Albert Einstein (1879-1955).

Autograph letter signed ('Albert') to his sister, Maja Winteler-Einstein, and his brother-in-law, Paul Winteler, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, [postmarked 7 February 1931].

In German, one page, 279 x 215mm, on headed paper. Envelope.

Maja Winteler-Einstein (1881-1951) & her husband Paul Winteler (1882-1952) – Besso family.
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Lot Essay

'Playing the part of the good Lord or his assistant': impressions of America during a stay in California.

Einstein and Elsa are enjoying 'spring during winter' in California: 'If there were not so many people bothering us, it would be heavenly. The academics here are as capable as they are pleasant. There is neither envy nor grimness of any kind'. He remarks on the 'deeply democratic' nature of Americans, and the 'generally harmless, happy existence, even in bad times', even if at a political level it is 'unbelievably corrupt'; whilst 'socialists or suspected communist sympathisers are simply thrown in the penitentiary', although one can buy one's way out, 'so a rich man can permit himself anything'. Newspapers are of a very low level, whilst popular education is rather primitive especially in the arts: but overall, he is impressed by the prevalence of 'good health and self-reliance both physical and and mental'. Manners are illiberal, and there is 'great uniformisation in everything, in spite of racial differences', as well as huge differences in wealth, which are softened by charity rather than legal frameworks. He concludes with feeling: 'We are off home in three weeks; thank God I will then no longer have to play the part of the good Lord or his assistant'.
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Einstein and Family: Letters and Portraits
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