Albert Einstein Typed Letter Signed "A. Einstein." One page, 8.5" x 11", on his personal letterhead, Princeton [New Jersey], December 6, 1950. Writing to Nan Mizrachi during the first months of the Korean War (and the early days of the Cold War), Einstein, a lifelong pacifist, expresses his concern over the growing sense of militarism in post-Second World War America, in full:

    "I have publicly and repeatedly warned the American public against the military mentality and have compared this state of mind with that which prevailed in Germany since the time of Wilhelm II. I have also said that an eventual debacle is inevitable if this road is followed further. It was of no avail and it would be even less effective if repeated in these days of general excitement. We can only hope that the latest events may have a wholesome influence."

    Like many during the Cold War, Albert Einstein was apprehensive about the prospect of a nuclear arms race and nuclear war, however, unlike those others, Einstein had a direct hand in the proliferation of nuclear weapons. During the 1930s, scientists in Germany were attempting to harness nuclear fission to craft a weapon of unspeakable power. Many of these scientists were Jews and fled Germany after the rise of the Nazi Party. When they reached the United States, they expressed their anxiety over the German weapons program, but the U. S. government paid them little heed. In 1939, Einstein co-authored a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt warning him about the strides German scientists were making in nuclear research and urging him to do the same. Due to his prestige, Roosevelt listened, and his letter and advice led directly to the creation of the Manhattan Project and the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945. It was a decision Einstein would regret until the end of his life.

    Light to moderate, uneven toning; folds are weakened and beginning to separate at the edges, but do not affect the text or the signature, which is small, but bright. Einstein's letterhead is blind embossed at the upper edge.

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    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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