The First Edition of One of the 20th’s Century’s Great Works: Albert Einstein’s “Foundations of the General Theory of Relativity,” From the Library of a Noted Jewish Scientist

He had fled Germany to avoid the holocaust, and this book from his library, kept safe in Europe as World War II and the holocaust swirled around it, was reclaimed by his family in 1946

The General Theory of Relativity is a theory of gravitation developed by Einstein between 1907 and 1915, and is separate and distinct from his General Theory of Relativity, which was developed earlier. According to General Relativity, the observed gravitational attraction between masses results from the warping of space and time by those...

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The First Edition of One of the 20th’s Century’s Great Works: Albert Einstein’s “Foundations of the General Theory of Relativity,” From the Library of a Noted Jewish Scientist

He had fled Germany to avoid the holocaust, and this book from his library, kept safe in Europe as World War II and the holocaust swirled around it, was reclaimed by his family in 1946

The General Theory of Relativity is a theory of gravitation developed by Einstein between 1907 and 1915, and is separate and distinct from his General Theory of Relativity, which was developed earlier. According to General Relativity, the observed gravitational attraction between masses results from the warping of space and time by those masses.

Before the advent of General Relativity, Newton’s law of universal gravitation had been accepted for more than two hundred years as a valid description of the gravitational force between masses, even though Newton himself did not regard his theory as the final word on the nature of gravity. General Relativity relates gravitational fields to rotation, and predicts the effects of gravity, such as gravitational waves, the bending of light and gravitational redshift, gravitational lensing, and an effect of gravity on time known as gravitational time dilation. Many of these predictions have been confirmed by experiment or observation. He accounts for several effects that are unexplained by Newton’s law, such as anomalies in the orbits of Mercury and other planets. General Relativity has developed into an essential tool in modern astrophysics. It provides the foundation for the current understanding of black holes, regions of space where gravitational attraction is so strong that not even light can escape. Their strong gravity is thought to be responsible for the intense radiation emitted by certain types of astronomical objects. General Relativity is also part of the framework of the standard Big Bang model of cosmology.

Einstein first published his masterful exposition of the finished General Theory of Relativity in The Annals of Physics journal in 1916. Shortly after, J.A Barth of Leipzig published the first separate appearance of the theory in print. This is a first edition of that work from the library of Georg Bredig. A Jewish scientist in Germany who worked with Wilhelm Ostwald in the field of physical chemistry, during the November 1938 pogrom known as Kristallnacht, Bredig was arrested amongst 500 Jews in Karlsruhe. In 1939, after this close call, Bredig was persuaded to leave Germany for the Netherlands by his daughter and son. From the Netherlands he got to the USA in 1940 and lived in New York until his death in 1944. His papers and library were left behind in Europe (as he had to flee quickly), but were reclaimed by his family after World War II. Thus this book survived the war and holocaust, making quite a story.

We obtained this book from the Bredig descendants, and it has never before been offered for sale.

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