EINSTEIN (ALBERT) Typed letter signed ("A. Einstein"), to Heinz Niedermeier, in German, stating that he knows from the Gutmann family of their miserable situation and that he has written them a letter addressed to the French consulate at Vienna, Princeton, 2 November 1938

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Lot 201
EINSTEIN (ALBERT)
Typed letter signed ("A. Einstein"), to Heinz Niedermeier, in German, stating that he knows from the Gutmann family of their miserable situation and that he has written them a letter addressed to the French consulate at Vienna, Princeton, 2 November 1938

Sold for £ 1,875 (US$ 2,357) inc. premium
EINSTEIN (ALBERT)
Typed letter signed ("A. Einstein"), to Heinz Niedermeier, in German, stating that he knows from the Gutmann family of their miserable situation and that he has written them a letter addressed to the French consulate at Vienna, which will reach its destination by Herr Rheinstrom ("...Dass wir die Aufenthaltserlaubnis erlangen kőnnen, ist nach meiner Ansicht wahrscheinlich. Die Hauptfrage aber wird sein, ob das teuere Vaterland die Beiden daraufhein entlassen wird..." [In my opinion it is probable that the residence permit will be granted. The main question is, though, whether the dear Fatherland will let both of them go]); and saying how pleased he is to hear from Herr Lesavoy that he is a good and efficient worker; with a note of provenance ("Letter from Professor Albert Einstein to his neice [sic] Frau Neidermeier/ given to me at Dovercourt when she & her husband visited us on her release from the concentration camp of Dachau. He had been in Buchenwald"), 1 page, integral leaf, some creasing, 4to, Princeton, 2 November 1938

Footnotes

  • ʻWHETHER THE DEAR FATHERLAND WILL LET THEM GO' – Einstein attempts to help Jews escape from Nazi Austria. This letter was given to the present owner's adoptive grandmother, a member of the Lilley family (of Lilley & Skinner shoe fame), who lived with her sister at Dovercourt, near Harwich, and who had been to finishing school in Germany – where presumably she met the recipient of this letter, who gave it to her when visiting Dovercourt after the war (although the mention of Einstein's niece however can be discounted as his only sibling, Maja, had no children). Einstein, himself a refugee from Nazi Germany, was of course active in helping his fellow Jews escape persecution in Germany, not least fellow scientists such as Max Born, following the anschluss of March 1938, Austria.

    Heinz Niedermeier has been identified as the nephew of Mrs Herbert Gutmann. His parents had been arrested in Vienna in August 1938 and Einstein was actively seeking their release by organizing immigration visas to the United States. Heinz had already been successfully admitted into America – a letter in the Einstein archives from the American Consul General, John C. Wiley, assures Einstein that the young man will be shown every possible assistance in his application. A letter from the same archive identifies Herr Lesavoy as I. Lawrence Lesavoy of the Blossom Products Corporation of Allentown, Pennsylvania. He met Heinz through a mutual friend of his and Mrs Gutmann in Vienna and acted as his referee and sponsor, writing to Einstein in March 1938 agreeing to take the young man on as an apprentice and speaking of him in glowing terms. We are grateful to Einstein archives online, www.alberteinstein.info, for access to this information.
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