Einstein letter lauding Swiss system set for sale

February 20, 2012

A letter written by celebrated physicist Albert Einstein extolling the virtues of Switzerland is expected to fetch thousands of francs (euros, dollars) when it goes under the hammer there in June.

The 1917 letter was sent to German Jewish industrialist and Walther Rathenau who went on to serve as foreign affairs minister before being assassinated in 1922.

In the note, German-born Einstein, who became a Swiss national in 1901, hailed the benefits of small states and cited Switzerland as an example.

The future said that the size of the country's cantons necessitated a federal structure to assume essential state functions however.

He held up the German district of Brandenburg as the ideal administrative size.

The letter is from a private collection and will be auctioned by the Fischer Gallery in Lucerne where it is expected to attract bids of between 25,000 and 35,000 Swiss francs (20,800 to 29,100 euros, $27,500-38,450).

In 2009, the gallery sold Einstein's doctorate certificate from Zurich University for 300,960 francs.

Explore further: Einstein doctorate up for auction

Related Stories

Einstein doctorate up for auction

March 6, 2009

The doctorate certificate that Albert Einstein obtained from the University of Zurich in 1906 will come up for auction in June, auctioneers Fischer Galerie said Friday.

Swiss nuclear shutdown to cost $22.5bn: study

November 24, 2011

Shutting down Switzerland's five nuclear power stations will cost about 20.7 billion Swiss francs (16.8 billion euros, $22.5 billion) and take about 20 years, Swiss authorities said on Thursday.

'Regards to your old lady'

March 3, 2011

The ETH-Bibliothek at ETH Zurich (Switzerland) is to post six new Einstein letters to his university friend Jakob Ehrat and the latter's mother Emma Ehrat-Uhlinger on the web. The ETH-Bibliothek currently holds over one hundred ...

Recommended for you

Metacognition training boosts gen chem exam scores

October 20, 2017

It's a lesson in scholastic humility: You waltz into an exam, confident that you've got a good enough grip on the class material to swing an 80 percent or so, maybe a 90 if some of the questions go your way.

Scientists see order in complex patterns of river deltas

October 19, 2017

River deltas, with their intricate networks of waterways, coastal barrier islands, wetlands and estuaries, often appear to have been formed by random processes, but scientists at the University of California, Irvine and other ...

Six degrees of separation: Why it is a small world after all

October 19, 2017

It's a small world after all - and now science has explained why. A study conducted by the University of Leicester and KU Leuven, Belgium, examined how small worlds emerge spontaneously in all kinds of networks, including ...

Ancient DNA offers new view on saber-toothed cats' past

October 19, 2017

Researchers who've analyzed the complete mitochondrial genomes from ancient samples representing two species of saber-toothed cats have a new take on the animals' history over the last 50,000 years. The data suggest that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.