Einstein & the Bomb


In his letter published in the May-June 1970 issue of your magazine, Professor Dennis H. Wrong asserts that Einstein “played a leading role in encouraging his fellow scientists to work for the Manhattan Project.” Professor Wrong obviously based his statement on inaccurate information. Except for sending the famous letter of August 2, 1939, to President Roosevelt (which was followed up by a letter of March 7, 1940, destined for the President) Einstein had no contact whatsoever with the work that eventually led to the construction of the bomb. He did not encourage anyone to join the Manhattan Project, the existence of which was as unknown to him as it was to anyone else outside a very restricted group of government officials and scientists. The dramatic history of Einstein’s part in the initiation of those events is recorded in detail in Chapter IX of Einstein on Peace (New York, Schocken Books, 1968).


Trustee, Estate of Albert Einstein