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Einstein's letter to colleague may fetch USD 5,000 at auction

Press Trust of India  |  Boston 

A signed postcard written by German scientist Albert Einstein, offering assistance to find a publisher for his colleague's work, may fetch USD 5,000 at an auction in the US.

The postcard, dated June 9, 1923, was written to Hans Reichenbach, who wrote the 'Axiomatics of the Relativistic Space-Time Doctrine'.


"I have brought up your printing matter with the Academy. I was informed that only the Notgemeinschaft could come under consideration in this case," Einstein wrote in the letter.

"I have absolutely no connection to the Notgemeinschaft, but am willing to support your application to the Notgemeinschaft most warmly. With friendly regards also to Mr Regener," he said.

Einstein adds the salutation in his own hand, as well as a brief line after his signature, "I will personally talk to Haber."

The postcard is accompanied by another one signed "Ilse Einstein," informing Reichenbach that Einstein has not seen his letter of request as he has already left for the Netherlands, but promises to deliver it to him upon his return.

The eldest daughter of Einstein's second wife, Elsa, Ilse Lowenthal Einstein served as Einstein's secretary for a brief period, according to RR Auctions.

For his breakthrough work in his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect, Einstein was named the recipient of the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics on November 9, 1922.

During the selection process in 1921, the Nobel Committee for Physics concluded that none of the year's nominations met the criteria outlined in the will of Alfred Nobel, and, in accordance with the Nobel Foundation's statutes, the prize was reserved until the following year.

Unable to attend the award ceremony on December 10, Einstein managed to journey to Gothenburg and deliver his Nobel Lecture on July 11, 1923, only a month after writing this letter.

Although it was not printed by Emergency Association of German Science as Einstein had hoped, Reichenbach's 'Axiomatics of the Relativistic Space-Time Doctrine' was ultimately published in 1924 by F Vieweg & Son.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, December 04 2017. 13:30 IST
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