LOS ANGELES, CA.-
A 1935 letter from Albert Einstein regarding the plight of Jewish intellectuals in the United States will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions
on August 29, 2019.
Auction owner Nate Sanders stated, These letters penned by Albert Einstein continue to be tremendously relevant in light of current global affairs. They represent an ongoing important cultural and political discussion.
Einstein sent the typed letter dated June 8, 1935, from his summer vacation home, the White House in Lyme, Connecticut, to his colleague physicist Paul Epstein. The letter, which was written in German, discussed the dilemma of Jewish academics in American and the necessity for Jewish teaching institutions. Einstein also discussed his Unified Field Theory and referred to his manuscript, ''The Particle Problem in the General Theory of Relativity.''
Einstein wrote in part, 'I was extremely happy to gather from your letter that you take such an active interest in creating vital connections among the Jewish intellectuals in this country, as well as to read that the excellent writer [Dr. S. M.] Melamed has taken in hand the editorship of the journal 'Reflex.' I will be happy to join the editorial board, of course. The hostile attitude of universities towards Jewish teaching staff and students has been increasing perilously, even though it manifests in a genteel or hypocritical manner. Unless we are able in time to awaken the understanding that establishing Jewish teaching institutions is an absolute imperative, the Jews in this country will become intellectually proletarianized. Unfortunately, the current Jewish leaders do not comprehend the seriousness of the situation, similar to the German Jews in the time before Hitler. They believe that they are able to put an end to the problem by being silent and disregarding it, and they thus miss the time for creating places of support. This is not just true for the functions of the educational system, of course, but in economic and social terms as well
In 1935, all but one medical school in the United States imposed quotas on Jewish matriculates.
Bidding for the letter begins at $25,000.
Einstein Letter of Recommendation for Paul Epstein
Also going under the hammer is Einsteins 1921 letter of recommendation for physicist Paul Epstein. The letter likely helped Epstein land a teaching position at the California Institute of Technology, where he remained for the rest of his career. Caltech was known as being anti-Semitic at the time, so it was a major milestone.
Epstein was a prominent Russian physicist who studied in Germany. He earned a Ph.D. focusing on the theory of diffraction of electromagnetic waves. In 1921, Robert Millikan (Caltechs library is named after him) recruited Epstein, likely based on Einsteins letter of recommendation. He published major papers on Bohrs quantum mechanics in 1922. In following years, Epstein published The Stark Effect from the Point of View of Schrodinger's Quantum Theory" in the Physical Review, as well as "The New Quantum Theory and the Zeeman Effect" (1926), and "The Magnetic Dipole in Undulatory Mechanics" (1927). Epstein was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1930. After Epsteins death in 1966, The Epstein Memorial Fund was established through donations from over 50 of his former students. A bronze statue of Epstein is displayed in the Physics and Mathematics section of the Millikan Library at Caltech.
Bidding for the letter begins at $6,000.
Einsteins Letter Defending his Jewish Heritage
The third letter being auctioned is a fascinating letter by Albert Einstein on the Jewish Peoples rights to defend themselves. Einstein had long worked to save European Jews by issuing affidavits. The letter reads in part,
May I offer my sincere congratulations to you on the splendid work you have undertaken on behalf of the refugees during Dedication Week. The power of resistance which has enabled the Jewish people to survive for thousands of years has been based to a large extent on traditions of mutual helpfulness. In these years of affliction our readiness to help one another is being put to an especially severe test
Bidding for the letter begins at $10,000.
In March, Nate D. Sanders sold a similar Einstein letter for $134,344.