Lot 281: World War II–dated TLS signed "A. Einstein," one page, 8.5 x 11, blindstamped personal letterhead, March 30, 1942. Letter to John G. Moore. In full: "During the twenties I advocated repeatedly for refusal of military service. I am still of the opinion that to make war impossible is one of the most important goals of humanity. On the other hand I recognized that refusal of military service could not be endorsed any longer since in certain countries the resistance to compulsory military service became impossible. As long as these conditions prevail everyone has the duty to do his best to protect the rest of the world by doing his share in the fighting. The fight for the pacifist goal is more needed than ever in our time. The only means to reach this goal is, in my opinion, international organization for the enforcement of military security for the whole world." Intersecting folds (one vertical fold passing through a single letter of the signature), sets of staple holes along the edges, mounting remnants along the top, and a few small stains, otherwise fine condition. At the time of this letter, the United States had just entered the war and the Manhattan Project had begun about six months earlier. In 1939, Einstein suppressed his pacifist ideals and played an integral role in convincing the US to develop atomic weaponry, only to later call it his greatest regret. As he makes clear in this letter, Einstein maintained his pacifist philosophy but recognized the necessity of military action in ending the war. After the war he co-founded the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists in an effort to warn the public of the dangers associated with the development of nuclear weapons. A remarkable letter commenting on his ideals as World War II barreled toward its zenith.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 458
Wednesday, 12th August 2015
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