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Einstein’s private letter spelling out God, the Bible and Judaism, up for grabs

Published time: October 08, 2012 13:11
Edited time: October 08, 2012 17:11
Albert Einstein (AFP Photo / Toru Yamanaka)

Albert Einstein (AFP Photo / Toru Yamanaka)

A handwritten letter in which the originator of the Theory of Relativity Albert Einstein refers to God as a “product of human weaknesses” is up for sale on eBay with a starting price of $3 million. The private letter was never meant to be published.

­The historic letter has been known in the scientific community for over 50 years. It was written in German in 1954, a year before the physicist’s death, and was addressed to philosopher Eric Gutkind. It was sent by Einstein from Princeton NJ, in response to Gutkind's book “Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt”.

"…The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can (for me) change this," wrote the German-born scientist, who received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.

image from ebay.com
image from ebay.com

­Einstein also shares his perception of Judaism and the Jewish people.

“For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. 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. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them,” one of the world's most brilliant minds wrote.

In 2008, an anonymous collector reportedly bought the letter through Bloomsbury Auctions in London for $404,000.

"With the interest in Einstein, along with the questions this (letter) touches on, we feel it is well worth the price," a spokesman for the sale, Eric Gazin, noted.

The letter will be auctioned online with the original envelope, stamp and postmark from October 8-18.