Why War?

Is there any way of delivering mankind from the menace of war? Albert Einstein was adamant and vocal pacifist, in addition to being a brilliant theoretical physicist. As the political situation in Germany declined in 1932 Albert Einstein penned Sigmund Freud a serious letter in which he asked the psychoanalyist earnestly how one might deliver human kind from the atrocity of war. He was graced with a reply from Sigmund Freud three months later, in which Freud wrote that “When I learned of your intention to invite me to a mutual exchange of views upon a subject which not only interested you personally but seemed deserving, too, of public interest, I cordially assented.” This letter exchange was published in 1933 under the title Why War? with a print run of 2000 copies.

German typographer Harald Geisler discovered these letters during his research to create the Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud handwriting fonts, software that enables these remarkable thinkers’ handwriting to appear on your computer screen or smart phone. In July 2017, 85 years after the original Einstein-Freud correspondence, Geisler set out to reenact this letter exchange by reproducing German and English translations of the original letters using his fonts and sending these documents in the mail from Berlin and Vienna respectively. In this website you can learn more about the individual fonts being used to create this typographic reenactment, discover more about Geisler’s artistic motivation and career as a typographer, as well as follow the original Kickstarter Gold campaign used to raise the funding and reach a diverse audience with the letters.


© Harald Geisler