Charles Krauthammer: ‘How dreams of peace led to Israel’s biggest mistake’
On June 10, 2002, Charles Krauthammer delivered the Distinguished Rennert Lecture upon receiving the Guardian of Zion Award from Bar-Ilan University’s Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies. Below is an excerpt from the lecture titled “He Tarries: Jewish Messianism and the Oslo Peace.”
In the 1990s, America slept and Israel dreamed.
The United States awoke on Sept. 11, 2001. Israel awoke in September 2000.
Like the left and like the reverie that we had in the United States, secular messianism was intoxicated with the idea that history had changed from a history based on military and political conflict to one in which the ground rules were set by markets and technology. This was the infatuation with globalization as the great leveler and the abolisher of things like politics, war and international conflict. This kind of geo-economics was widely accepted in the early post-Cold War era.
It was Sept. 11th that abolished that illusion. It taught us in America there are enemies, they are ideological, they care nothing for economics and they will use whatever military power they have as a means to achieve their ideological ends. This is the old history, perhaps the oldest history of all, the war of one God against another. No new history, no break in history, no redemption from history.
The other source of this secular messianism in the Israeli context was the success of the European Union, which was seen as a model for peace in the Middle East. There was talk of Israel, Palestinian and Jordan becoming a new Benelux, with common markets, open borders, friendship and harmony.
Indeed, if you look at the Oslo Accords, of course there is page upon page of all of these ideas of cooperation on economics, on technology, on environment, all which in retrospect appear absurd. And indeed, this entire idea of the Benelux on the Jordan looks insane in retrospect, but I believe that it was insane from the very beginning, when it was first proposed 10 years ago.
Last week, Charles Krauthammer, one of America’s most incisive and influential political analysts and a profound thinker on issues pertaining to Judaism and the Jewish people, passed away at the age of sixty-eight. In 2016, Krauthammer engaged in an extended conversation with Roger Hertog based on his 1998 essay “At Last, Zion,” on the future of the Jewish people in American and Israel. At the conversation’s end, Krauthammer elaborates on a remark he once made that “I don’t believe in God, but I fear Him greatly.”
Long ago, when I was very young, I went from being a fervent believer to being not so much a non-believer as a skeptic. My theology can be summed up [thus]: the only theology I know is not true . . . is atheism. Everything else I’m unsure about. . . . The idea [espoused by] Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins that . . . there is nothing except what we see, and that’s it, is to me the most implausible, arrogant. It just can’t be, because things don’t create themselves. . . .
I have a deep belief in a transcendent “out there.” I don’t particularly believe in the mythologies that are told by any of the religions. I have an enormous attachment to the Jewish tradition and to the depth and the subtlety of its understanding of life, morality, and of metaphysics. I’ve always been interested in it, and to me . . . it is important for Jews to try to continue that tradition, to make sure it lives, and to make sure that culture is nourished. . . .
As to my own idea [that even if there is no God], “I fear Him greatly,” it’s because I believe in transcendence, some transcendence. [Since] I will never—we will never, as a species—be able to grasp what it is, there is a certain trepidation. In Judaism it’s called the fear of heaven. . . . I’m not really afraid, but in some ways you tremble when you look at the universe and you think, “I think I understand things.” . . . Human beings need to tremble when looking at the universe. If not, they don’t understand what’s going on. That’s sort of the key: to understand how little we can understand. . . .
Britain’s Prince William landed in Israel early on Monday evening, kicking off the first-ever official visit by a member of the royal family since the British Mandate ended and the State of Israel was founded in 1948.
William, the second in line to the British throne, was welcomed at Ben Gurion Airport by Tourism Minister Yariv Levin and MK Amir Ohana, both members of the ruling Likud party.
The Duke of Cambridge’s three-day stay, ending the royal family’s seven-decade unofficial boycott of Israel, is likely to be full of historical symbolism, though it was initially billed as a celebration of the unprecedentedly good bilateral ties between London and Jerusalem.
However, the trip is taking place under a minor cloud of controversy, as Kensington Palace’s official itinerary states that the prince’s visit to Jerusalem’s Old City — where he is likely to stop at the Western Wall and Muslim and Christian holy sites — will take place in the “Occupied Palestinian Territories.”
