Albert Einstein (1879-1955).

Autograph letter signed ('Albert') to his sister, Maja Winteler-Einstein, n.p., n.d. [arriving in Los Angeles, probably on board MS Oakland, 9 January 1933, but possibly on MS Portland, 31 December 1931].

In German, 1½ pages, 188 x 141, on headed paper of the Hamburg-Amerika Linie.

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

'The more closely one looks, the deeper are the abysses': discovering 'the mathematical correlation of gravitation and electricity'; and the necessity of leaving behind his ever more problematic life in Germany.

The Einsteins are just arriving in Los Angeles after a voyage of four weeks: 'Of this journey one can say: necessary, but beautiful. It is necessary because life in Germany is becoming ever more problematic'; he mentions that their Gompertz relatives have become completely impoverished.

On scientific matters, he rejoices in his collaboration with the Viennese mathematician Walther Mayer: 'I now have a splendid collaborator, a Jewish mathematician from Vienna, with whom over the summer I found the mathematical correlation of gravitation and electricity. But otherwise I had to drop a great deal of what I had patched together with great pains over the last three years. The more closely one looks, the deeper are the abysses'. He is reading a history of the Jews, which is 'as horrible as it is mysterious': he will pass it to Maja when he has finished.

The Einsteins' three visits to the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, in the early months of 1931, 1932 and 1933, took place against an ever-darkening political background in Germany.
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