In November of 1947, Albert Einstein offered the United States and the international community advice on how to coexist under the looming threat of nuclear war. An excerpt from his article in The Atlantic, “Atomic War or Peace,” has been animated in the video above.
Today, as the Trump administration appears to be considering nuclear war with North Korea, Einstein’s words resonate once again. In his article, the German-born Nobel Prize-winner cautioned against fear-mongering, which he believed only increases international antagonism. Einstein did condone nuclear programs, but only as a necessary evil for deterrence; he believed the atomic bomb should never again be deployed.
“I am not saying that the United States should not manufacture and stockpile the bomb, for I believe that it must do so; it must be able to deter another nation from making an atomic attack when it also has the bomb,” Einstein said. “To keep a stockpile of atomic bombs without promising not to initiate its use is exploiting the possession of bombs for political ends….Unless there is a determination not to use [atomic bombs] that is stronger than can be noted today among American political and military leaders, and on the part of the public itself, atomic warfare will be hard to avoid.”