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April 17, 2014

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LA museum acquires Nazi appeasement letter

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 | 12:16 p.m.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Museum of Tolerance has acquired a 1937 letter written by Bertrand Russell in which the Nobel Prize-winning philosopher suggests that if the Nazis invade England the British should invite Adolf Hitler to dinner to try to work things out.

The Los Angeles-based museum, part of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, announced Wednesday it paid $4,000 for the letter at a London auction last month.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, the center's founder, says it will be placed alongside a 1919 Hitler letter the museum acquired three years ago. In that letter, Hitler lays out the anti-Semitic plans that would eventually lead to the Holocaust.

Hier says the Russell letter is important because it shows even a distinguished scholar can be wrong in allowing evil to go unchallenged.

Russell eventually changed his views.