Albert Einstein (1879-1955).

Autograph letter signed ('Albert') to his sister, Maja Winteler-Einstein, n.p. [Spandau], 12 August [1922].

In German, 1½ pages, 269 x 208mm; a brief greeting by Einstein's younger son, Eduard, added after his signature.

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Unpublished: not in The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein (Princeton University Press).
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In the country, taking refuge from death threats and 'hanging out' with his younger son.

Einstein has been enjoying life in the country with his younger son, Eduard (known as 'Tete'): 'I am living with Tete in the country house, where we have already been hanging out like the Indians for nearly a month. We do though have female help in the form of a bright young girl, though that is a secret'. Einstein refers to the death-threats he has received in the wake of the assassination of Walther Rathenau: 'As regards the endangerment, it's an open question. No one knows how much truth there is in the rumour. I took the thing as an excuse to skive everything here and to refuse the lecture at the natural sciences' meeting which I was supposed to give. Out here, no one knows where I am, and I am considered to be out of town'. Otherwise he is well, 'in spite of all the anti-Semites amongst my German colleagues. I withdraw myself here away from any noise and unpleasant emotions and earn my money in the main independently from the state, so that I really am a free man'. He has ruled out taking a foreign university post; but he has accepted a role in a League of Nations commission, explaining 'I did not want to be unfaithful to my ideals'.

Economically and politically things are quite gloomy in Germany, so that he is happy to be away for the next half-year. Elsa has been unwell with gynaecological problems, though she still intends to accompany Einstein to Japan, China, Java and perhaps also Spain: 'You see, I am on the way to becoming a sort of itinerant preacher. This is in the first place agreeable, and in the second – necessary'. He sends news of his elder son, Hans Albert, who is to study in Munich, 'as it is too expensive in Zurich', and also of his stepdaughter Ilse, who 'helps me valiantly in the battle against the flood of paperwork'. He concludes on a reassuring note: 'Don't worry about me, I myself have no fear, even if things are not completely kosher; people are going a bit crazy ... Fame has its lousy sides; it's so much the more important to make use of the good ones' ('Mach Dir keine Sorgen um mich, ich habe selbst auch keine Angst, wenn es auch nicht ganz koscher ist; die Menschen sind eben aus dem Häuschen ... Der Ruhm hat seine misen Seiten, umso angezeigter ist es, die guten zu nützen').
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