Albert Einstein (1879-1955). Autograph correspondence card signed (‘Albert’) to Michele Besso, [Berlin], 8 May 1917.

In German, 1½ pages, 140 x 90mm. Address panel bearing Einstein’s autograph return address (‘Abs[ender]. A. Einstein’).

Please note this is the property of a private consignor.
Published in Pierre Speziali (ed.) Albert Einstein. Michele Besso. Correspondance 1903-1955. Paris: Hermann, 1972. No. 34
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Lot Essay

Plans for educating his eldest son – without consulting his estranged wife.

Einstein sends some publications for Besso to forward to a friend in London (using the passage through Switzerland as a way of circumventing wartime restrictions). He is mulling over plans for the education of his elder son, Hans Albert (who was about to turn 13): 'I would like to lodge him at my sister's [Maja Einstein-Winteler lived in Lucerne], as I absolutely do not think it would be a good idea for him to grow up here'. He asks Besso (whose wife, Anna, was the sister of Maja's husband, Paul) to see what the Wintelers think, suggesting a sum for Hans Albert's upkeep: 'But don't say that the request comes from me, so that they can refuse without embarrassment if the responsibility seems to great to them. As to my wife, no account should be taken of her in this situation – only of what is good for the boy'. Einstein is looking forward to seeing Besso in July: his doctor and his friend Heinrich Zangger both want him to take the waters in Tarasp [in the Engadine]: 'But I find it hard to arouse the necessary superstition'.

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