Einstein: "Jewish Smarts Serve One Well"

January 23, 1936

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Einstein: "Jewish Smarts Serve One Well"
Typed Letter Signed
1 page | SMC 797

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      Background

      For about a third of the last century, one could write to the most famous person in the world and receive an answer. Miss Inge Stern, a German émigrée to Los Angeles, asked Einstein for a favor involving, apparently, his photo and the name of his sons; here he grants it, and then adds that he is glad she has found her way so well. “Jewish smarts,” he sums up, “serve one well.”
       
      To be a Jew, Einstein felt, meant that history had imposed upon one a severe struggle – which could, and would, be overcome by intelligence, achievement and righteousness. That, and some “smarts," would allow for those condemned to wander in the Diaspora to continue to exist as the oldest of living peoples.


      Typed Letter Signed (“A. Einstein”), in German, 1 page, quarto, on his personal letterhead, 112 Mercer Street, Princeton, New Jersey, January 23, 1936. To Miss Inge Stern in Los Angeles.
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      A. EINSTEIN, 
      112, MERCER STREET,
      PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY, U.S.A.

      [Translated from German]

      23 January 1936

       
      Dear Miss Stern:
       
      I would be happy to give you permission to use this photograph, if it is in some way useful to you. My older son is called Albert and my grandson Bernhard. I am very glad that you found your way so well. Jewish smarts serve one well.
       
      My wife is feeling better since Professor Lichtwitz has found the cause of her suffering.
       
      With warm regards
       
      Your
       
      A. EINSTEIN.

      Page 2/2

      Page 2 transcript
      Miss Inge Stern
      1225 S.Union [sic] Ave.
      Los Angeles,Cal. [sic]