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    Einstein writes in 1938 that any attempt to convince the German "Gangsters" that a Jewish doctor should be allowed to leave Germany would just encourage them to hold him for ransom

    Albert Einstein Typed Letter Signed: "A. Einstein", one page, 8" x 10". Princeton, N.J., December 2, 1938. In German with full English translation. To Dr. I. W. Held, New York City. On Einstein's embossed "112, Mercer Street" letterhead. In very fine condition. Matted with a reproduction of a photograph of Einstein by Philippe Halsman and two metallic plates, one bearing an English translation of Einstein's letter, and framed under glass. Overall size, 30" x 21".

    In full: "Mr. Ehrmann's difficulties certainly do not lie in the fact that he cannot get a visa, but that the Germans won't let him out. Therefore, with great sorrow, I have come to the conclusion that we cannot try anything more with any hope of success. It might even be dangerous for him if we were to convince the German Gangsters that we absolutely want him here. That would just encourage them to hold him especially firm in the hope of ransom money. I thank you again cordially for your great willingness to help and send you hearty greetings."

    Einstein most probably is referring to Rudolf Ehrmann, a doctor of internal medicine who had already sent his two children out of Germany and was eventually able, with the help of friends including Einstein, to leave Germany in 1939. Ehrmann settled in New York City and set up a clinical practice. He was one of Einstein's doctors until Einstein's death in 1955. In 1939, Dr. Isidor W. Held, the recipient of this letter, and Dr. Nathan Ratnoff published "The Problem of the Medical Refugee in the United States."

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2006
    12th-13th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
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