Einstein's 'God letter' fetches $2.9M at auction

Albert Einstein 'God Letter' to Be Auctioned

Albert Einstein's 'God' letter goes under the hammer at Christie's

A handwritten letter from Albert Einstein in which the physicist questions the existence of God was sold Tuesday in New York City for $2.89 million at Christie's auction.

However, the selling price of the letter was nearly double the auction house's expectations. It gave no details on the identity of the buyer.

The letter instead reached a grand total of $2,892,500 on Tuesday following a four-minute bidding battle between two clients on the phones, setting a world auction record for an Einstein letter.

The private letter was written to Eric Gutkind in 1954, when Einstein was 74 years of age, and auctioneers said it was the flawless example of the Jewish genius's thinking on faith and religion.

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The letter, which contains the phrase - "God is for me nothing other than the expression and product of human weaknesses" - was written shortly before the death of the Creator of the theory of relativity. - There is no interpretation, no matter how sophisticated it may be, cannot (for me) to change anything in it.

Albert Einstein, during a lecture in Vienna in 1921.

In 2008, the letter was sold at auction to a private collector for $404,000. "And many people were hungering for a way to reconcile science and religion". Gutkind, like Einstein, was a German-born Jew who had fled the Nazis to the United States.

"For me the unadulterated Jewish religion is, like all other religions, an incarnation of primitive superstition".

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"And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people", Einstein continued. "Otherwise I can not see anything "chosen" about them".

A handwritten letter by Albert Einstein in which he grapples with the concept of religion has sold for almost $2.9 million smashing predictions.

And while Einstein took issue with that idea, he noted in the letter that he and Gutkind shared common views 'with regard to the factual attitude to life and to the human community'. That typed 1939 letter was sent to President Franklin D. Roosevelt cautioning him on the creation of "powerful bombs", according to the New York Times.

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