Albert Einstein (1879-1955).

Autograph letter signed ('Albert') to his sister, Maja Winteler-Einstein, n.p., n.d. [Princeton, 1936].

In German, 1¼ pages, 280 x 215mm.

Maja Winteler-Einstein (1881-1951) – her husband Paul Winteler (1882-1952) – Besso family.
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Lot Essay

'As in my youth I sit here unceasingly and think and calculate': on work, pleasure and troubles in the family.

Einstein's epistolary debts are many, but it cannot be otherwise. However, he is fully devoted to his scientific work: 'As in my youth I sit here unceasingly and think and calculate, hoping to raise up deep mysteries'; the outside world has less influence on him than before. Apart from his correspondence, he has achieved a certain tranquillity through 'reckless refusals' ('durch rücksichtslosen Neinsagen') and in the summer he can enjoy some solitude 'in this beautiful country, in which people are not too thick on the ground'. They now have their own house in Princeton, 'which is old, homely and very nicely positioned. From my study I have a very nice outlook ... I hardly think of the one that Hitler took away'.

Elsa has been ill with 'some form of metabolic illness' which has left her quite emaciated, although the doctors have had some success in treating her. 'But her heart has been permanently weakened...'. Apart from Einstein himself, Maja and Paul are the only ones in the family not in dire need. Even Mileva [his first wife] is threatened with bankruptcy. 'So very much depends in fact on me, quite apart from Tetel [his younger son, Eduard], for whom it can only go badly'. At Einstein's death, he will be left dependent on the state.

Elsa Einstein's illness was the first manifestation of the kidney and heart disease which was worsen inexorably over the course of the year.
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Einstein and Family: Letters and Portraits
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