" Autoritätsdusel ist der größte Feind der Wahrheit. "
" Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth. "
- Letter to Jost Winteler (1901), quoted in The Private Lives of Albert Einstein by Roger Highfield and Paul Carter (1993), p. 79. Einstein had been annoyed that Paul Drude, editor of Annalen der Physik, had dismissed out of hand some criticisms Einstein made of Drude's electron theory of metals.
I don't know if the above is an equivalent but different translation or a misquote, or just easier, or what - but there sure are a lot of image quotes with:
" Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth. "
In looking this up I also came across this one I liked:
" Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly. "
- Letter to Morris Raphael Cohen, professor emeritus of philosophy at the College of the City of New York, defending the appointment of Bertrand Russell to a teaching position (19 March 1940).
- Variant: " Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence and fulfills the duty to express the results of his thoughts in clear form. "