Russell-Einstein Manifesto

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The Russell-Einstein Manifesto or the Russell-Einstein Declaration refers to a manifesto on the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, mainly written by Bertrand Russell in 1955 in London and published on July 9, 1955 . The manifesto was signed by ten other renowned scientists alongside Bertrand Russell and laid the foundation for the Pugwash conference .

Classification and key messages

The "Russell Einstein Manifesto" was based on a conversation between Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein , who had died in April 1955 and had given his signature in the last days of his life. The specific temporal reference to the height of the Cold War between the western and eastern alliance systems was the five hydrogen bomb tests carried out by the USA on the Bikini Atoll from February to May 1954, which had contaminated large areas. The destructive effects of radioactive fallout after the Bravo tests in the course of the “Castle” atomic bomb test series on the Marshall Islands and after the resulting contamination of the islanders and the crew of a Japanese fishing boat became a topic of global discussion. The youngest signatory, Józef Rotblat , had participated in the Manhattan project . In the following decades he became "the most active advocate of the contents of the manifesto".

The manifesto made the following statements, among others:

  • Mankind should become aware that the use of hydrogen bombs would not “only” wipe out cities, but that the very existence of all mankind would be threatened.
  • The massive depletion of nuclear stocks is an important first step in reducing international tensions.
  • The peaceful resolution of international conflicts is a necessity.
  • Only through a return to one's own humanity and the conscious decision against armed conflict can the continued existence of humanity be secured.


We shall try to say no single word which should appeal to one group rather than to another. All, equally, are in peril, and, if the peril is understood, there is hope that they may collectively avert it.
Analogous translation:
We will try not to utter a single word which one side likes more than the other. All are equally at risk, and if the danger is understood, there is hope that together we can avert it.
It is feared that if many H-bombs are used there will be universal death, sudden only for a minority, but for the majority a slow torture of disease and disintegration.
Analogous translation:
It is feared that if many hydrogen bombs are used around the world, people will die, only a minority of them immediately, but the majority slowly and excruciatingly from disease and decay.


The following scholars have signed the manifesto:

Even Otto Hahn , on whose initiative a few days later on July 15, 1955 Mainau Declaration of Nobel Prize winners was published, had been asked by Bertrand Russell to sign, but said from: "The Russell call brings in the newspapers about the content of our Manifest. But because of the one-sided left tendency I had refused Russell to sign. "

Individual evidence

  1. Götz Neuneck and Michael Schaaf (eds.): On the history of the Pugwash movement in Germany , publication by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science , Berlin 2005.
  2. Abolish War, in: Junge Welt, October 1, 2016, p. 3)
  3. Vanessa Aufenanger, Nele Friedrichsen, Stephan Koch (eds.), Justice and Responsibility in Climate and Energy Policy, Münster 2010, p. 77.
  4. Vanessa Aufenanger, Nele Friedrichsen, Stephan Koch (eds.), Justice and Responsibility in Climate and Energy Policy, Münster 2010, pp. 77, 81.
  5. Dietrich Hahn (Ed.): Otto Hahn - founder of the atomic age. A biography in pictures and documents . List Verlag, Munich, 1979. p. 249.

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