Insane, Says Adler
LEADER OF SOCIETY FOR ETHICAL CULTURE SO
Professor Felix Adler, accompanied
by Mrs. Adler and Miss Adler, returned on the steamer Columbia,
of the Hamburg-America Line, yesterday from a three months’ trip
through Switzerland, Holland and England.
“This is sad news, indeed,” he said,
referring to the assassination of the President, “and particularly
to a returning traveller [sic]. I do not know what to say
about it, except to express my deep regret that such a catastrophe
should overtake the nation and the man. It is terrible.
“What should be done with anarchists?
That is a question too difficult to answer without consideration.
To my mind it is a question of what to do with lunatics—a question
of finding them and segregating them from the rest of mankind. I
regard this man who assassinated the President and all of his class
as insane. Unquestionably the shooting of the President was the
act of a lunatic. The real problem is to discover the insane persons.
“All alienists will tell you that
Europe is reeking with insane persons, many of whom are dangerous.
Even if the assassination were the result of a plot I would still
regard the man as insane. If anarchists were radicals, merely holding
the opinions that they promulgate and not putting them into effect,
they would be easy to deal with. That they do more than hold or
preach such opinions makes dealing with them the more difficult.
In the first instance they would be harmless, but in the second
they are a menace to civilization.
“A year ago one of the best and most
beneficent monarchs was killed by an insane person—by the act of
a maniac, for that is all that Bresci was. The same is true of the
man who shot the President. He had no personal pique against Mr.
McKinley. There is an absence of motive or result of motive that
would in any way benefit the assassin, and for that reason, if for
no other, I hold that the man was insane.”