man who will have deserved any assistance in his education that may be extended to him. I would be very pleased if this were made possible.
Princeton, N.J., April 24, 1939 Professor Albert Einstein
Professor Einstein wrote me a letter, addressed “To Whom it May Concern,” stating that while he did not know me personally, he had been reliably informed of my scholastic abilities, and would appreciate any help to get me a scholarship. (I still have that letter.) Primarily thanks to that letter, I finally received a scholarship...that eventually gave me my start on a new life.
It is amazing to me the steady stream of people in my Opa’s life who provided a helping hand when he needed it. Helen Dukas went out of her way to help Opa by responding to his family’s request for help, following through with the American Friends Service Committee, and lastly, probably drafting the letter herself and putting it in front of Albert Einstein to sign- and sending it on its way in the mail.
It is just icing on the cake that Albert Einstein among those who did something to help Opa. I did a little research, and Einstein was known to help the German-Jewish refugees, specifically any who showed promise as scholars. I found an article online that referenced a collection of letters:
The letters in the Bergreen Collection illustrate Einstein’s deep and abiding commitment to securing the safe removal of Jewish scholars from Germany as well as their placement at institutions abroad.(found this article here: http://specialcollections.vassar.edu/exhibits/einstein/essay3.html) In this article, it makes the point that Einstein didn’t always know for sure that the person he wrote the recommendation for was qualified. Some people might be annoyed by that, I find it kind of endearing. He really was an absent-minded professor. So, Einstein recommended Opa. And we (my family) still have the letter to show for it. Thanks, Professor Einstein. And thank you Helen for seeing it through.