A handwritten letter from Albert Einstein about his thoughts on God, religion and his search for meaning which he wrote a year before his death, has broken sale records at auction, fetching close to $2.9 million.
The letter, a one-and-a-half page note written on January 3, 1954 in German from Princeton, New Jersey to German philosopher Eric Gutkind, is commonly known as Einstein’s “God letter” – and it just sold for almost double its estimated price of $1.5 million.
“The word God is for me nothing but the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of venerable but still rather primitive legends,” writes the physicist, best known for his theory of relativity.
“No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can (for me) change anything about this.”
Einstein, who was a German-born Jew, also acknowledges his love and shared identity with the Jewish people, but calls Judaism, “like all other religions… an incarnation of primitive superstition.”
Until yesterday’s sale, the highest price paid for an Einstein letter was $2 million in March, 2002. That was for a version of his 1939 letter to then US president Franklin Roosevelt, warning him of the possibility Germany was working on nuclear weapons.