Albert Einstein (1879-1955).

Autograph letter signed ('Albert') to his sister, Maja, and brother-in-law, Paul Winteler, Berlin, 15 April 1923.

In German, three pages, 208 x 132mm.

Maja Winteler-Einstein (1881-1951) – her husband Paul Winteler (1882-1952) – Besso family.
Unpublished: not in The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein (Princeton University Press).
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Lot Essay

'A wonderful continuation of the general theory of relativity': on the Japanese, the Nobel Prize, his delight in his sons, his public status, and ongoing scientific work.

The Einsteins have just returned from a visit to the Far East: 'on the journey back I found a wonderful continuation of the general theory of relativity, which I am now fully occupied in working out'. Paul and Maja will not have received any of the letters Einstein and Elsa sent from the trip, but it was 'wonderful ... The Japanese are extremely fine and curious people, in relation to whom one is constantly surprised and astonished'.

Elsa has come down with nephritis on their return; Einstein though is off on his travels soon, to Kiel and Leiden, and then in July to Sweden to give a lecture in Göteborg in place of the Nobel lecture. He has been offered a position in Rome, but has declined: 'A new change of environment would be too burdensome for me and for Elsa and her children. It is absolutely no El Dorado here. But the general air of going to seed is better than the excessive bustle of the old days'. He ruminates on his extraordinary public status: 'I am becoming very much loved and even more envied; there’s nothing to be done about it'.

The letter also includes news that the financial consortium in which Einstein and the Wintelers participated (which held shares in the Schweizerische Auer-Aktien Gesellschaft) has been disbanded: 'Without the Nobel prize I would be sick about it. But it has worked out okay, in that Miza [his first wife, Mileva] has received it in its entirety, but thereby is definitively settled with the children'. Einstein reports, as often, his delight in his two sons: 'Tete [Eduard] is especially funny and intelligent. He plays Bach sonatas beautifully, although he has had no music lessons at all. Both have (thank heavens) a naturally bright, unassuming character and good nerves with it and a somewhat rustic style. [Hans] Albert is in his second term of studies as a civil engineer in Zurich. He is not to be separated from his mother, although he is nearly 19 years old. He plays the piano well and also – the double bass, with which he earns his pocket money'.

A postscript notes a recent experimental confirmation of general relativity: 'The solar eclipse splendidly confirmed the theory (S. American expedition).'

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