel diaries contain a number of racist comments

Albert Einstein in the 1940s called racism a “disease of white people” but it appears that decades prior he held some racist views of his own.

His travel diaries, written in the early 1920s, were recently translated into English and published by Princeton University Press.

According to Quartz, in his journals, Einstein “describes ‘industrious, filthy, obtuse people’ he met on his travels, and is particularly racist towards the Chinese, writing that ‘it would be a pity if these Chinese supplant all other races. For the likes of us the mere thought is unspeakably dreary.’”

He also made disparaging comments about the people of Sri Lanka and, to a lesser extent, Japan.

“It seems that even Einstein sometimes had a very hard time recognizing himself in the face of the other,” Ze’ev Rosenkranz, the editor of the diary translation, told The Guardian.