A handwritten missive by Albert Einstein known as the “God letter” is expected to fetch up to $1.5m (£1.2m) when it goes under the hammer.

The one-and-a-half-page letter, written in 1954 in German and addressed to the philosopher Eric Gutkind, contains reflections on God, the Bible and Judaism.

Einstein says:
“The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.”

The sentence has been hailed as evidence that the physicist, one of the 20th century’s most esteemed thinkers, was an atheist. But Einstein at times said he was not an atheist, and resented being labelled as one.

In the letter – being auctioned at Christie’s in New York on Tuesday – Einstein, a Jew, also articulates his disenchantment with Judaism.

“For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people,” he wrote.

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By Ian Dei

One thought on “Albert Einstein’s ‘God letter’ reflecting on religion up for auction”
  1. It would seem there is some money around for the after- thoughts of the famous. Einstein’s exceptional brain was baffled like the rest of us when it came to the meaning of life. He was worried about war and wrote a long letter to Sigmund Freud to see if he had any suggestions as to how we could prevent it. I suspect the atomic bomb played on his mind but is a problem clever men have to come to terms with smartness can be unwittingly very destructive.

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