Lot 23. 'The unknown always appears in a rosier light'

Starting price:£ 2 600
Auction date:16.07.2020   06:00 UTC +02:00
ID 370012
Lot 23 | 'The unknown always appears in a rosier light'
Albert Einstein (1879-1955).

Typed letter signed ('A. Einstein') to Lionel M. Ettlinger, 112 Mercer Street, Princeton, 15 February 1945.

In German. One page, 280 x 216mm, blind-stamped address.

'The unknown always appears in a rosier light': on anti-semitism and the low status of intellectuals in America. Einstein expresses his 'sympathy and respect' for the scientific capabilities of Dr [?Wladimir] Lasareff, and would be willing to help him if he still wishes to emigrate to America from Belgium. However he warns of a discouraging outlook for incoming intellectuals after the end of the war because of an oversupply of strong candidates, and 'of course also because strong anti-semitism, which incidentally still seems to be increasing'. Prospects may therefore be better in Europe, in spite of the devastation of the war: 'the unknown always appears in a rosier light than the field of many years of experience; this however an optical illusion'. Ettlinger should warn Lasareff that 'American university professors do not occupy the privileged status in society and in the universities themselves that they have in Europe'; and the system is particularly harsh on newcomers.

According to the Einstein Archives Online, the subject of the letter is Wladimir A. Lasareff. Einstein had already corresponded with Ettlinger as early as 1933 about Lasareff's prospective emigration to the USA.

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United Kingdom
Preview24.06.2020 - 16.07.2020
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