IN 1948, JUST A SHORT 6 MONTHS AFTER THE FOUNDING OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL, EINSTEIN WRITES TO A POST-HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR STAYING IN AN AMERICAN-JEWISH DISTRIBUTION CAMP IN CYPRUS, WHILE AWAITING HIS RESETTLEMENT IN THE NEW ISRAELI STATE, AND ACKNOWLEDGES:
“WE ALL OWE THE SMALL HEROIC GROUP OF OUR BROTHERS IN ISRAEL GRATITUDE AND ADMIRATION BECAUSE THEY HAVE ACHIEVED ON THEIR OWN THAT WHICH IS THEIRS BY RIGHT”
EINSTEIN THEN GOES ON TO COMMENSURATE WITH THE MAN FOR HIS ‘’EPISODE OF SUFFERING’’, AND DESCRIBES HIMSELF AS “A…MAN, WHO HAS ALWAYS STRIVEN WITH A SORT OF FANATICISM FOR THE GREATEST POSSIBLE SIMPLICITY…”
EINSTEIN, ALBERT. (1879-1955). Theoretical physicist; Developed the general theory of relativity. Outstanding Typed Letter Signed “A. Einstein”. 1 1/4 pages, quarto. [No place], November 24, 1948. In German. To Siegfried Hessing, Polish writer and Jewish Internee in Famagusta, Cyprus. Addressed to “Camp 67 Bg c/o A.J.D.C.”, a post-Holocaust location where Jews were awaiting permission to enter the new nation of Israel. The American-Jewish Joint Distribution Committee [A.J.D.C.] was a relief organization overseeing the care and re- settlement of over a quarter million displaced Jews following World War II. In this remarkable letter, Einstein shows his support for the new State of Israel, gives gratitude and admiration to the heroic “group of our brothers in Israel” — but declines to assist Hessing in authoring a preface for Hessing’s book, owing to his fanaticism for simplicity. Einstein writes:
“Dear Mr Hessing, I confirm the receipt of your friendly letter of November 8″ and empathize with you in all the painful experiences which you have undergone. And I am happy for you that this episode of suffering will surely change soon into “an existence und more normal conditions. We all owe the small heroic group of our brothers in Israel gratitude and admiration because they have achieved on their own that which is theirs by right. I will gladly send you the photograph you want, which will go, as a precaution, to the indicated address in Tel Aviv, together with this letter.
I have read the introduction to your book with true interest and would be happy if I could help you with a preface to its publication. Unfortunately, I feel incapable and unqualified to do so. The reason is that your way to describe conditions and things is so different from my own that I cannot honestly support it – as a (human being) man, who has always striven with a sort of fanaticism for the greatest possible simplicity in contemplation and way of expression. I hope that you may understand this, and that you will soon be able to publish your work. With friendly greetings and wishes. Yours A Einstein.”
In our many years of dealing with the finest historical autographs and manuscripts we can recall no other letter of Einstein’s ever being written to a person in a post-holocaust re-settlement camp. Add to this Einstein’s own self refection, as a man and a Jew, and you have a simply marvelous item. Very fine condition.