A newly unearthed letter from Albert Einstein warning about anti-Semitism is a must read.

Albert Einstein is widely considered to be one of the most brilliant scientists who ever lived. He also had a surprisingly deep side and compassion for others.

In 2017, a note he wrote on happiness after winning the Nobel Peace Prize sold for over $1 million dollars.


Sadly, the latest unearthed letter from Einstein to fetch a hefty selling price has more to do with his seemingly prescient anticipation of anti-Semitism stemming from the growing tide of nationalism in Germany before the official rise of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party.

Written in 1922, the letter finds the physicist discussing his recent fleeing from Berlin after the country’s Foreign Minister, Walter Rathenau, who was Jewish, was assassinated by far right extremists. German officials warned Einstein that he could be targeted himself and that he should leave the city for his own safety.

“Nobody knows where I am,” Einstein wrote in the letter addressed to his sister, “and I’m believed to be missing.”

It’s unclear exactly which German city Einstein relocated to but he did not escape the toxic climate of anti-Semitism that was taking hold in his country.

“I am doing quite well, in spite of all the anti-Semites among my German colleagues,” he wrote to his sister, Maja. “I’m very reclusive here, without noise and without unpleasant feelings, and am earning my money mainly independent of the state, so that I’m really a free man.”

Kedem Auction House

The newly unearthed letter, which was submitted for auction by an anonymous seller, generated some obvious and undeniable parallels with the political climate in Europe today and particularly the rise of figures like Donald Trump in America and Brazil’s newly elected leader, Jair Bolsonaro.

“Here are brewing economically and politically dark times,” Einstein wrote to his sister, “so I’m happy to be able to get away from everything for half a year.”

And Einstein wasn’t just seeing the writing on the wall, he was true to his convictions. A year after Hitler seized power in Germany, Einstein renounced his citizenship and moved to the United States.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.