Einstein’s 50th birthday was celebrated worldwide in 1929 with great fanfare. In the US, an event was held at the Metropolitan Opera House on April 16, 1929, where many celebratory pronouncements were made by dignitaries from all fields. Herman Bernstein was the chairman of the U.S. celebration of Einstein’s 50th birthday.
In historical perspective, 1929 seems to mark the highpoint of Einstein’s public fame. Recognized internationally for his scientific genius, Einstein was arguably the world’s most famous man in 1929. It is in such a context of fame that Einstein’s 50th birthday celebration was planned and that the present letter was written.
Despite his great fame, Einstein remained a modest and private man. In this important letter written at the height of Einstein’s fame, Einstein here asserts that he does not approve of the “cult of personality” built up around him. But Einstein nonetheless condones it in the given circumstance, as the intention was to do honor to the Jewish people.
A HANDSOMELY WRITTEN LETTER. NOT FORMALLY PUBLISHED.
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