Einstein’s 1948 letter praising Jewish resilience on sale

The letter is dated May 19, 1948, and was written in German. It was addressed to the first Israeli president Chaim Weizmann.

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August 12, 2019 02:34
1 minute read.
David Ben-Gurion meeting with Albert Einstein at Princeton University, in 1951

David Ben-Gurion meeting with Albert Einstein at Princeton University, in 1951. (photo credit: JERUSALEM POST ARCHIVE)

A letter that Albert Einstein addressed to Israel’s first president Chaim Weizmann a few days after the country declared independence in 1948 is on sale for $90,000.

In the letter, the Nobel Prize recipient expressed mistrust of the attitude of world leaders toward the newly-founded Jewish state.

“One still cannot say that the powerful men of this earth mean well with us,” Einstein wrote according to a statement by the Raab Collection, an American firm that describes itself as “the nation’s leading dealer in important historical documents.”

“The game the English play with us is miserable, and the American attitude appears ambivalent. However, I am confident that our people will overcome this last scare and that you will live to experience the satisfaction of having created a happy Jewish community.”

The letter is dated May 19, 1948, and was written in German. For decades it was preserved by Weizmann’s family and descendants.

“It is a powerful document, written at a crucial time in Jewish history, and a reminder of the challenges the new Jewish state would have to overcome,” said Nathan Raab, president of the Raab Collection and author of the upcoming book, The Hunt for History, slated to be published in March 2020.

Einstein and Weizmann had known each other since 1921, when they participated together in a fund-raising mission in favor of the establishment of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

When Weizmann passed away in 1952, prime minister David Ben-Gurion offered Einstein the opportunity to become Israel’s new president. The scientist, however, declined the offer.


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