Albert Einstein’s Letters Expressing Fears About Nazi Germany To Be Auctioned

Published March 27, 2019
Updated August 30, 2019

"All this is the result of the Hitler-insanity, which has completely ruined the lives of all those around me."

Albert Einstein

Wikimedia CommonsAlbert Einstein. 1947.

A collection of letters written by Albert Einstein is set to be auctioned on March 28. And his concerns over the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany expressed in these letters have garnered some much-deserved attention.

According to Fox News, much of Einstein’s concerns come in three separate letters penned before World War II even began.

Anti-Semitism had already permeated much of Germany’s social and political climate when Einstein wrote his sister, Maja Winteler-Einstein, about his fears of traveling to Munich. In this letter, from September 1921, Einstein described canceling the trip out of rightful fear for his life.

“I am supposed to go to Munich, but I will not do that, because this would endanger my life right now,” wrote Einstein. He also expressed his pride regarding his son, Hans Albert, and some of his early achievements. The letter’s minimum bid at the Nate D. Sanders auction house is set at $12,000.

Albert Einstein Letter About Munich Trip

Nate D. Sanders AuctionsThe letter that explained Einstein’s aversion to a trip to Munich.

The second letter was penned in April 1934. At this time, the Nazi Party had already officially taken hold of Germany. Hitler had already been appointed chancellor and was beginning to put the Nazi agenda into action on a national level.

Einstein wrote this letter to his first wife, Mileva, and their son Eduard. The famous physicist expressed his fears about Germany’s increasingly hostile climate and bluntly stated that Hitler was completely responsible for ruining “the lives of all those around me.”

He also explained that he deeply shared his wife’s concern over their son’s recent diagnosis of schizophrenia.

The pair had clearly previously discussed a potential treatment path rooted in pharmaceuticals, as Einstein said he “read the articles closely, and it does not seem completely impossible that a successful result might be obtained through a chemical intervention such as this.”

Albert Einstein Letter About Schizophrenia

Nate D. Sanders AuctionsEinstein’s letter detailing his thoughts on potential treatment for his son’s schizophrenia.

“It would simply constitute a strong stimulus to the secretory system created by a deficiency of sugar within the blood,” he wrote. “However, we should not rush into this thing, we must wait until more experience has been gained.”

He ended the letter by promising payments for the couple’s bank debts, as well as expenses for their son. In the end, he admitted that all of life’s personal struggles were compounded by Hitler’s maniacal rise to power.

“I am strained so severely by the various acts of assistance that I have to restrict myself all around in the most extreme way,” he wrote. “All this is the result of the Hitler-insanity, which has completely ruined the lives of all those around me. Best greetings to you.”

This particular letter currently holds a $25,000 minimum bid.

Albert Einstein Letter About Jewish Resistance

Nate D. Sanders AuctionsEinstein’s letter expressing his hope that the Jewish people can overcome the struggles of the mid-20th century.

The third and final letter expressing Einstein’s fears of fascism and anti-Semitism taking over his fatherland focused on the Jewish “power of resistance.”

Dated June 12, 1939, the letter’s hopeful sentiment centered on Einstein’s belief that Jewish people have an inherent strength that allows them to “survive for thousands of years.”

“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,” he wrote. “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 urged. “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.”

This letter has a minimum bid of $12,000. Einstein’s letters have garnered increased demand at auctions in recent months. A letter to his father, in which he described his Jewish faith and “man’s eternal search for meaning,” sold for a record-breaking $2.89 million.

After learning about Albert Einstein’s letters expressing fears of growing anti-Semitism and Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, take a look at these 25 fascinating Albert Einstein facts. Then, learn about the election that put Hitler in power.

Marco Margaritoff
A former staff writer for All That’s Interesting, Marco Margaritoff holds dual Bachelor's degrees from Pace University and a Master's in journalism from New York University. He has published work at People, VICE, Complex, and serves as a staff reporter at HuffPost.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
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Margaritoff, Marco. "Albert Einstein’s Letters Expressing Fears About Nazi Germany To Be Auctioned.", March 27, 2019, Accessed June 25, 2024.