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INV-24333 ALBERT EINSTEIN Typed Letter Signed, in German, January 18, 1945, 1 p, 4to, Princeton, to Dr. Isidore Held, on blindstamped letterhead. 8 x 11 in. 1945-01-18

when one stops mid-stream, the next world war is certain already today. This is all the more the case when modern technical development is leading more and more to a pre-emptive war by the fact that a surprise attack is extraordinarily superior to the defense.

Though a lifelong pacifist, Einstein was pragmatic about self-defense and the need to defeat the evil of Nazism. Einstein co-signed the pivotal letter (with Leo Szilard) in 1939, alerting President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the possibility of an atomic bomb. Clearly, the "modern technical development" was the Atomic Bomb, and with the existence of the Manhattan Project being top secret, Einstein could not expand on his thought here.

The “little book” his friend Dr. Isidore Held had sent in January 1945 apparently opposed the creation of a supranational body – ultimately, the United Nations.  Einstein was passionately committed to global peace, and here he expresses the need to support, not attack, the formation of such an authority.

Since then, under threat of preemptive war or the doctrine of mutually assured destruction, false alarms brought us "this close" to nuclear war several times. Despite its many flaws, the U.N. played an important role in reducing the imminent threat of annihilation more than once.

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