Nearly $ 7,000 a Word: A Sensational Letter Albert Einstein’s thoughts on religion and Judaism are now due to be auctioned in the US – for at least $ 3 million. The starting bid, the equivalent of around 2.3 million euros high, was already ten minutes after the beginning of the eBay auction. Should it be serious – which is not always the case with such auctions – it would already be certain that the letter will find a new owner.
Einstein had written the so-called Gottesbrief in January 1954, a good year before his death, in German. „The word God is for me nothing but an expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible is a collection of venerable, yet abundantly primitive legends,“ says the letter to the philosopher Erich Gutkind, Einstein before his book „Decide Yourself for Life“ had sent. „For me, the unadulterated Jewish religion, like all other religions, is an incarnation of primitive superstition,“ explained the physicist.
Einstein came from a Jewish family, but had renounced as a teenager from religion. Nearly 60 years later he wrote: „And the Jewish people, to whom I like to belong and whose mentality I am deeply intertwined, have for me no other originality than all other peoples.As far as my experience goes, it is nothing better than other human groups, though backed by a lack of power against the worst excesses, can not perceive anything ‚chosen‘ in it. “ That Gutkind claims a privileged position as a person and as a Jew is „painful“.
The short letter – containing 435 words – had only become known four years ago and had changed the view of Einstein considerably. Contradictory statements by the physicist on God and religion had repeatedly led to questions, but the letter of 1954 made much clearer. He is now offered by an anonymous collector.
Greater new insights about Einstein came when in 2004 the diary of Johanna Fantova was discovered, which was considered Einstein’s last close friend. Six years ago, a manuscript and a letter from the young Einstein had been auctioned for a total of 512,000 euros. In 2011, Einstein’s letter went away for $ 14,000 the physicist wrote in 1939. In it he admires a New York businessman for his salvation of persecuted Jews from the „disastrous danger“ of the Nazis.
Born in Ulm in 1879, the Nobel Prize winner died in 1955 at Princeton near New York. Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1922 and developed the theory of relativity, which revolutionized the understanding of space and time.Internet auction