“We will receive today the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, for the historic first visit in Israel of a representative of the British royal family,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier Monday at the start of the Likud faction meeting.
“I must say this is not exactly true because there is a representative, his great-grandmother Princess Alice, one of the Righteous of the Nations who saved Jews in Greece during the Second World War and requested to be buried in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu added.
Addressing Likud lawmakers, he joked that he would have invited all of the party’s MKs to meet the prince, but “it is a little cramped at the Prime Minister’s Residence, so we will welcome him on your behalf and on behalf of all the citizens of Israel — welcome!”
Referencing the Inquisition, Israel implied that a Spanish city’s anti-Israel resolution was rooted in the country’s history of anti-Semitism from the 15th century.
A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Madrid suggested this on the embassy’s official Twitter account this week.
“Navarre 1498: Jews out. Pamplona 2018: They forbidden to enter,” the spokesman wrote. On Tuesday, the municipality of Pamplona passed a motion calling for a “military embargo” on Israel.
Jews were expelled from what it today is the Spanish state of Navarre as part of the Spanish Inquisition, a campaign of persecution against Jews and other non-Christians that the Catholic Church and the Spanish royal house initiated in 1492. It wiped out one of the world’s most illustrious and successful Jewish communities.
References to the Inquisition in statements about present-day political issues are rare among Israeli diplomats working on relations with Spain.
Last month, the parliament of the state of Navarre adopted a resolution calling on Spain to suspend its ties with Israel “until that country ceases its policy of criminal repression of the Palestinian population.” The final version stopped short of calling for a boycott of Israel or support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting the Jewish state.
A “wave” of municipal resolutions hostile to Israel have passed in Spain in recent weeks, following riots in the Gaza Strip and changes in the Spanish political landscape.
The latest declaration, approved by the City Council of Pamplona on Monday, calls on the Spanish government and European Union “to impose an immediate military embargo” on Israel, and blacklists all the country’s officials as “persona non grata” in the city.
The measure passed with the support of Basque nationalist factions and the far-left anti-austerity Podemos party, with the conservative Navarrese People’s Union standing in opposition. The Socialist Party of Navarre — a branch of Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) — abstained.
The PSOE has helmed the Spanish government since earlier this month, when it led the ouster of conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy with a no confidence vote. Its minority government is reliant on the support of Podemos — the third-largest party in parliament — as well as Basque and Catalan secessionists.
Yet before assuming power, the PSOE supported a measure passed in May by the autonomous province of Navarre, which called on the Spanish government to break ties with and sanction Israel over its “criminal repression of the Palestinian population.”
Advanced by activists from Podemos, the declaration expressed support for the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and their five million descendants to Israel. It also endorsed the “Great Return March” led by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas near Gaza’s border with Israel, which drew international attention on May 14 after more than 60 Palestinians — the majority claimed by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad as members– were killed by Israeli troops.
A lawmaker for a populist right-wing party in Sweden has been accused of racism after writing on Facebook that Jews and members of the Sami minority are not Swedes, JTA reported Friday.
Bjorn Soder, who represents the Sweden Democrats party at the Riksdag, the Swedish parliament, insists that in his post Sunday he never questioned minorities’ rights as Swedish citizens but merely stood up for their rights to preserve their distinct ethnic identities.
Soder had criticized Annie Loof, a Cabinet minister for the liberal Centre Party, who wrote on Twitter that her “Jewish friends are simply my Swedish friends: As a citizen of Sweden, you are Swedish, even whether you belong to one of our national minorities or not.”
Soder responded that Loof was “undermining” the status of those five minorities by downplaying their distinctive identities, as he described it.
“These groups have minority positions in Sweden precisely because they are not Swedes. Shame on you, Annie Loof, for your racist attitude,” he wrote, according to JTA.
Democratic congressman and Texas Senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke called the move of the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem “provocative” on Sunday, saying it provided “incentives and incitement to violence.”
The U.S. officially opened the new embassy in Jerusalem in May following President Donald Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. A young Muslim woman at O’Rourke’s town hall in Flower Mound brought up the move, which was supported by the man O’Rourke is trying to unseat, Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas).
