Published On: Mon, Oct 21st, 2019

Albert Einstein’s letter pleading for the atomic bomb never to be used again – for sale | World | News

Years later, Einstein signed a letter to US President Franklin D Roosevelt backing the building of an atomic bomb in the war against Germany. But he changed his stance after being left horrified by the death and devastation caused when they were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. After the war, he helped set up the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists to “prevent such tragedies in the future”, as one letter said. In the four letters that have now come to light, he said the weapons of mass destruction must be scrapped. 

The letters were sent to businessman Cleveland E Dodge, one of the campaign’s supporters. 

Einstein, a known pacifist, had invited Dodge to a conference at Princeton University to discuss the “problems of atomic energy control”. 

He wrote in October 1946: “At stake is the fate of our civilisation.” 

In another letter that year he wrote: “Through the release of atomic energy, our generation has brought into the world the most revolutionary force since prehistoric man’s discovery of fire.” 

The four letters are being sold from the Dodge family archive with auctioneer Bonhams. 

A spokesman said: “Einstein was aghast at the dropping of the atomic bomb. This is an important collection of letters, poignantly capturing a moment of American and world crisis.” 

The sale takes place in New York tomorrow. 

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