Richmond, Surrey: NP, 1951. Manuscript. Quarto. 2 Leaves. Original typed letter from and signed by Bertrand Russel to Aubrey Hodes. In this personal letter of one and a half pages written and signed by Bertrand Russell to the fellow thinker and biographer Aubrey Hodes, Russell expresses his sympathy for Hodes' perplexity regarding the problem of war and assures him that he will do his best to convey his thoughts on the subject, not without stressing that the complexity of the matter doesn't allow any feeling of certainty on his part.
Russell elaborates on his different positions regarding the two Great Wars. In the first World War Russell was against England's involvement and was imprisoned for his public lectures against inviting the US to enter the war as a British ally. During WWII Russell condoned England's involvement weighing the drastically different states of the world before and during the two wars, acknowledging the true nature of the Nazis as his main reason.
Russell goes on to give his opinion on the Arab Israeli situation, "I certainly feel that if I were in your place I should fight if the Arabs made an unprovoked attack". However, he suggests to seek a diplomatic solution in all other cases, fully aware of the complexity of the matter at hand. He closed the letter with remarks on "concientious objection" and lays out an imagined practical scenario as to how how it might play out in society during a major crisis. Stapled and folded to fit envelope and with light creasing at corners. Item #42944
Aubrey Hodes was a journalist and is best known for his friendship with and works on Martin Buber: "Encounter with Martin Buber" and "Martin Buber, an intimate portrait." Hodes was active in the Unity Movement which was dedicated to forging a bi-national Palestinian state representing Jews and Arabs alike. Inspiried by the letter at hand Hodes solicited a comment on the subject from Russell four years later in 1955. Russell's response to that second letter suggets to submit the disputes to the United Nations and work towards asettlemet by mutual arbitration, very much in keeping with our earlier letter. Russell's response appeared on the front page of "Ner" in Tel Aviv in December 1955 (Andrew G. Bone (ed.), Détente or Distruction, 1955–1957, Volume 29, The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell). The letter published in "Ner" sent from the same address as our letter.