Albert Einstein letter from 1939 on Jewish refugees goes on auction block

Bidding for note, in which the physicist thanked Hollywood talent agent for ‘splendid work’ assisting persecuted Jews, opens at $10,000

A letter written by Albert Einstein on June 10, 1939 to William Morris. (Courtesy)
A letter written by Albert Einstein on June 10, 1939 to William Morris. (Courtesy)

A letter written by Albert Einstein months before the outbreak of World War II has been put up for auction, the auction house selling the note announced Monday.

The letter, dated June 10, 1939, was written on Eisenstein’s personal letterhead from Princeton, where the physicist became a scholar after the Nazis rose to power in Germany

It was addressed to William Morris, a fellow Jewish-German immigrant to the United States who owned the eponymous Hollywood talent agency, praising him for his “splendid work” assisting refugees.

“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,” Einstein wrote.

Undated file photo shows famed physicist Albert Einstein (AP Photo, File)

He added: “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.”

Einstein also hailed Morris for “making so important a contribution toward rescuing our persecuted fellow-Jews from their calamitous peril and leading them toward a better future,” before signing off.

Nate D. Sanders Auctions said bidding for the letter, which opened at $10,000, will end Thursday.

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