Albert Einstein Letter Describing ‘Enormous Degree of Antisemitism’ in US Academia Put Up for Auction
i24 News and Algemeiner Staff
Albert Einstein. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The auction house Kedem announced on Sunday the sale of a handwritten letter by physicist Albert Einstein, in which he warned a friend against the antisemitism that he believed was rampant in the American academic world.
Einstein wrote the letter to his friend, the Austrian-Jewish pianist Bruno Eisner, in 1936, when Eisner was considering working in American academia. Eisner was staying in New York at the time with a mutual friend.
“An enormous degree of antisemitism prevails here, especially in academia (but also in industry and banking),” Einstein wrote, according to an English translation of the letter provided in a statement from the auction house.
“Mind you, it never takes the form of brutal speeches or actions, but simmers all the more intensely beneath the surface,” Einstein added. “It is, so to speak, an omnipresent enemy, impossible to see, and whose presence we only perceive.”
Einstein explained in the letter that his own assistant was forced to leave the country and take a position in Russia because of the antisemitism he faced in the United States.
The letter will go on sale later this week with a starting price of $12,913.
While Albert Einstein declined an offer to become the president of the State of Israel in 1952, he served as a non-resident governor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem until his death in 1955.