The story is that Einstein was shown a German newspaper that claimed "One hundred German physicists claim Einsteins theory of relativity is wrong." Einsteins reply was supposedly, "If I were wrong, it would only take one." I have looked and looked for this story and I can't find it anywhere. Did I just dream of it?

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    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 12:59
  • $\begingroup$ If Einstein were right about his theory of relativity there would be an English translation of the work: 'One Hundred Author's Against Einstein'. The fact this book has never been translated into English raises both of my eyebrows. How about you? $\endgroup$
    – HenryB
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 19:32
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    $\begingroup$ I've also seen Einstein's retort paraphrased as, "to defeat relativity one did not need the word of 100 scientists, just one fact." $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 19:31
  • $\begingroup$ This questions should be modified to: What is the primary source of Einstein response to 100 Against Einstein? $\endgroup$
    – Mauricio
    Commented Mar 27 at 9:06

3 Answers 3


From The Ultimate Quotable Einstein p. 170:

If I were wrong, then one [author] would have been enough!

Einstein’s retort with regard to his theory when he heard that a book titled 100 Authors against Einstein was published in Germany. Quoted in Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (London: Bantam, 1988), 178

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    $\begingroup$ Hawking (1988) is not a primary source for something that is supposed to have been said in 1931. $\endgroup$
    – fdb
    Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 23:36
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    $\begingroup$ This is an answer to the question "Did I just dream it?" which is the only question in the OP. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 21:44
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    $\begingroup$ There is the title question. The quote has all the signs of being apocryphal — e.g. collected works of one of the 100 (Salomo Friedlaender, in book pp. 8–10) has the alleged German version with footnote: “source undetermined”. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 1:08

To return to this old question with at least a partial answer: there really was a book called "Hundert Autoren gegen Einstein"; you can read it here:


It was published in 1931, two years before the Nazis came to power, and several of the authors, including the one named first on the title page, were in fact Jews. I cannot find a contemporary source for Einstein's reply, but it is surely an example of "se non è vero, è ben trovato".


''When asked to comment on this denunciation of relativity by so many scientists, Einstein replied that to defeat relativity one did not need the word of 100 scientists, just one fact.''

Encyclopedia Britannica Link https://www.britannica.com/biography/Albert-Einstein/Nazi-backlash-and-coming-to-America

  • $\begingroup$ The text in the Encyclopedia Britannia link gives no source at all for the alleged quotation from Einstein. (Neither does the Stephen Hawking book cited in another answer for a slightly different version of the alleged Einstein quote.) "The expanded quotable Einstein", ed. A Calaprice, (Princeton UP, 2000), a curated collection of quotes that does gives sources, seems to be entirely silent about any reaction at all by Einstein to the 1931 '100 Authors' book. As @Francois Ziegler said in a comment to another answer, this has the signs of an apocryphal quote. $\endgroup$
    – terry-s
    Commented Jan 8, 2022 at 23:47

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