The woman blasted Cruz for his support of relocating the embassy and asked O’Rourke what he would to do to change the “crisis of human consciousness and arguably one of the worst humanitarian disasters our world faces today.”
“This policy on the part of the president, this decision he made to move the embassy, was absolutely, unnecessarily provocative,” O’Rourke said.
O’Rourke added anyone who knew anything about the Middle East and the status of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations “knew that there were going to be those who would suffer as a result, as they predictably have.”
The Palestinian Information Center asks the question accompanied by photos of presumably Arab farmers loading these wonderful apples…into boxes with Hebrew lettering.
Yup, those Israeli apples are truly delicious!
The Presbyterian Church USA passed several resolutions critical of Israel at its biennal General Assembly, including one that referred to Israel as an apartheid state.
A resolution opposing anti-BDS legislation at the state and federal level also passed late Friday.
The assembly considered 11 resolutions on Israel.
It voted down resolutions that the church said were not sufficiently critical of Israel because they also mentioned Palestinian transgressions, particularly the terrorist group Hamas.
A resolution on the recent violence between Gaza Palestinians and Israeli troops on the border with the coastal strip was stripped of references to Hamas, which has fomented violence on the border. The amended resolution, about which some members of the Middle East Committee expressed misgivings, passed by a vote of 438-34, according to the Presbyterian Outlet news service.
The Assembly approved by a vote of 442-18 a measure urging Presbyterians to “reach out in open, truthful dialogue with Jewish colleagues” to discuss the issue of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
A resolution that calls on the real estate firm Re/Max to stop handling property sales in Israeli settlements passed by a vote of 393-55.
A few weeks before the PCUSA convened in St. Louis for its 223rd General Assembly, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) announced that it wouldn’t be sending any representatives to the meeting, as it had in the past.
Basically, the AJC stated that it was no longer willing to participate in the GA “farce” and “drama” whose best-case scenario is “exaggerated Jewish relief that anti-Israel resolutions are marginally toned down before passage.”
This is an apt way to view past GAs of this church, and the AJC’s decision to stay away is understandable although, as we noted in our prior post, also regrettable.
But based on the accounts of those who were there on the ground in St. Louis to support PFMEP, this time around there was substantial opposition to the anti-Zionist agenda and not an insignificant amount of impatience with IPMN. The GA also moved more so than it has done in the past to advance PFMEP’s core mission—grassroots reconciliation efforts between Israelis and Palestinians. So the outcome wasn’t just a series of superficially amended resolutions.
Bottom line: the “overwhelming Israel-bashing” at the PCUSA’s General Assemblies is by no means over. PFMEP and other true supporters of the tradition of Christian peacemaking will still need to labor against difficult odds to counter anti-Israelism within their church. Still, what happened last week at the GA in St. Louis should serve as an important lesson: arenas that have long been hijacked and corrupted by horrible BDS hate campaigns can be turned around by people of good will. In time, they can even be reclaimed.
It looks like the London-based anti-Israel organisation InMinds (the In is short for “Innovative”, apparently) couldn’t manage more than a few old codgers when it staged a demo a few days ago outside the British capital’s European Commission offices ranting on about the Israeli diamond trade.
The familiar Sandra Watfa was not on hand to lead the propaganda, so her sidekick, the plummy-voiced woman whose party piece it used to be to jump aboard Tube trains and subject the passengers to Israel-demonising “poetry”, did the honours instead.
The posters that she and the two elderly gents shown on this Alex Seymour/Seymour Alexander video have at first glance the look of aprons, and that logo, given its position in relation to their anatomy, rather comical …
The video is introduced by a new background lyric and ends with a more familiar one …
If Israel plays a part in the persecution of Christians, it must be doing a very bad job indeed.
“Shortly after the  war, [Israeli Defense Minister] Dayan met with officials of the Muslim Wakf, who governed the holy site, and formally returned the Mount to their control…. the Wakf would determine who prayed at the site, an arrangement that would effectively bar non-Muslim prayer.” — Yossi Klein Halevi, The Atlantic.
