Reinhold Niebuhr

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Reinhold Niebuhr

Reinhold Niebuhr TLS for Iron Curtain Rescue Committee - 1952

Passionate fundraising letter signed by philosopher Reinhard Niebuhr, in blue fountain pen, dated December 12, 1952 on letterhead for the Iron Curtain Refugee Committee. Fine condition.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in its January 13, 1951 issue, featured a poignant column on this worthy organization, describing it succinctly:

This program, led by Gen. Carl Spaatz of World War II Air Force fame and supported by private contributions, Ames to care for those men, women, and children who are both fortunate and daring enough to have escaped Soviet-dominated lands. More than 300,000 persons have fled from behind the Iron Curtain in the past three years. They are still crossing the borders of freedom at the rate of 1000 per week, though it has been estimated that for every one that succeeds another fails in the attempt. For those who reach sanctuary, hope would be spare indeed but for the work of the rescue committee… More than a work of mercy is involved here, however. These refugees, particularly the more recent ones, are able to provide valuable information as to what is going on behind the Iron Curtain, of which our limited knowledge is a distinct military handicap. These intelligence opportunities are one General Spaatz had in mind when, in accepting the committee chairmanship, he pointed out that beyond its humanitarian worth the Iron Curtain campaign is “vital to our national security.”

Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) was an American theologian, ethicist, public intellectual, commentator on politics and public affairs, and professor at Union Theological Seminary for more than 30 years. Among his most influential books are Moral Man and Immoral Society and The Nature and Destiny of Man, the second of which Modern Library ranked one of the top 20 nonfiction books of the twentieth century.