Einstein's Letters On God, Religion To Be Auctioned

Extremely rare letters about God and religion sent from Albert Einstein to family members are to go on auction on June 11.

U.S.-based company Profiles in History will auction their collection of 25 lots of Einstein based memorabilia. This memorabilia includes (and is not restricted to) handwritten letters from Einstein to his family, with specific emphasis on the letters to his sons and ex-wife Mileva Maric. The CEO of Profiles in History, Joseph Maddalena, released this statement.

"We have amassed an extremely magnificent group of personal and profound handwritten Einstein letters covering a vast amount of subject matter. These letters depict his inner most views, offering intriguing content as only Einstein can, this collection is an embodiment of the physicist life's work."

Some of the biggest mysteries about the esteemed physicist have regarded his religious beliefs. Although being born into a Jewish family in Germany, one of his most famous quotes contradicts his familial beliefs.

"I am, of course, and have always been an atheist."

This quote derives from a letter sent to one of his Jesuit correspondents in 1945. Another letter, written by Einstein himself four years later in 1949, indicated Einstein's disillusionment with atheism and featured his declaration as an agnostic. Both letters are included in the auction and are predicted to be among the most valuable in the collection, with each being valued at $15,000.

As well as the letters regarding Einstein's religion, there is also a letter sent to his ex-wife Mileva Maric questioning the relationship between gravity, relativity, and electricity. There are also letters covering the topics of prewar and postwar Germany, one of which announces his intention to remain in the U.S. following Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933. The letter in which Einstein renounced his German citizenship was addressed to his son Hans, and this letter is predicted to fetch around $20,000.

Another letter sent to his son in 1945, following the dropping of the atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, discusses his innovations in the field of relativity. More specifically, the Special Relativity Theory and its relationship to the Atomic Bomb and his Unified Field Theory. Einstein also included in this letter how he was now too old to believe that he could complete his research. The Tribune reports that this letter has been valued at a whopping $40,000.

The news of this auction comes hot on the heels of the announcement that Albert Einstein will have a memorial museum built in his honor in Jerusalem, funded by the Hebrew University.

[Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images]