+++October 17 - Stupidity Day
This is another of my private holidays. I've had it a few years now, and I spend time each Stupidity Day contemplating the bad rewards for evil. That is, I give thanks that some otherwise smart but evil people fail at their awful plans because they miss some important details.
It started when I saw this on a "This Day In History" list.
October 17, 1933
Einstein leaves Germany, for Trenton.
Anyone who knows the history of World War II, AND knows about Albert Einstein, is invited to contemplate what would have happened if Hitler had not persecuted Einstein's people and caused the dozen best brains in his country to leave.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
Actually, what happened is that he was already a tremendously famous genius and had traveled a lot. But by that point, he learned that Hitler had become Chancellor. In early April 1933, he learned that the new German government had passed laws barring Jews from holding any official positions, including teaching at universities. A month later, Einstein's works were among those targeted by Nazi book burnings, and Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels proclaimed, "Jewish intellectualism is dead."
Albert Einstein, a very smart man, decided not to return to Germany. He eventually decided, around October 17, to make his temporary position at the Institute for Advanced Study (in Princeton, New Jersey) become permanent.
* * * * *
Turning my attention to Adolph Hitler, I pulled up different versions of the "Evil Overlord" list. Hitler got one or two things right.
(from the version at http://legendspbem.angelfire.com/eviloverlordlist.html ) When my troops invade an unsuspecting country, I will direct the attack from the safety of my stronghold. If I absolutely must ride into battle myself, I will certainly not do so at the forefront of my army. Nor will I attempt to seek out my opposite number among his army for personal combat.(I am not talking about Hitler arm-wrestling Churchill, or having a swordfight with FDR in his wheelchair. Neither the U.K. nor the U.S. were invaded by Germany, and neither were "unsuspecting". But the U.S.S.R., now ... Any sort of personal fight to the death between Hitler and Stalin, that is something I'd pay to see. Stalin certainly did not "suspect" an invasion was in the works after the two of them signed a "Friendship Treaty".)
But there are rules about not getting your own people angry at you, when they can go work against you. With all his attention on his "real opponents", like Churchill and Stalin, he didn't pay enough attention to the way he was pushing good Germans, Jewish ones, into a corner and forcing them to become his enemies.
In Germany, Hitler was persecuting Jews. The best minds of his country, about a dozen or so, decided to get out of there. His best scientists were fleeing, many to the U.S. These included theoretical physicists and Nobel prize winners.
Chasing off his best minds. Chasing off, especially, Albert Einstein.
(from the list at http://www.proft.org/tips/evil.html )Evil Overlord rule 46. If an advisor says to me "My liege, he is but one man. What can one man possibly do?", I will reply "This." and kill the advisor.
As for what this one Einstein could do:
In 1939, a group of Hungarian scientists that included emigre physicist Leó Szilárd attempted to alert Washington of ongoing Nazi atomic bomb research. The group's warnings were discounted. Einstein and Szilárd, along with other refugees such as Edward Teller and Eugene Wigner, "regarded it as their responsibility to alert Americans to the possibility that German scientists might win the race to build an atomic bomb, and to warn that Hitler would be more than willing to resort to such a weapon." In the summer of 1939, a few months before the beginning of World War II in Europe, Einstein was persuaded to lend his prestige by writing a letter with Szilárd to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to alert him of the possibility. The letter also recommended that the U.S. government pay attention to and become directly involved in uranium research and associated chain reaction research.
(from the current version of wikipedia)
The letter is believed to be "arguably the key stimulus for the U.S. adoption of serious investigations into nuclear weapons on the eve of the U.S. entry into World War II". President Roosevelt could not take the risk of allowing Hitler to possess atomic bombs first. As a result of Einstein's letter and his meetings with Roosevelt, the U.S. entered the "race" to develop the bomb, drawing on its "immense material, financial, and scientific resources" to initiate the Manhattan Project. It became the only country to successfully develop an atomic bomb during World War II.
So, yes .... Persecuting the Jews was pretty not-smart, because their best minds went to work against him the next decade.
Let's ponder those people who do indeed threaten us, until God lets them make their Big Mistake.
(from http://eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html )Evil Overlord rule 12. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.