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ALBERT EINSTEIN - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 04/19/1949 - HFSID 5251

 

ALBERT EINSTEIN
To a Holocaust survivor, still living in hard times, who asked Einstein if she may auction off letters he wrote to her father.
Typed Letter signed: "A. Einstein", 1½p, 8¼x11. Princeton, N.J., 1949 April 19. To Dr. Dora Stern, New York. In German, translated. In full: "I thank you heartily for your amicable congratulations and am very glad to have in this way again heard something from you directly after so long a time. You can imagine how sorry I am that you, your sister and her husband are all living in such difficult circumstances. If you see any way in which I can be of help to you or your sister and her husband in seeking employment, I would esteem it a particular happiness to be able to try. I can write to anyone, but have too little experience to know what step would have the best prospect of success. Of course, I do not object to your auctioning the few letters you have in your possession together with your father's collection. I do not even need to see the letters, as they are surely quite harmless and unfortunately also quite uninteresting. Your sister Toni already turned to me some time ago because she believes that my help will make it easier to effect the publication of her memoirs. To my great regret, I see little chance of success. Too many such sad accounts have appeared and people are no longer receptive to these shameful things, so that publishing it would entail a great risk for the publisher. People either do not want to hear about it, or want to forget as quickly as possible what they themselves have gone through. But perhaps there is a more promising way to find a profitable occupation for her. I would be happy to be of any assistance to her." Albert Einstein had just celebrated his 70th birthday a month before this letter (March 14). Perhaps this is the reason for his opening statement. In September of 1950, about 18 months after this letter to Dr. Stern, Einstein wrote to fellow colleague Max Born concerning the world's memory of Germany's behavior in WWII: "I have not changed my attitude to the Germans which, by the way, dates not just from the Nazi period...All human beings are more or less the same from birth. The Germans, however, have a far more dangerous tradition than any of the other so-called civilized nations. The present behavior of these other nations towards the Germans merely proves to me how little human beings learn from their most painful experiences." Clearly this opinion resonates in this earlier letter to Dora Stern. It is evident that Stern and her family had survived the Holocaust. It is likely that this letter of authorization from Einstein accompanied the items Stern had wished to sell. Einstein left his native Germany in 1932, a month before the Nazis came to power. He never returned. From then until the end of his life, he worked tirelessly helping displaced Jews who were subjected to Germany's historic anti-Semitism. Lightly shaded from prior framing. 2 file holes in left blank margin. Otherwise, fine condition.


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ALBERT EINSTEIN
Born: March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Germany
Died: April 18, 1955 in Princeton, New Jersey





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