It should be clear from the above that Israel is one of the least likely countries in the world to persecute the followers of any religion. A well-educated and thinking man, Bishop Tomlin ought to have known this or have been able to check the facts for himself. None of the above is remotely secret.
“[A]re the world Christian bodies denouncing the Islamic forces for the ethnic cleansing, genocide and historic demographic-religious revolution their brethren are suffering? No. Christians these days are busy targeting the Israeli Jews.” — Giulio Meotti, Italian journalist.
On June 3rd, Sky News Arabia (a joint venture between the UK-based Sky News and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation) published a report on its website under the headline “110 attacks on Al-Aqsa and the Ibrahimi mosque during May”.
The report was based on statistics from the official Palestinian news agency (WAFA), which quoted the Palestinian Waqf and Religious Affairs minister, Youssef Ideiss.
Whilst it’s true that reports will inevitably be affected by the terminology used by the chosen source, journalistic ethics demands that editors attempt to mitigate its impact. However, the Sky News Arabia report was blatantly biased towards the Palestinian position. The clearest evidence of this bias is the wording of the headline, and specifically the word ‘attacks’ (in Arabic, ‘ I’tida’aat ‘, a word with a clear negative connotation). Sky News Arabia did not even bother to clarify the nature of those ‘attacks’.
We should note that this term and others, such as ‘storm’ (e.g., “settlers stormed the mosque”) and ‘breach’, are usually dishonestly used by the Palestinian media to depict peaceful visits to the Temple Mount Plaza by Jews – visits restricted to certain hours and under the strict supervision of the Israeli police and the Islamic Waqf. This wasn’t the first time that Sky News Arabia has used this terminology. For instance, it claimed Jews ‘breached’ Al-Aqsa Mosque in a report on May 23rd [that’s what the image at the bottom of this post is meant to depict].
Moreover, shouldn’t Sky News Arabia have attempted to get an Israeli response to these allegations? Furthermore, the report also included the claim that “occupation squads” managed “to seize parts of the al-Rahma cemetery and turn it into a religious park, and for more than two weeks teams of the nature authority caused damage to it”. This claim is not based on any evidence.
On December 15th 2017 the BBC News website published a report titled “Jerusalem: Palestinians killed in fresh clashes with Israel” in which audiences were told that:
“Three Palestinians have died in Gaza during clashes with Israeli troops near the border, Palestinian officials say. […]
Palestinian medical sources say the men were shot dead on the eastern and northern borders of the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said they were investigating the reports.”
The findings of an investigation into one of those cases were published several days later but the BBC did not produce any follow-up reporting despite the fact that the IDF concluded that no live fire had been used in that case.
The same case was the subject of further investigation, the conclusions of which were published in late March.
“Findings of a Military Police investigation into the death of Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, a double amputee who was killed during a violent protest near the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip in mid December, reveal that the sniper fire had ended at least an hour before the time Abu Thuraya was hurt according to Palestinian reports, Ynet has learned.”
A German court convicted a Syrian migrant of Palestinian origin on assault charges for using his belt to lash out at an Israeli man wearing a kippa, in an assault that stoked fears of resurgent anti-Semitism.
Knaan al-Sebai, 19, was sentenced Monday to four weeks of juvenile detention, but was allowed to walk free, having already served over two months in pre-trial detention.
“I made a mistake and I have learned from it,” he told the Berlin court, after a trial in which he denied that the April 17 attack was motivated by anti-Semitism.
A video of the street assault, filmed by the victim on his smartphone, sparked widespread public revulsion, as it spread on social media, and triggered street rallies in solidarity with Jews.
The footage showed the attacker, one of a group of three, shouting “yahudi” — Jew in Arabic — before striking the victim, leaving him injured.
A Swedish court on Monday sentenced two Palestinians and one Syrian to prison for attacking a synagogue with Molotov cocktails last year.
The court in the country’s second largest city of Gothenburg sentenced a 19-year-old Syrian to one year and three months in prison, while the two Palestinians, aged 24 and 22, received two years.
A few days after US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital, a dozen people threw multiple burning objects at the Gothenburg synagogue on the evening of December 9, 2017.
The prosecution argued that the charges were aggravated by “the crime’s motive to violate an ethnic group because of its beliefs.”
