In 1927, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist named Philipp Lenard wrote a letter to a colleague complaining about his recent achievements. Albert Einstein and to think that academia and science are being dominated by the Jews.
Lenard, an early supporter of the Nazi Party of Germany, observed that the prestigious Einstein appointment was not worth it; then he wondered if the non-Jews would soon be completely wiped out.
The original letter, in German, was auctioned off at Nate D. Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles. The bid for the item, which also includes an English translation, starts at $ 16,000, according to auction list.
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In the letter – written to the physicist Wilhelm Wien, another Nobel laureate – Lenard praised “Einstein’s action”, implying that Einstein was recently admitted to the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Munich. said auction book. The “superficial wisdom” of Einstein’s academic uplift was an “unexpected proof of Jewish domination”, Lenard wrote.
He continued to wonder how his letter could be viewed in the future, “provided that any non-Jews are still alive after that,” he said.
But when Adolf Hitler took power in Germany, it was not the non-Jews that threatened with imminent destruction. From the beginning of World War II, the Nazis systematically started killing Jews across Europe, according to the report American Holocaust Memorial Museum. At the end of the war, an estimated 6 million Jews – more than two-thirds of European Jews – had been killed.
Lenard, who was born in Hungary in 1862, won it Nobel Prize in Physics in 1905 for his work on cathode rays, which led to the discovery of electrons and X ray, based on The Nobel Foundation. His experiments also explored the photoelectric effect – the release of electrons when light hits metal – and he “never forgave Einstein” for gaining greater recognition of the phenomenon. This, the Nobel Foundation noted in one story.
But Lenard’s hatred of Einstein also reflected his deep anti-Semitic beliefs. Lenard was such a devoted member of Hitler’s National Socialist Party that Nazi officials named him Head of Aryan Physics, according to biography.
By 1927, Einstein had come to realize that dangerous anti-Semitic sentiment was transcending common reverence in Germany, with a rising wave of fanatical nationalism and Fascism. Five years ago, in 1922, Einstein wrote a note with his sister, Maja while in hiding; he fled Berlin after the right-wing extremists murdered his friend Walther Rathenau, a Jew and German foreign minister.
“I’m doing pretty well, in spite of all the anti-Semites among my German colleagues,” wrote Einstein. “This is a dark period economically and politically.”
The auction for Lenard’s letter ends today (October 29) at 5 p.m. Pacific Time (8 p.m. ET).
Originally published on Live Science.