Albert Einstein (1879-1955). Autograph correspondence card signed (‘Albert’) to Michele Besso, ‘Dienstag’, [postmarked Berlin, 15 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. 36
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Lot Essay

Financial worries during the First World War.

Einstein has learnt that some additional income which has been paid to him recently is to be cut off, and he is concerned about the financial situation of himself and his family [that is, his estranged wife, Mileva, and their two sons]. 'My annual income amounts, after tax, to roughly 13,000 marks'; his regular maintenance payments to his family amounts to 7,000 marks, and he gives 600 marks to his mother. His concern is that any unexpected financial demands would consume his savings, 'which would be inexcusable in relation to my children'. He asks Besso to consult with their friend Heinrich Zangger about what measures could be taken: Einstein himself has already decided to give up his projected water-cure in the spa at Tarasp, and go to Lucerne instead [to stay with his sister, Maja]. The letter concludes with the hope that his elder son Hans Albert can indeed be moved to live with his aunt; and he thanks Besso for his attempts to aid his former colleague Friedrich Adler (see preceding lot).

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Einstein: Letters to a Friend Part I
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