"THIS LETTER GOES TO YOU ON THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE BOMBING OF HIROSHIMA… THE RELEASE OF THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY FORCE SINCE THE DISCOVERY OF FIRE": 1947 ALBERT EINSTEIN FUNDRAISING LETTER FOR THE EMERGENCY COMMITTEE OF ATOMIC SCIENTISTS, SIGNED BY HIM
EINSTEIN, Albert. Typed letter signed. Princeton: Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, August 6th, 1947. Two leaves, typed on rectos, for two pages . Wove letterhead stationery measures 8-1/2 by 11 inches; matted and framed, entire piece measures 27 by 15-1/2 inches. $22,500.
Fantastic typed letter signed by Einstein, soliciting funds for a program of public education "so that the American people will understand all that is at stake" when it comes to atomic energy and nuclear weapons. "We believe that with such understanding, the American people will choose from among many paths to reach a peaceful solution… and not toward war."
In May 1946, Albert Einstein, Linus Pauling, and other atomic scientists formed a corporation, whose mission was to discharge "our inescapable responsibility to carry to our fellow citizens an understanding of the simple facts of atomic energy and its implications for society." To attain this objective the Committee solicited private contributions in support of educational programs that publicized the potential uses and misuses of atomic energy. These programs had as their main objective some form of international control of the atomic bomb such as the Baruch Plan submitted to the United Nations in 1946 (Cohen, 436). Einstein became one of the nation's most prominent leaders in opposing nuclear proliferation, and correctly identified the Soviet Union as the most important country to seek understanding with—it was during this same summer of 1947 that the 'Doomsday Clock' was established, an iconic symbol of the nuclear catastrophe associated with the Cold War. Within two years the Soviet Union conducted their first atomic test, igniting a massive global arms race; despite this, the world has thus far heeded Einstein's urgent warning and resisted nuclear warfare.
In this fundraising letter, Einstein reminds his reader that "In the shadow of the atomic bomb, it has become apparent that all men are brothers. If we recognize this as truth and act upon this recognition, mankind may go forward to a higher plane of human development. If the angry passions of a nationalistic world engulf us further, we are doomed." Einstein's concern persisted for the rest of his life: a week before his death in 1955, he signed "a pacifist, antinuclear manifesto being circulated by the philosopher Bertrand Russell" (Simmons, 14). Einstein did send this fundraising letter to multiple individuals, though it remains extremely scarce. The letter is addressed to Dr. O.O. Fisher of Detroit, Michigan.
Faint fold lines. Fine condition, Einstein's signature bold and clear. A wonderful letter demonstrative of Einstein's political voice and leadership.