Meyer Lansky gangster letter archive sells for $41,000

An archive of letters by mob accountant Meyer Lansky between 1972 and 1982 has sold for $40,879 at RR Auction.

Lansky (1902-1983) was a Jewish-American gangster who helped build up one of the biggest criminal empires the United States has ever seen.

Meyer Lansky Wiki
Meyer Lansky helped found America's National Crime Syndicate

He provided the brains of the ultra-violent Bugs and Meyer Mob, while his associate Bugsy Siegel brought the brawn.

In 1970, he flew to Israel in an attempt to dodge tax evasion charges in the US. He was denied entry and eventually returned to Miami, where he was arrested and bailed.

He spent the rest of his life there, desperately attempting to return to Israel. All of the letters are addressed to Joseph Sheiner, an official in the Israeli Security Agency.

In the letters Lansky describes his emotional reaction to seeing the 1973 Yom-Kippur war played out on television: "The World will never forget when History is written the Military Strategy this little Army has shown.

"Also the Military bravery of its men. We saw a picture on television of a group of prisoners with a Torah; that picture will never leave my mind."

In 1974 he wrote: "I'm anxious to visit Israel but not on the strength of publicity�ǪIsrael has enough problems without me.

"I also don't intend to beg for permission to visit Israel. Regardless of what may be the outcome my second land is Israel, I would love to visit my friends again next year in Jerusalem."

Ultimately he was never permitted to return. He writes in 1981: "My days of seeking to visit Israel are over, health is not on our side."

He died two years later.

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