Einstein letter urging free world to attack Nazi Germany revealed

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Albert Einstein (AP; Kedem Auction House)

Despite his pacifist leanings, Albert Einstein urged confrontation against Germany.

A rare handwritten, signed letter by Albert Einstein is up for auction at the Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem.

The letter, addressed to the Danish journalist Karen Stampe Bendix in 1936, was written against the backdrop of the threat posed by Nazi Germany’s rapid mobilization in conjunction with its escalating political extremism, and the increasing likelihood of another war.

Despite his decidedly pacifistic worldview, Albert Einstein insisted that under the prevailing circumstances, there was no choice but to confront Germany and even take the initiative in doing so.

He took issue with the conciliatory stance of the powers of the free world, writing, “Most regrettable is the feeble stance of England, insofar as it indeed postpones the start of war, but certainly cannot prevent it.”

“It would have been best to intervene already three years ago. There are diseases that cannot be overcome without surgery. I cannot deny this even though I abhor the knife.”

Einstein implored Stampe to take comfort in her own situation, as much as Denmark, her native country, “is unthreatened by the impending turbulence.” He tells her that “even if it is economically difficult, there is yet strange consolation in that no place on earth is in a better situation.”

The scientist’s prediction about Denmark turned out to be inaccurate. Despite the two countries having signed a non-aggression pact, German forces invaded and occupied Denmark in 1940. In 1943, 7,200 Danish Jews were covertly smuggled into Sweden by boat.

The letter ends with a description of the prevailing sentiment in the United States: “There is heavy unemployment here as well, and unlike the situation in the past, [there is] a mood of pessimistic resignation with the state of affairs. On the other hand, the difficult circumstances here have not led to the heated political passions so familiar to us from Europe.”

“For his entire life, Albert Einstein regarded himself as a passionate pacifist. With every fiber of his being, he opposed military conflict in all its forms,” said Meron Eren, Kedem Auction House CEO and co-founder.

However, “Despite his longstanding commitment to pacifism, Nazi militarism and Adolf Hitler’s aggressive territorial ambitions convinced Einstein that Nazi ideology posed a clear and present danger to both European Jewry and European civilization, and that Hitler must be stopped at all costs, sooner rather than later.”

A 1954 letter sharing his thoughts on God and religion was sold at an auction for nearly $2.9 million.

Other handwritten letters that have been auctioned include a 1936 letter describing antisemitism in American academia and a 1946 letter describing his theory of relativity.

(World Israel News).

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