ENGAGING 1946 TYPED LETTER SIGNED BY ALBERT EINSTEIN, WARMLY THANKING HIS FRIEND, DR. ISADORE HELD, FOR BIRTHDAY WISHES AND FOR SENDING AN "ENLIGHTENING" BOOK
EINSTEIN, Albert. Typed letter signed. Princeton, April 3, 1946. Single sheet of gray letterhead, measuring 8-1/2 by 11 inches; p. 1. Matted and framed with a portrait, entire piece measures 19 by 15-1/2 inches. $9500.
Original typed letter signed by Albert Einstein, thanking his friend, Dr. Isadore Held, for his birthday wishes as well as for sending a new book that Einstein found both "extraordinarily enlightening" and humorous. Text in German.
The letter, typed on Einstein's personal letterhead with his name and Princeton address blindstamped at the top, reads in full translation: "3 April 1946. Dear Mr. Held: I would like to express my sincere thanks for your birthday wishes and for the sending of the last work of this wonderful contemporary. I have already read quite a bit and find that it is extraordinarily enlightening. His penetration into the mentality of far-off times and attitudes toward thinking is most remarkable and his humor no less. With fond greetings to you and your dear wife. Yours [signed] Albert Einstein." This letter was written to Austrian-American (medical) Dr. Isadore Held, who was friends with Einstein since at least 1938. Held and Einstein shared numerous interests, particularly related to Jewish humanitarian relief and Israel. At Held's death, Einstein wrote to his widow that, "True goodness emanated from this man, who alleviated the harshness of human relations and who understood and forgave all weaknesses… As a role model for his fellow men he was the best that a human being can be." Einstein was not a huge fan of birthdays, though he happily acknowledged well wishes from friends. Just before turning 65, Einstein crankily said to a New York Times interviewer: "What is there to celebrate? Birthdays are automatic things. Anyway, birthdays are for children." In a 1954 letter to physicist Hans Mühsam, Einstein described his birthday as "a natural disaster, a shower of paper, full of flattery, under which one is drowned." Einstein was generally quite shy and did not like to be the center of attention, particularly from strangers obsessed with his accomplishments and fame. However, well-meaning letters and small gifts like the book given by Held were always welcomed and graciously accepted by Einstein.
Original mailing creases and a few pinpoint holes along top edge possibly from stapling. About-fine condition.