Albert Einstein (1879-1955).

Autograph correspondence card signed ('Albert') to his sister, Maja Winteler-Einstein, Berlin, 2 March 1930.

In German, 1¾ pages, 285 x 223mm; autograph note signed by Elsa Einstein added below her husband's signature.

Maja Winteler-Einstein (1881-1951) – her husband Paul Winteler (1882-1952) – Besso family.
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'The collective is a nasty animal, worse than the individuals it brings together': on the situation in Palestine, as well as the 'slow but wonderful' development of his new theory, and the first signs of his son's mental illness.

Einstein has been seized by a sudden urge to write to his sister: 'It is incomprehensible to me that I just now feel the need to write to you – such urges, even the most unbelievable ones, can come over a person without one knowing where they come from. You do know that our father also wrote no private letters, not even to his sister?'. He recounts how a 'gifted graphologist' recently seized upon Maja's handwriting: 'After he had pronounced enthusiastically on your goodness, calmness and talent, he added at the end "a lot of headaches". Hopefully that belongs to the past...'.

For himself, Einstein is in a contented mood: 'My health has improved, and I have great happiness in my work. What I began back then when we were in Scharbeuz is developing slowly but wonderfully. For the calculations I have the help of a splendid mathematician, Walther Mayer from Vienna, a splendid person'.

His son Eduard has begun to display symptoms of what was to be a lifelong mental illness, whilst Einstein is also pessimistic about the prospects for Hans Albert's first child – Maja and Paul's choice not to have children now seems wiser: 'Tetel is coming here soon. A little while ago he had neurotic symptoms of anxiety-related depression. He is better again now, but who knows where it will lead? Albert is getting a child from his lady, which is also bad. My descendance will substantially exceed me in craziness [Meschuggizität], I fear. Nothing for it. You chose the right way'.

Although a supporter of Zionism, Einstein reflects pessimistically on the current situation in Palestine: 'Our Jews show themselves in the Palestine-Arab situation to be chauvinistic nationalists without psychological instinct and sense of fairness. It is good that they are powerless and have no big guns ... The collective is and remains a nasty animal, worse than the individuals it brings together'. Einstein is in correspondence with a leading Arab, but Maja need not fear: he is not going to travel to the region in person. He is looking forward to moving to his lakeside house in Caputh in April: 'Then I will sail again and vegetate amongst friendly mother nature'.
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