Description

    Albert Einstein denounces the Japanese invasion of Manchuria

    Albert Einstein Historically Important Handwritten Speech (Unsigned). One page, 8" x 7.5", August 26, 1932. Penned in German on the verso of a telegram requesting that Einstein attend an anti-war convention in Amsterdam, the telegram reads: "Your presence Anti War Convention Amsterdam 26 of August of major importance - Absence will be interpreted as vote of no confidence towards the event - Implore you to come to Amsterdam - Romain Rolland Paul Signac Maxim Gorki are telegraphing."

    On the verso Einstein has hastily, and somewhat excitedly, penned a draft speech or essay, perhaps to deliver at the forthcoming convention mentioned on the recto of this document. The speech reads: "When Japan attacked Manchuria the conscience of the civilized world was not strong enough to prevent this injustice. The business interests of the war industries have proven to be stronger than the urge for justice among the nations. Now it becomes clear to everybody that behind this attack lies the intention to weaken Russia as well through a military attack and to prevent its economic development. Everyone who believes in a healthy development of international law-regardless of their political and economic conditions-must make use of their influence so that finally order and a just and planned decision making will replace raw violence and never-ending greed. Everyone who watches passively becomes guilty of participating in this crime which is impending heavily on our culture. As soon as the will for justice is strengthened within the major countries of this world the path towards justice will be discovered. May this convention contribute to those who govern the super powers, through public opinion, to prevent future disasters."

    Between World War I and World War II, Manchuria became a political and military battleground. Japanese influence extended into Outer Manchuria in the wake of the Russian Revolution of 1917, but Outer Manchuria had reverted to Soviet Russian control by 1925. Japan took advantage of the disorder following the Russian Revolution to occupy Outer Manchuria, but Soviet successes and American economic pressure forced Japanese withdrawal. During the period of the warlords in China, Chang Tso-Lin established himself in Inner Manchuria but, being too dependent on the increasing Japanese influence, was murdered; the last Manchu emperor, Pu Yi, was then placed on the throne to lead a Japanese puppet government. Inner Manchuria was proclaimed as an independent state, Manchukuo, which was in reality controlled by the Japanese. Inner Manchuria was thus formally detached from China by Japan in the 1930s to create a buffer zone to defend Japan from Russian's Southing Strategy and, with Japanese investment and rich natural resources, became an industrial powerhouse. Prior to World War II, Manchuria was colonized by the Japanese, and Manchukuo was used as a base to invade China, an expensive action (in terms of the damage to men, materiel, and political integrity) that was as costly to Japan as the invasion of Russia was to Nazi Germany, and for the same reasons. Exceptional political content from Einstein at this crucial juncture in world history. As the 1930s unfolded, Germany would succumb to the Nazis, and military imperialism would coerce the nations of the world into yet another global conflict.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2010
    14th-15th Thursday-Friday
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