Einstein letter blasting US policy on Nazis up for auction
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Einstein letter blasting US policy on Nazis up for auction

In pained 1942 message to colleague, renowned physicist says American inaction led by financiers with near-fascist outlook

Albert Einstein, during a lecture in Vienna in 1921. (Wikipedia/public domain)
Albert Einstein, during a lecture in Vienna in 1921. (Wikipedia/public domain)

A letter in which world-celebrated Jewish physicist Albert Einstein criticized insufficient action by the US to halt the actions of Nazi Germany will go under the hammer on April 18.

In the September 3, 1942, letter, Einstein shared his concerns over US policy with his colleague Princeton University President Dr. Frank Kingdon, and used particularly blunt language to describe his thoughts on American leadership.

“You can imagine how the new crimes committed by the Nazis in France make me suffer, crimes assisted to by the ‘fascist’ Vichy-traitors,” he wrote. He questioned Washington’s reluctance to fight fascist powers in France and in Spain, as well as its failure to “assist Russia in her dire need.”

But he asserted that US leadership was “controlled to a large degree by financiers the mentality of whom is near to the fascist frame of mind.

“If Hitler were not a lunatic, he could easily have avoided the hostility of the Western powers. That he is a lunatic is the sole advantage in the present sinister picture of the world,” he stated.

The US began its land operations in the European theater in November of 1942, two months after Einstein’s letter was written.

Despite his criticism, Einstein said he would not comment publicly on the matter, as he believed any response to such a position would be no more than “lame and halfhearted lip-service brought about by pressure from outside.” He also noted that he did not “like to mention those things, especially as one who is grateful having sought and found refuge and protection in this country.”

Einstein had fled Germany to the US in 1933, following the rise of the Nazi regime.

The letter is being offered up for auction by American auctioneers Profiles in History.

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