Some 20 young people participating in a celebration briefly took shelter in a cellar during the attack, but no one was injured.
The court added that the attack’s “purpose was to threaten, harm and violate both the members of the Jewish community and the Jewish people as a whole.”
Spanish authorities arrested an illegal immigrant from Morocco for allegedly inciting on social media hatred against Jews.
The 32-year-old man disseminated hate speech “against the Jewish community [of Spain] and generally” on Facebook and YouTube before his arrest earlier this month in the Canary Islands, ABC Canary Islands reported Saturday based on information given by a source in the national police.
The report did not name the suspect, but it did say that the content he shared had “considerable reach” on Facebook. He had been under investigation since 2017.
Arrests over hate speech are rare in Spain.
In 2016, a Spanish judge recommended the prosecution for incitement to violence of a person who shared on Facebook an Israeli-made music video spoofing Palestinian propaganda.
A new museum in Poland will exhibit over 40,000 accounts of Polish Christians who saved Jews during the Holocaust.
The Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage will donate $22 million to the “Saint John Paul II Memory and Identity Museum,” whose goal is to present the over 1000-year history of Christian Poland with particular emphasis on the teachings of Pope John Paul II and its impact on the fate of Poland, Europe and the world.
The museum, located in Toruń, will be run by the Lux Veritatis Foundation associated with the controversial Roman Catholic priest Tadeusz Rydzyk, who publicly espouses anti-Semitic views.
The new museum named Saint John Paul II is to show the thousand-year history of Christianity in Poland. Part of the exposition will be the accounts of witnesses regarding the rescue of Jews by Poles during the war. These accounts have been collected since 1995 by Rydzyk and the Lux Veritatis Foundation.
“The museum will fill an important gap in our museum offerings, which still does not sufficiently cover both the axiology of John Paul II and the issues of Polish-Jewish relations during World War II,” Polish Minister of Culture Piotr Gliński said in a statement.
A museum director has not been named.
A Muslim-British businessman was sentenced to 100 hours of community service for an anti-Semitic rant on an airplane last year.
Shamraize Bashir, 34, a businessman from Bradford, in northern England, blamed his anti-Semitic comments made in June last year on smoking cannabis during Ramadan, the British newspaper the Daily Mail reported on Monday. He was also sentenced to receive treatment for his cannabis use.
“You know the really fat Jewish women yeah? Their job is to let their husbands f*** them and make babies for them,” Bashir said loudly while standing with friends in the back of an EasyJet flight from Tel Aviv to the United Kingdom last June. He continued to swear after being asked to stop his rant.
One woman on the flight began crying over the outburst, according to the newspaper.
Bashir was arrested when the plane landed in Manchester.
He told the court on Monday that his rant “was out of character,” and blamed it on his use of cannabis prior to the flight and during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which requires daily fasting.
Some 25 Jews and Muslims from Berlin and surrounding areas rode tandem bicycles through the German capital on Sunday in a protest against growing anti-Semitism and attacks on Muslims in the country.
Among the cyclists sharing bikes on the ride through Berlin were rabbis and imams. There were also women in headscarves and Jewish men with skullcaps. The ride started at Berlin’s Holocaust memorial.
Rabbi Elias Dray, a community rabbi in the Bavarian town of Amber who was one of the organizers of the interfaith tour, said it was intended to boost contacts between Jews and Muslims and other Germans.
“There’s often prejudice in places where there’s little contact,” Dray said. “Anywhere it’s a big gain to get to know Judaism and Islam.”
He rode a tandem bicycle with Berlin Imam Ender Cetin. They and others wore white vests with the words “Jews and Muslims for respect and tolerance.”
In addition to the 25 interfaith cyclists, dozens of people joined the tour in a show of solidarity.
A Berlin museum said Monday that it had formally restituted a 15th century religious wooden sculpture to the heirs of former owners, a Jewish couple who fled the Nazi regime.
The heirs in turn agreed to sell back the medieval artifact, “Three Angels with the Christ Child,” at an undisclosed price to the Bode Museum, which will keep it in its collection.
