eBay to auction Einstein 'God letter' for $3 million

Written in 1954, the "God letter" expresses the renowned physicist's feelings on religion, Judaism, and the existence of a supreme being.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Anyone with at least $3 million to spare may be able to own a 1954 letter written by Albert Einstein.

Up for auction on eBay starting today, the letter was written by Einstein a year before his death and sent to Eric Gutkind in response to Gutkind's book "Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt." As such, it offers a revealing look into the scientist's private and unadulterated attitude toward religion and his own Jewish heritage.

"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish," reads one sentence translated from its original German.

"For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions," reads another passage. "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."

Since its 2008 purchase by an unknown buyer, the letter has been preserved in a controlled environment at an academic institution, according to Reuters. Its authenticity has never been challenged and is heightened by the original envelope, stamp, and postmark.

Managed by marketing firm Auction Cause, the auction will run until October 18. With just a starting price of $3 million, Auction Cause President Eric Gazin told Reuters he expects the bidding to reach as high as double or triple that amount.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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