“…Albert Einstein signed a letter to the American President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 2, 1939 to tell him about the possible danger of atomic bombs.”

From Albert Einstein in the World Wide Web (

Short life history: Franklin Delano Roosevelt

* January 30, 1882 Hyde Park, New York, † April 12, 1945 Warm Springs, Georgia

In 1910 the solicitor Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to the senate of New York as democratic candidate. Thus his political career began. In 1905 he had married his cousin Eleanor Roosevelt, a niece of Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919, 26th President of the United States).

From 1913–1920 he worked as undersecretary in the Ministry for Marine. During World War I he pleaded for the USA to participate in the war. In 1920 Roosevelt ran for the office of the Vice President, but without success. In 1921 he fell ill with infantile paralysis under whose effects he suffered for the rest of his life. Thereupon he backed out of public life for several years.

Despite the remaining paralysis he went back into politics and in 1928 became governor of New York. In 1932 he beat the republican and current president Herbert Clark Hoover (1874–1964) in the presidential elections and became 32nd President of the United States. In 1936, 1940 and 1944 he was re-elected and thus became the president with the longest time in office in the United States.

To overcome the consequences of the world economic crisis he propagated the “New Deal”. In doing this he allowed for a development into a modern welfare state. By employment-creation measures, working time shortage, increase in minimum wages, introduction of a work, accident and unemployment insurance, etc. Roosevelt tried to solve domestic problems and thus secured himself also a wide acceptance throughout the population.

In foreign policy he made propaganda towards Latin America for a policy of good neighbourhood. In 1933 the United States accepted the UdSSR. Furthermore he tried to limit Japanese expansion policies and to isolate the totalitarian states Germany and Italy. Since September 1939 there had been war in Europe. Roosevelt declared the neutrality of the United States. The course of war, however, brought about that the US lost their neutrality step by step and began to wage war against Adolf Hitler (1889–1945). Roosevelt sought the support of Great Britain and France and delivered war material to these countries. In August 1941 he declared the Atlantic Charta (after war politics) together with Winston Churchill (1874–1965).

In a letter signed by the physician Albert Einstein (1879–1955) Roosevelt received in August 1939 the information of the possibility of atomic danger. Thus it should be possible to produce bombs of a new kind (atomic bombs) with an extreme force of destruction. Furthermore he mentions in the letter that Germany had stopped selling uranium and that it experimented with it. Among other things the “Manhattan Project” was brought to life through this letter, which finally ended in the production of the first atomic bomb.

In 1941, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the German war declaration, the United States entered the war. Roosevelt and his allies firstly planned an action against the axial empires in Europe and then against Japan.

From 1943 to 1945 Roosevelt had discussions with W. Churchill and Josef W. Stalin (1879–1953) on conferences in Casablanca, in Teheran and Jalta about the continuation of war and the post-war policy. Roosevelt also made a contribution to the foundation of the UN (United Nations).

On April 12, 1945, shortly before the end of war in Europe, Franklin D. Roosevelt died. The war in Europe ended in May 1945.

Harry Spencer Truman (1884–1972) became Roosevelt’s successor as President of the United States. The war between the United States and Japan was ended in August 1945 with the dropping of atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.