Albert Einstein Feared The Rise Of Nazism, 10 Years Before Hitler Seized Power
The famed physicist wrote a poignant letter to his younger sister Maja in 1922, warning of growing nationalist sentiment in his native Germany.
The same year he received the Nobel Prize in Physics, Einstein was concerned with a more personal issue: the ascent of Nazism in his homeland.
Having fled Berlin and gone into hiding in northern Germany, Einstein -- an Ashkenazi Jew -- reflected "here are brewing economically and politically dark times".
"Out here, nobody knows where I am, and I'm believed to be missing," he added in the message to his sister.
Produced by an anonymous collector, the letter will be auctioned next week at the Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem with an opening asking price of $12,000 USD, according to the Associated Press.
The correspondence was penned one year before Adolf Hitler's failed Munich Beer Hall Putsch, where the Nazis first attempted to seize power in Bavaria.
It would be 10 more years before Hitler would rise to power in Germany, appointed as the country's Chancellor in January 1933.
“This letter reveals to us the thoughts running through Einstein’s mind and heart at a very preliminary stage of Nazi terror,” Meron Eren, co-owner of the Kedem Auction House, told the AP.
“The relationship between Albert and Maja was very special and close, which adds another dimension to Einstein the man and greater authenticity to his writings.”
Einstein wrote the letter to his sister after the assassination of his friend, the Jewish-German Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau, by a trio of anti-Semites.
After being warned by German police his life would also be in danger if he stayed in Berlin, Einstein left the city and headed to the northern port city of Kiel.
He wrote to his sister, “I’m doing pretty well, despite all the anti-Semites among the German colleagues. I’m very reclusive here, without noise and without unpleasant feelings, and am earning my money mainly independent of the state, so that I’m really a free man".
By the time Hitler achieved dictatorial power in August 1934, Einstein had formally renounced his German citizenship and settled in the United States.
Featured image: Getty.
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