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Eight Months Before Hiroshima, Einstein Warns That New Technology & Preemptive Strikes Will Cause WWIII
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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.

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.

Inventory #24333       Price: $10,000

Complete Translation

January 18, 1945

Dr. I. W. Held

2 East 95th Street

New York City

Dear Dr. Held:

            I would like to express my sincere thanks for the little book that, by the way, I read already some weeks ago. I find the book not bad, but under the current circumstances psychologically misguided. If indeed – even under the current circumstances – the prospects for the creation of an effective supranational authority are slim, it still seems very unpleasant to me to work journalistically toward the paralyzing of this great effort. After all, 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.

                                                                        With kind regards

                                                                        Your

                                                                        A. Einstein.

Historical Background

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, so 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, which, by my rudimentary calculations, should be more than enough to justify its existence. 

In October 1947, Einstein sent an open letter to the General Assembly of the United Nations, in which he wrote, “the United Nations is an extremely important and useful institution provided the peoples and Governments of the world realize that it is merely a transitional system toward the final goal, which is the establishment of a supranational authority vested with sufficient legislative and executive powers to keep the peace.”

 

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was born in the Kingdom of Wurttemberg in the German Empire to non-observant Ashkenazi Jewish parents. In 1894, the Einstein family moved to Italy. Einstein went to Switzerland to finish his secondary schooling, and graduated from the Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zürich in 1900. In 1903, he married Mileva Marić (1875-1948), with whom he had two sons. In 1919, they divorced and he married his cousin Elsa Löwenthal. In 1905, he received a Ph.D. from the University of Zürich. From 1908 to 1932, he taught at a series of universities in Switzerland, the Austrian Empire, and the German Empire. As a theoretical physicist, he published ground-breaking papers as early as 1905 and developed the theory of relativity including the mass–energy equivalence formula, E = mc2. In 1922, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the photoelectric effect. In January 1933, when Adolph Hitler came to power, Einstein was visiting the United States and remained here, becoming a citizen in 1940. A year earlier, he signed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt warning that Germany could develop a nuclear bomb, and urging the U.S. to become involved in uranium research, thus beginning the “Manhattan project.” Though he focused on the need to defeat Hitler during the war, afterwards he became known for efforts to further world peace. At the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., from 1933 until his death in 1955, he worked unsuccessfully to develop a unified field theory and to refute the accepted interpretation of quantum physics. Considered the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects of history, Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers and over 150 non-scientific works.

Isidore W. Held (1876-1947) was born in Austria and received his medical education in Philadelphia. He did post-graduate study in Berlin and Vienna and settled in New York City. He was the author of 86 monographs on medical subjects and translated a number of German medical books into English. For nearly forty years, Held served as a physician at Beth Israel Hospital in New York City. He was also very active in Jewish community affairs.

Condition

Wrinkling and old folding creases, tiny tears along three folds.


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