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    Sale 7471

    Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts

    14 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 38

    EINSTEIN, Albert (1879-1955). Autograph letter signed ('Papa') to his elder son, Hans Albert, n.p. [Princeton], 6 June 1948, 1½ pages, 4to, envelope.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    EINSTEIN, Albert (1879-1955). Autograph letter signed ('Papa') to his elder son, Hans Albert, n.p. [Princeton], 6 June 1948, 1½ pages, 4to, envelope.

    Bad news from Zurich: Mileva has had a nasty fall, and lies seriously ill in hospital; this news comes from a Frau Dr Maria Kerekes who had previously written Einstein a rather ill-informed letter relating to Mileva, to which he had not replied. The letter goes on to discuss practical arrangements relating to Eduard's care, as well as the financial situation regarding Mileva's two houses, which technically belong to an American corporation which had to be set up to save them from repossession: one has been sold, but it is impossible to discover what Mileva has done with the money and further, the corporation is now liable for a capital gains tax charge, the information necessary for which is entirely lacking. Einstein complains bitterly of all the 'Kosten und Chikaner' that have been thrown up by the question of the houses over the years: 'Of course never a word of recognition but always nothing but reproaches and misinformation of people in Zurich about my behaviour'. He hopes all this disagreeable news will not disturb Hans Albert in his 'fruitful work'. Hans Albert is not to mention anything relating to Mileva's health in any letters to Einstein's sister Maja, whose own condition does not permit of any surprises.

    According to Helen Dukas, Mileva had simply hidden the money from the sale of the Zurich house under her mattress, and 85,000 Swiss francs was discovered after her death (R. Highfield and P. Carter, The Private Lives of Albert Einstein (1993), p.254). Hans Albert's work at this period at the University of California was to establish his reputation as the leading specialist on the mechanics of the transportation of sediment by flowing water.


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