1231) Albert Einstein's Partial Solution to Nazi Persecution: Turkey

Union des Sociétés "OSE"
Pour la Protection de la Santé des Populations Juives

17 September, 1933

Your Excellency.

As Honorary President of the World Union "OSE" I beg to apply to Your Excellency to allow fo[u]rty professors and doctors from Germany to continue their scientific and medical work in Turkey. The above mentioned cannot practise further in Germany on account of the laws governing there now. The majority of these men possess vast experience, knowledge and scientific merits and could prove very useful when settling in a new country.

Out of a great number of applicants our Union has chosen fo[u]rty experienced specialists and prominent scholars, and is herewith applying to Your Excellency to permit these men to settle and practise in your country. These scientists are willing to work for a year without any remuneration in any of your institutions according to the orders of your Government.

In supporting this application, I take the liberty to express my hope, that in granting this request your Government will not only perform an act of high humanity, but will also bring profit to your own country.

I have the honor to be,

Your Excellency's obedient servant,

(Prof. Albert Einstein)

His Excellency
The President of the Cabinet of Ministers
of the Turkish Republic

Prof. Einstein might have been aware that the nation of Turks had served as perhaps history's greatest defender of Judaism, at least before the United States took over the role, for less pure-hearted reasons. Turkey saved thousands of Jews during World War II.

Turkish "Schindlers" are estimated to have saved the lives of 10,000. Many Jews found refuge in Turkey during those "Desperate Hours," the title of an excellent documentary on this subject. Einstein himself was slated to come to Turkey, until he got a better offer in the USA. In 1934, some 130 Jewish or partly Jewish (and 70 who were not Jewish) academics were welcomed in Turkey, from Germany and Austria... possibly an increased number from the forty Einstein was humbly seeking to be granted refuge, in the letter above.

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