4 6 4 D O C U M E N T 4 7 2 T O F R E E S P I R I T S 472. Appeal “To the Free Spirits” [Einstein et. al. 1927a] Dated after 2 February 1927 Published February 1927 In: Bulletin spécial of the Comité de défense des victimes du fascime et de la terreur blanche, February 1927, [n.p.]. Eight years since the war ended, a state of war continues. In almost all countries, essential liberties are threatened by violence. Everywhere, one sees all the victories of freedom, which were wrested over centuries through sacrifice and tenacious ef- fort, crushed or threatened in the name of fascism: freedom of association, freedom of the press, freedom of opinion, and even conscience itself all are persecuted. We can no longer remain silent in the face of this failure of progress. We believe that the moment has come to ask everyone who currently exercises intellectual or moral influence in the world to join as a committee intended to com- bat the wave of fascist barbarity. In all countries, in more or less overt forms, but for the most part increasingly audacious and criminal, rages a white terror (terreur blanche) that assaults the populations and the most sacred principles of individual and collective freedom. The public opposition, by men who are universally admired and respected, to this state of affairs, which proliferates physical violence, assassinations, inexcus- able and undeniable crimes, and threatens to lead to the most horrible eventualities, will raise an effective barrier. The simple existence of such an international com- mittee will have a crucial impact on opinion, will clarify it, command its attention, and incite the masses to demonstrate their will in accordance with their interests and their destiny. This initiative also constitutes an act of salutary pressure on the governments that demonstrate a complaisance and a complicity for fascism, each as inadmissible as the other. This is not all. Every day, from Italy, Spain, Poland, the Balkans—from every- where—we hear the echo of innumerable crimes or murders. Acts of reprisal de- prive masses of loyal, courageous citizens of their subsistence. An atrocious misery is rife in certain groups as a result of the tyranny of the fascist reaction. One of the committee’s first tasks will be to offer aid to these victims, to these martyrs, and to examine ways to relieve their destitution.