Lot 120 - Albert Einstein signed letter (ii)
A hand typed letter from Albert Einstein, on embossed headed paper 112, Mercer Street, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A., measuring approximately 8½" x 11".
A second (unsigned) letter is included. This is Einstein's copy of the letter he (Einstein) sent to William Frauenglass, a Brooklyn high school teacher under investigation by the Senate Internal Security subcommittee during the McCarthy era. This letter was published in The New York Times on June 12, 1953.
Letter One, dated January 26, 1954, reads in full:
"Dear Mr Lamont:
I gladly give you permission to include in your pamphlet my letter to Mr Frauenglass. I am sending you here a copy of it for the reason that Mr Frauenglass used (I am sorry to say with my consent) a somewhat mutilated version. The enclosed is the copy of the original letter.
Einstein has signed the bottom of the letter in black ink 'A. Einstein' adding the handwritten annotation "Best wishes and greetings!"
Einstein includes a copy of the letter he wrote to Mr Frauenglass, in full:
"Dear Mr Frauenglass
The problem with which the intellectuals of this country are confronted is very serious. The reactionary politicians have managed to instill suspicion of all intellectual efforts into the public by dangling before their eyes a danger from without. Having succeeded so far they are now proceeding to suppress the freedom of teaching and to deprive of their positions all those who do not prove submissive, i.e. to starve them.
What ought the minority of intellectuals to do against this evil? Frankly, I can only see the revolutionary way of non-cooperation in the sense of Ghandi's. Every intellectual who is called before one of the committees ought to refuse to testify i.e. he must be prepared for jail and economic ruin, in short, for the sacrifice of his personal welfare in the interest of the cultural welfare of the country.
However, this refusal to testify must not be based on the well-known subterfuge of invoking the Fifth Amendment against possible self-incrimination, but on the assertion that it is shameful for a blameless citizen to submit to such an inquisition and that this kind of inquisition violates the spirit of the Constitution.
If enough people are ready to take this grave step they will be successful. If not, then the intellectuals of this country deserve nothing better than the slavery which is intended for them.
Corliss Lamont (March 28, 1902 – April 26, 1995), was a socialist philosopher, and advocate of various left-wing and civil liberties causes. As a part of his political activities he was the Chairman of National Council of American-Soviet Friendship starting from early 1940s.
End Date: 2013-02-28 19:04:12