Albert Einstein

Einstein Displays His Amazing Socio-Political Insight & His Complex Mathematical Mind

Einstein Displays His Amazing Socio-Political Insight & His Complex Mathematical Mind

Typed Letter (Unsigned), One page, Quarto, dated October 8, 1950.  A carbon copy of a letter written in English in response to an earlier three-page letter from Mark van Doren, the verso of which Einstein has written out a full page of Handwritten Mathematical Computations and Formulas.  In the response to Van Doren’s letter, Einstein explains why he has not signed the statement prepared by Van Doren urging the prohibition of German remilitarization.


Einstein writes (in full):


“Mr. Mark van Doren

Suite 825

515 Madison Ave.

New York 22, N.Y.


My dear Mr. van Doren:

      I have not signed the statement you sent me in August although I am in full agreement with its content.  The reason is simply that I have to avoid the impression that I do disagree only with the rearmament of Germany.  In reality this rearmament is only one link in the chain of measures our government has followed since Roosevelt's death and which, in my opinion, will lead to disastrous consequences in the future.

                                                                  Sincerely yours,

                                                                  Albert Einstein”


On the verso of the “Statement on German Rearmament” supplied by Van Doren, Einstein has written out (in pencil) a full page of Handwritten Mathematical Formulas.



Text of original letter and statement are as follows (in full):



515 Madison Ave., Suite 825

New York 22, N.Y.

                                                                                          August 21, 1950


Dear Friend:

                    As you know the United Nations' action in Korea is designed to prevent the spreading of aggression to other parts of the world.  Needless to say, this important objective can be accomplished if the United Nations receive the wholehearted cooperation of all nations to refrain from any actions that would aggravate the present crisis.

                    With this in mind may I call your attention to current developments in Germany which may well undermine the efforts of the United Nations.  I am referring to the increasing danger of a remilitarized Germany.  If this were to occur the world would be confronted with a long step toward a third world war.  Certainly, the American people who ardently seek a just peace should be informed of the dangers lurking in the present German situation before it is too late.  This is the purpose of the statement which I enclose herewith.

                    As you can see the statement does come to grips with the basic considerations surrounding the issue of German rearmament.  It makes concrete recommendations which both in letter and spirit are in harmony with the charter of the United Nations and the security of the West.  It is my hope that a large group of public-spirited citizens will join me in signing this declaration, which will be releases to the press and forwarded to the President of the United States.  As one who has been active in the fight for peace, I hope that you will be among those who will sign this important statement.

                                                                  Sincerely yours,

                                                                  MARK VAN DOREN”



                                                                              “August 21, 1950



      In dealing with the Korean crisis the United Nations called for the cooperation of all governments to prevent the conflict from spreading to other parts of the world.  Toward that end, the United States pledged its full support and the President has assured the American people that the action taken in Korea is designed to avert the catastrophe of a third world war.

      Yet this dangerous moment, when world peace hangs in the balance, has been seized by German master-minds to evade the consequences of their aggressions, and to prepare the groundwork for resurgent German military might.  Since the end of World War II the Germans have sought by every possible means to play off East against West.  They have gone further by artfully fostering a climate of fear, suspicion, and instability among our Western Allies.  The German strategy thrives on crises as the means to extract concession after concession, aiming at the eventual rebuilding of Germany's war-making power.  The German militarists and their friends see in the Korean conflict the pay-off for their long range plans to revive their arsenal for war.

      The efforts of the United Nations to isolate the Korean conflict will be gravely impaired if Germany is permitted to produce war material and re-establish military forces.  Since Germany has been a major bone of contention between the Russian and the Western democracies, it is inevitable that the recreation of German war potential and armed forces will provide the Russians with a legitimate pretext to further strengthen the military power of the Germans in the Soviet zone of occupation.  This would touch off a race between East and West to rearm the Germans, thereby increasing tensions to a point where the smallest incident could set off a new conflagration. 

      It is stated that rearming the Germans is a military expediency; as if it were conceivable that a West German army would fight against an East German army!  In the long run, however, it will hasten the disaffection of our most reliable friends in Europe, thus nullifying any possible short-term military advantages that may be gained.  Indeed, even as a military policy, the strengthening of Germany's war potential may turn out to be a booby-trap for the West.

      The free world must not fall prey to the delusion that present-day Germany is a reliable bulwark of democracy.  The free world cannot effectively meet the Communist challenge by resorting to short-sighted military policies which ignore the nefarious record of the Germans and bypass those political and moral factors which will ultimately determine the fate of Western solidarity. 

      The United States must not permit itself to appear as the initiator of German rearmament at a moment when we are endeavoring to strengthen the moral, military, and political unity of the Western democracies.  Psychologically, the United States would be committing a terrible blunder by remilitarizing the Germans, who only recently ravaged the lands and homes of our Western Allies.  It would create bitter disillusionment among the victims of Nazi aggression and alienate them from our common cause.  What better propaganda could anti-American elements possess than to place the onus of the remilitarization of Germany on the United States!

      Western Europe has been assured time and again that German recovery did not mean German rearmament.  In the Petersberg agreement of November 25, 1949, the Bonn Government pledged:  "its earnest determination to maintain the demilitarization of the Federal territory and to endeavor by all means in its power to prevent the recreation of armed forces of any kind.  To this end, the Federal Government will cooperate fully with the High Commission in the work of the Military Security Board."  If we are not to break faith with Western Europe this agreement must be respected in letter and spirit.

      In the long run the United States will be in a far stronger position morally and politically if it continues to press for an iron-clad agreement prohibiting the remilitarization of the Germans by any State.  As the international organization responsible for the maintenance of world peace and security, the United Nations should be encouraged by our government to bring about such an agreement.  This policy would be in complete harmony with the basic objective of the United Nations in Korea, namely to preserve world peace.”  



Mathematical notations on verso are not transcribed.


Item: 66309

Price: $25,000.00
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Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
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