|“The Nations who have to collaborate in a peaceful solution are not only the ‘free people.’ Such expression is a subtle form for the exclusion of a part of the members of the U.N., the collaboration of whom is indispensable for the achievement of the goal...”|
Important letter by Einstein on his inclusive vision for world peace.
Florence Baldwin, on behalf the National Citizen’s Committee for United Nations Day, wrote to Einstein on August 14, 1950, asking his permission to use statements attributed to him in the promotional material for United Nations Day, which was to be celebrated on October 24, 1950. Specifically, Baldwin requested that Einstein approve the use of the text:
Albert Einstein says:
“The support of the United Nations by the World’s free peoples may avert a World War.”
Here is a a great American. A great citizen of the world. A man who thinks deeply about problems of war and peace.
Here is what he says: “The United Nations was established to help avert another World War. Whatever its other purposes - and they are many, and it has served them admirably - that is the purpose to which the people look with the most fervent hope.
“This hope has been buoyed by the prompt action of the United Nations in resisting aggression. This action, if followed by further strengthening of the United Nations by the world’s free peoples... could result in averting a third World War.”
So speaks a man who appreciates - as few can - what the horror of an Atomic War could be.
Einstein’s letter in response, typed on Einstein’s Mercer Street, Princeton letterhead, is dated August 15, 1950, and reads in full:
My dear Miss Baldwin:
I received your letter of August 14th. I am ready to testify that the United Nations represent my only hope in the attempt to overcome the present dangerous international situation. On the other hand, I cannot approve everything the United Nations have done and have omitted to do. There are also implications in the proposed statement which are, in my opinion, disadvantageous for a peaceful solution of the present crisis. I am alluding to the passus “The support of the U.N. by the world’s free people can avert a World War.” The Nations who have to collaborate in a peaceful solution are not only the “free people.” Such expression is a subtle form for the exclusion of a part of the members of the U.N., the collaboration of whom is indispensable for the achievement of the goal.
For those reason [sic] I am unable to sign the statement you have submitted to me.
Included with Einstein’s letter are carbons of Baldwin’s correspondence with Einstein (with notes - presumably by Baldwin - in pencil), including her initial letter and her follow-up letter (where she notes in pencil that after visiting with Einstein on August 31 in Princeton he still refused to grant permission to use his quotes), a copy of the intended press release (both as a carbon and a page mock-up), and a carbon of promotional text by Eleanor Roosevelt.
One page, 8.5 x 11, on Einstein’s blind-stamped personal letterhead, August 15, 1950. Generally fine, with some light edge toning, and a crease to the lower right corner. Handsomely presented in a museum-quality frame with UV-protected glass alongside an Einstein portrait and nameplate. Additional related materials housed in custom three-quarter morocco box.
An excellent letter revealing Einstein’s deep conviction about the necessity for a united world in the quest to achieve world peace.
|Location of Origin: North America|
|Medium/Materials: One page, handsomely presented in a museum-quality frame with UV-protected glass alongside an Einstein portrait and nameplate. A|
|Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 in|
|Primary Classification: Books, Manuscripts, and Maps : Historical Documents, Letters & Autographs|
|After the Second World War, Einstein was deeply concerned about the possibility of nuclear war and was committed to working for solutions for world peace. While he supported much of the work of the U.N., he believed there would ultimately have to be a world government to achieve the goal of “one world” with shared interest in its preservation. As he concluded in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in 1947, “The United Nations now and world Government eventually must serve one single goal the guarantee of the security, tranquillity, and the welfare of all mankind.”|
It is not surprising, then, that Einstein objected to the exclusionary nature of the quote Baldwin cited. Einstein was emphatic that a future world war could only be achieved if every country had a voice and stake in the United Nations.
|Item Condition:||Generally fine, with some light edge toning, and a crease to the lower right corner.|
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