Auction No. 106

Letters by A. Einstein and Other Illustrious Personalities, Zionism, Jewish Art, letters of Rabbis and Rebbes and Collection of letters to Sir Moses Montefiore from the archive of the late Rabbi Avraham Shisha - London - Buyer's commission 22%

March 6, 2018
Opening $ 8,000
Estimate $ 15,000 - $ 20,000
Sold for $ 14,640
Including buyer's premium

Collection of [10] letters, including [4] letters from Prof. Einstein, relating to his efforts to release a young musician from a refugee camp in Canada. Summer 1942.

Helmut Blume evaded the draft to the Nazi army by pretending to be feeble-minded. Later, this classification prevented him from being admitted into Canada, and he was held in a refugee camp in the country. In a letter to his relative, Prof. Fajans, Blume asked him to write a letter on his behalf to Mr. Blair, the director of the Canadian government's immigration department in Ottawa. Blume also asked Prof. Fajans to ask his colleague, Prof. Albert Einstein, to write a similar letter.
Fajans wrote a letter to Blair asking for Blume's release from the refugee camp, noting his personal impression that Blume did not suffer from emotional problems and suggested that he be released. He expressed his confidence that Blume's release would be a blessing for the community in which he would settle. Fajans also sent a copy of Blume's letter to Einstein and asked him to act on Blume's behalf.
As soon as Einstein received Fajans' letter, he wrote his own letter to Blair. He explained that the circumstance behind Blume's diagnosis as depressive was only a means to be released from the German army, and he supports his release. He emphasized Blume's musical abilities, his political loyalty, and the fact that he was a distant cousin of his colleague, Prof. Fajans. Einstein sent Fajans a copy of the letter that he sent to Blair. Einstein did not receive a response from the Canadian immigration authority, so he sent them another letter on behalf of Blume. Again, he updated Fajans about this second letter.
In the meantime, Blume was informed that he won a scholarship to study at the Toronto Conservatory of Music. Prof. Fajans reported the efforts made to release him, and Blume wrote thank-you letters to Fajans and Einstein.
Shortly following their efforts, the Canadian immigration authority decided to release Blume and allow him to make use of the scholarship and study in the Toronto Conservatory of Music, as indicated by Blair's letter to Fajans. Einstein was happy to hear the positive developments regarding Blume's release from the refugee camp, and expressed his satisfaction in a letter to Prof. Fajans.

Background: Prof. Kazimierz Fajans [1887-1995] was a Jewish, Polish-American physicist-chemist, a pioneer in the study of radioactivity and the discoverer of protactinium. He studied chemistry in Germany and finished his doctorate in 1909. He headed the faculty of physical chemistry in Munich. In 1935, he left Germany and moved to Cambridge. He later moved to the United States where he joined the faculty of the University of Michigan.
Helmut Blume [1914-1998] was a talented, Jewish-German musician. He studied music at the University of Berlin and in England. He was imprisoned in 1940 as a citizen of an enemy country and brought to a camp in Canada. In 1942, he was released and continued his studies at the Toronto Conservatory of Music where he soon became a prominent pianist. He joined the faculty of music and was involved in musical education and award-winning radio and television musical broadcasts. He was a founder of the Canadian Association of University Schools of Music and served as a professor emeritus at McGill University.

* Typed letter from Helmut Blume, from the Sherbrooke refugee camp, 21.06.1942. [1] leaf, typed text on both sides of the leaf. 20x25 cm.
* Three carbon copies of Fajans' letters to Einstein, Blume and Blair. 13-15.7.1942. [1] yellow paper, 21x28 cm.
* Letter to Fajans from Einstein, signed. Princeton, 18.7.1942. German. [1] letterhead. 21x28 cm.
* Carbon copy of Einstein's letter to Blair. New York, 18.7.1942. [1] Yellow paper, 21x28 cm.
* Letter, handwritten and signed by Helmut Blume, to Prof. Fajans. Sherbrooke refugee camp, 26.7.1942. [1] paper, text on both sides. 21x27 cm.
* Typewritten letter, signed by Prof. Einstein, to Prof. Fajans, 5.8.1942. German. [1] leaf. 21x28 cm.
* Typewritten letter signed by Blair to Prof. Fajans, on the letterhead of the Canadian immigration authority. Ottawa, 27.8.1942. [1] letterhead, 20x25 cm.
* Typewritten letter, signed by Einstein, to Prof. Fajans. New York, 31.8.1942. German. [1] letterhead. 21x27 cm.

Condition: Very fine. Fold marks.

Letters by A. Einstein and Other Illustrious Personalities