Einstein Letter in Brazil
A letter from Albert Einstein written almost 65 years ago has been discovered in a safe at a Brazilian school, according to reports. A typed message with the signature of the physicist is dated June 24, 1951, Princeton, New Jersey, which is where Einstein lived most of his life. The letter is addressed to students at Colégio Anchieta, a Jesuit school in Porto Alegre in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul.
Written in German, it reads in translation: “He who knows the happiness of understanding has gained an infallible friend for life. Thinking is to man what flying is to birds. Don’t follow the example of a chicken when you could be a lark.”
The note was authenticated by a legal expert and graphologist, who matched the signature against officially accepted examples of Einstein’s writing, local media reported.
The school said the letter was sent to Father Gaspar Dutra, who lived in the US and met Einstein in New York. Father Dutra later returned to Brazil and brought the letter to Porto Alegre and kept it locked in the school safe.
“This really is a message that Einstein left for students, to motivate them to seek knowledge because he was a remarkable person within science,” Dario Schneider, teacher, told news website G1. “And we, as educators, want to promote this.”
The director general of the school, which has 3,000 pupils, said he had heard of the letter since joining the high school 40 years ago but had not looked for it until now. “The man who invented the Theory of Relativity thought to write to young people in a city that maybe he never even knew existed,” said João Claudio Rhoden, director general of the school.
“This document has a very great educational value, as well as historical value in its message, in this memento he gave to the students.”
[This article was written by Donna Bowater, the Rio de Janeiro correspondent for The Telegraph. It was edited by CIE.]