A handwritten letter from Albert Einstein resulted in an almost $ 2.9 million (around € 2.6 million) Tuesday at an auction in New York.

Two bidders delivered telephone calls for writing about four minutes, which caused the price to be pushed up. The buyer has remained anonymous, as well as the seller. Auction house Christie’s first thought that the German-language  letter would yield 1 to 1.5 million dollars.

The world-famous physicist (1879-1955) wrote the two sides of the so-called ‘god letter’ in 1954 to the philosopher Eric Gutkind. The born German describes his view on religion, his Jewish identity and life.


The letter was written on the occasion of Gutkind’s book  Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt , in which the philosopher shares his interpretation of the faith. Einstein read the book on the advice of the Dutch mathematician and philosopher Luitzen Egbertus Jan Brouwer.

Einstein criticizes Gutkind in his letter. He writes that it hurts him that the German claims a “privileged position and tries to defend it through two walls of pride, an external as a human being and an internal as a Jew”. Einstein further stated that he agrees with Gutkind on the “essential matters”.

The letter was written two months before the 75th birthday of Einstein. Then he proclaimed to be “a deeply religious non-believer” according to Auction House Christie’s.