Mar 21, 2019 - Sale 2502

Sale 2502 - Lot 107

Price Realized: $ 625
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Estimate: $ 400 - $ 600
HOW EINSTEIN DESCRIBED HIS RELIGIOUS IDENTITY TO KAISER (SCIENTISTS--EINSTEIN, ALBERT.) DUKAS, HELEN. Three items: Typed Letter Signed * Typed Note Signed * Typescript, with holograph corrections. The letter, to physicist Jeremy Bernstein, explaining that she had read his book while babysitting for Freeman Dyson, pointing out a new translation of Philipp Frank's biography of Albert Einstein by André George, noting that she sent George a commentary on Frank's biography including a correction to his remark about Einstein's religious identity, and adding an holograph postscript: "He used the word 'Dissident'." 1 page, 8vo, personal stationery, pale blue paper; horizontal fold. The note, "Helen," sending corrections [to Bernstein]. 3x5 inches; attached to typescript with paper clip. The typescript, corrections to [Bernstein's] article profiling Einstein, including an earlier version of first section. 6 pages, 4to, onionskin paper; horizontal folds. Princeton, 23 April 1968; Np, 13 December 1971...

Additional Details

23 April 1968: ". . . It might interest you to learn that . . . the translator writing about Einstein's last years . . . . is André George, a science-writer and close friend of Louis de Broglie--also a personal friend of Margot Einstein. I sent him the few minor corrections which I found necessary in the original book . . . about Einstein's . . . connection with Judaism. This was quite wrong, he never did this--just wrote in the rubric 'Religion' (in Prague) 'religionslos'. . . ." ... 23 April 1968: ". . . It might interest you to learn that . . . the translator writing about Einstein's last years . . . . is André George, a science-writer and close friend of Louis de Broglie--also a personal friend of Margot Einstein. I sent him the few minor corrections which I found necessary in the original book . . . about Einstein's . . . connection with Judaism. This was quite wrong, he never did this--just wrote in the rubric 'Religion' (in Prague) 'religionslos'. . . ."
In his biography of Einstein, Philipp Frank wrote that, in 1911, when Einstein accepted a full professorship at Charles University in Prague, he was required to complete a form which included a space for religion (Emperor Franz Josef required all university professors to belong to a major religion). According to Frank, Einstein wrote "Mosaic" in the space, indicating Judaism (Einstein: His Life and Times, tr. Rosen, Knopf: New York, 1947, p 79). The Dukas letter in this lot offers a correction, stating that Einstein instead wrote "Dissident," indicating no religious affiliation.
In 1973, Bernstein's two-part profile of Einstein appeared in the March 10 and 17 issues of New Yorker.