10 Important Historical Letters Nearly Lost To Time

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8. Hitler’s Letter Of Leave

On March 1, 1932, Adolf Hitler wrote a letter to the State of Brunswick requesting a leave so he could be allowed to campaign in the forthcoming presidential election for the Reich. The letter was written four days after he officially became a German citizen. Hitler was originally an Austrian citizen and only became a German citizen after he was employed by the state. Hitler went ahead to contest the election and lost out to the incumbent Paul von Hindenburg. However, he was appointed chancellor by Hindenburg the year after.

The letter contained lots of errors. It was predominantly about Hitler’s request for time off until the “end of the time for the selection of the next President of the Reich.” The letter only emerged a few years ago and was expected to sell for more than £5,000 at auction.

7. Albert Einstein To President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Albert Einstein’s 1939 letter to President Franklin Roosevelt is described as one of the most significant letters in recent history. In the letter, Einstein cautioned the president that the Germans may develop a powerful weapon. That letter was later described by Einstein as one of the greatest mistakes of his life. Some historians believe that the letter was likely drafted by Leo Szilard with Einstein only applying his signature to it.

Little is known about the other three letters Einstein sent to President Roosevelt. While the first two were to advise the president and give suggestions, the last one (which was not delivered to the president before he died) was seeking a favor. The final letter, also possibly penned by Szilard, stated that it was Szilard himself who first brought up the concept of nuclear weaponry. The letter contained a request that the president and his cabinet meet personally with Szilard and his fellow scientists to discuss the matter.

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