Advertisement

Einstein letter fearing German anti-Semitism sells at auction for $32K

Click to play video 'Letter written by Albert Einstein sells for $32K' Letter written by Albert Einstein sells for $32K
WATCH: A letter written by Albert Einstein has sold for $32,000 at Israel's Kedem Auction House. – Nov 13, 2018

JERUSALEM, Nov. 13- A 1922 letter in which Albert Einstein confided his fears of the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany, more than a decade before the Nazis took power, sold at an Israeli auction on Tuesday for $32,000.

“Here are brewing economically and politically dark times, so I’m happy to be able to get away from everything,” wrote the 43-year-old physicist to his sister, Maria, after leaving Berlin for a location that goes unmentioned in the letter.

READ MORE: Albert Einstein’s theory of happiness note sells for $1.5M

Einstein, who went on to win the Nobel Prize three months later, had departed the German capital after far-rightists assassinated Foreign Minister Walter Rathenu, a friend and fellow Jew, prompting police to warn him that he could be next.

“Nobody knows where I am, and I’m believed to be missing,” Einstein wrote. “I am doing quite well, in spite of all the anti-Semites among my German colleagues.”

Story continues below advertisement
A letter written in 1922 by physicist Albert Einstein is seen prior to its auction at Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem on Nov. 12, 2018.
A letter written in 1922 by physicist Albert Einstein is seen prior to its auction at Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem on Nov. 12, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

The letter refers to a journey Einstein planned to Japan, suggesting that he penned it while waiting to sail out of the northern port of Kiel.

READ MORE: Albert Einstein’s travel diaries show ‘shocking’ racism, xenophobia: editor

When the Nazis took over Germany in 1933, launching a campaign of anti-Jewish persecution that would culminate in the Holocaust, Einstein was on a lecture tour abroad. He renounced his citizenship and eventually settled in the United States.

“What is special in this letter that Einstein really forecast — he’s seeing in advance, 10 years in advance — what is going to be in Germany,” said Meron Eren, co-founder of the Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem, which sold the artifact to an unidentified bidder.