Einstein letter predicting rise of Nazi party up for auction

he August 1922 letter, presumably written in Kiel shortly before Einstein's escape from Berlin, was put up for auction by an anonymous collector.

November 9, 2018 20:35
2 minute read.
Letter Albert Einstein

The letter written by Albert Einstein to be auctioned off at Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem. (photo credit: KEDEM AUCTION HOUSE)


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A recently discovered handwritten letter by Albert Einstein, will be placed on auction at the Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem next week.

The August 1922 letter, presumably written in Kiel shortly before Einstein's escape from Berlin, was put up for auction by an anonymous collector.

The letter will go on auction at the Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem early next week. Bidding will start at $12,000.

“This letter reveals the thoughts that were running through Einstein’s mind and heart at a very preliminary stage of Nazi terror," said Meron Eren, co-owner of Kedem Auction House. "We are delighted that this letter made its way to our auction house, and even more delighted to have the opportunity to share its contents with the world.”

Einstein wrote to his sister Maja informing her that he is living in hiding in fear for his life. While scholars presume that it was written in Kiel or elsewhere in northern Germany,  the letter bears no return address or evidence as to where it was written from.

“Out here, nobody knows where I am, and I’m believed to be missing,” he told his sister, “Dark times are brewing, economically and politically, so I’m happy to be able to get away from everything for half a year.”

Before writing the letter, Einstein had been told by German police that his life was in danger. He received the warning shortly after the assassination of his longtime friend, German’s Jewish Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau.

The famous nuclear physicist, under the guise of a speaking tour in Asia, escaped from Germany shortly after writing the letter to his sister. Einstein would eventually immigrate to the United States. He renounced his German citizenship in 1933.

Shortly after departing for the tour, he received word that he had received the Nobel Prize in Physics, further adding to his fame.
“You see, I am about to become some kind of itinerant preacher. That is, first of all, pleasant, and second necessary,” Einstein wrote referring to his speaking tour.

In the letter, Einstein predicts the dark times ahead for Germany, more than a decade before the emergence of the Nazi party.

"I am doing quite well, despite all the antisemites among my German colleagues," Einstein wrote, "I had to join a League of Nations Commission, which naturally upset the people here [in Germany]. There was nothing I could do about it, if I didn’t want to be unfaithful to my ideals.”

The Nazis disavowed Einstein's famous theory of relativity, calling it “Jewish Physics.”

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