The agreement meant “righting an injustice,” said the head of Berlin’s public museums, Michael Eissenhauer, who thanked the heirs for the “grand gesture” that will keep the priceless piece on public display.
The delicately carved 25-centimeter- (10-inch-) tall sculpture from around 1430 shows three floating angels in the clouds holding a cloth on which lies the sleeping infant Jesus.
It once belonged to the private collection of Ernst Saulmann, a Jewish industrialist, and his wife Agathe, an architect’s daughter, who was one of the few female pilots of her era.
The head of the Tibetan government-in-exile quietly visited Israel over the last few days in a low-key bid to shore up support for his people’s campaign for more autonomy from China.
Lobsang Sangay, known as the Sikyong, or “ruler,” of the Central Tibetan Administration, flew back to his home in India on Sunday evening after spending nearly a week in Israel, during which he toured the country and met with civil society groups.
He deliberately did not ask for meetings with government officials, saying he wanted to learn more about the country first, but intends to return here next year and step us his advocacy.
In line with Tibetan tradition, Sangay hailed nonviolence as the best way to fight oppression and achieve peace, though he steered clear of taking a position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“As Tibetans, we advocate nonviolence and we practice nonviolence,” he told The Times of Israel in an interview in his Jerusalem hotel Sunday. “Without intruding into the domestic issues, we always say that we believe in nonviolence. Because we believe that for lasting peace, we need the process also to be peaceful. Then you reach lasting peace.”
Chicago blues guitarist Buddy Guy will be returning to Israel this fall for a special show to benefit “Krembo Wings” – an inclusive youth movement for children with and without disabilities.
Guy, 81, will be taking the stage in October along with a who’s who of Israeli musicians, including Ninet Tayeb, Rami Fortis, Yehuda Keisar and more.
Guy was last in Israel in 2016, when he headlined the Tel Aviv Blues Festival. One of the world’s greatest bluesmen, Guy was ranked 30th in Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
With more than two dozen studio albums under his belt and seven Grammys – plus a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Guy hasn’t stopped producing. His latest album, The Blues is Alive and Well, was just released this month. Over his illustrious, more than six-decade-long career, Guy has collaborated with everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and many more.
Krembo Wings is a youth movement that is operational in 65 locations across the country with approximately 6,000 members. The organization encompasses, religious, secular, Jewish, Arab, Beduin, and Druze members as well as those with disabilities and those without.
Kan, the Israeli public broadcaster, officially approached four cities in Israel this week and requested they submit a bid to host next year’s Eurovision competition.
On Sunday, the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation asked the three largest cities – Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa – and the popular resort city of Eilat – to present it with a detailed pitch to host the 2019 song contest.
But those four may not be the only cities in the running. A spokeswoman for Kan told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that later this week, it will publish a detailed set of criteria and invite any other cities who meet the benchmarks to submit their candidacy to host.
Kan said that its criteria for hosting will be published on its site later in the week. The European Broadcasting Union, meanwhile, has its own list of demands for any host city in the world. Those include an indoor venue that can accommodate around 10,000 spectators, an international press center for 1,500 journalists, hotel rooms for at least 2,000 people and significant transportation infrastructure.
After a meeting in Geneva between Kan and EBU officials last week, the Eurovision’s governing body said a host city would be announced no later than September, as is the norm. Kan said on Sunday that it will be holding another meeting with the EBU in the coming weeks.
Two handwritten letters penned by the legendary physicist Albert Einstein have been put up for auction with bids starting at $25,000 for each document.
One of the letters was written on March 28, 1933, the very day the Nobel Prize winner renounced his German citizenship and returned his passport at a German consulate after realizing he could no longer return to his homeland due to the rise of the Nazis under Adolf Hitler.
The second letter, from 1938, gives details of Einstein’s efforts to help Jewish refugees escape from Nazi Germany.
The letters, written in German, are to be auctioned as separate lots by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on Thursday in Los Angeles, the auctioneers said in a statement.
Hitler’s rise to power as chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933, caught the Einsteins while they were on an extended visit to the United States. They decided to return to Germany — despite two Nazi raids on their Berlin apartment and warnings from friends to stay away — with the intention of staying at their villa in Caputh.
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