WWII-Era Letter By Albert Einstein Up For Auction

Albert Einstein penned a letter in 1939 to a New York businessman acknowledging his efforts helping Jewish refugees at the beginning of World War II. Today, 75 years later, bids in auction for the letter will close at 5 p.m. today.

The auction is being held online by Nate D Sander’s auction house. The letter is typed on Einstein’s personal stationary. It is dated June 10, 1939. The letter was sent from Einstein’s home on Mercer Street in Princeton, New Jersey, to Isidore Zelniker, who was a Jewish hat merchant who lived in Manhattan.

The letter is expected to fetch least $10,000, reports Live Science.

At the time that Einstein penned the letter, he was living in Princeton and was a professor of theoretical physics at the Institute of Advanced Study. Prior to that, Einstein had lived in a handful of European countries, including Italy and Switzerland. He left Berlin in 1933 and moved to the United States. At the time of his departure, Hitler had just become chancellor, reports Algemeiner.

Einstein was born to Jewish parents in Germany, so the timing of his departure was not coincidence. After Einstein and his family escaped the horrors of the Nazi regime, he became a constant advocate for his “Jewish brethren” in Europe.

Albert Einstein worked tirelessly to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis. He worked hard to try and persuade both the United States and European leaders to take action to help the Jewish population. Einstein penned many letters thanking others who worked to help the imperiled Jews.

Einstein’s letter reads as follows

“My dear Mr. Zelniker: 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. May we stand this test as well as did our fathers before us. We have no other means of self-defense than our solidarity and our knowledge that the cause for which we are suffering is a momentous and sacred cause. It must be a source of deep gratification to you to be making so important a contribution toward rescuing our persecuted fellow-Jews from their calamitous peril and leading them toward a better future.”