He begins an "intellectual refuge" at the time of his and fellow professors'
exodus from Hitler's Germany.
TLS: "A. Einstein", 1p, 8¼x10¾. Loe
Coq-sur-mer, Belgium, 1933 May 2. To Countess Hetta Treuberg, Hotel
International, Geneva. In German, translated. In full: "I share fully
the views expressed in your letter: Destruction of the entire upper layer by the
now fully mobilized masses. (However, how does it stand with the
Reichswehr)" The Reichswehr was the German Army. Typed postscript:
"Enclosed is a letter from Mr. Speyer." On January 30, 1933, three
months before Einstein wrote this letter from Belgium, Hitler became Chancellor
of Germany. On February 28th, Hitler was granted emergency powers and on
March 24th, he was given dictatorial powers by the German Parliament. On April
2, Einstein's bank account of 30,000 marks was confiscated. Between April 4
and May 15, 1933 no less than 164 German professors resigned or were dismissed
from their jobs in Germany. On April 12th, Einstein's two stepdaughters left
Germany for France. By the time of this letter, Einstein was in Belgium,
knowing he would not return to Germany. He was invited to teach at numerous
institutions and at this time was deciding on his future. On May 5th, just
three days after this letter, Einstein wrote a letter to his old friend Maurice
Solovine that gives insight into this letter: "I am afraid that this epidemic of
hatred and violence is spreading everywhere. It comes like a tidal wave from
below, so that the upper layers are isolated, anguished, demoralized, and
swelled up by the flood. I now have more professorial
chairs than reasonable ideas in my head...P.S. if you meet any academic refugee
Jews from Germany, tell them to get in touch with me. I want...to start a liberal
university abroad (in England?) for Jewish docents and professors...and create a
kind of intellectual refuge." Creased overall. Lightly soiled at corners. Slight
wear at folds (they do not touch clean signature).
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