“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,” Einstein wrote to his friend. “May we stand this test as well as did our fathers before us.”
In another letter hitting the auction block, dated April 17, 1934, Einstein wrote to his ex-wife Mileva Marić about finances and their children. The couple had three kids, including Eduard ”Teitel” Einstein, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia by age 20.
The letter, written in German, expresses hope that a chemical intervention might help treat Eduard. Einstein wrote that “I 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. It would simply constitute a strong stimulus to the secretory system created by a deficiency of sugar within the blood.”
Still, Einstein — ever the scientist — urged caution before trying the treatment, writing, “we should not rush into this thing, we must wait until more experience has been gained.”
He also discussed money he was sending to help Marić pay bank debts. But time and money were tight, he wrote, saying, “I am strained so severely by the various acts of assistance that I have to restrict myself all around in the most extreme way. All this is the result of the Hitler-insanity, which has completely ruined the lives of all those around me.”
Even in 1921, Einstein could see that the Nazis were gaining power in Germany. In a letter to his sister, Maja Winteler-Einstein, that is also being auctioned, he wrote, “I am supposed to go to Munich, but I will not do that, because this would endanger my life right now.”