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    Sale 7590

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    4 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 116

    EINSTEIN, Albert (1879-1955). Autograph letter signed ('Papa') to his elder son, Hans Albert, n.p., 11 July 1948, 1½ pages, folio.

    Price Realised  

    EINSTEIN, Albert (1879-1955). Autograph letter signed ('Papa') to his elder son, Hans Albert, n.p., 11 July 1948, 1½ pages, folio.

    DISCOURAGING HIS SON FROM VISITING THE DYING MILEVA. If Hans Albert insists on going to Zurich [to see his mother, who was mortally ill after a fall], Einstein will as promised fund the trip, although -- quite apart from the fact that his financial resources have been hit by both the currency situation and his sister's expensive illness -- he has objections, one of which is that 'It will be a shock if your mother sees you again in this condition -- and more so your departure [Wenn Dich Deine Mutter in diesem Zustand wiedersieht bedeutet es einen Schoc und erst recht der Abschied]'. Einstein goes on to explain the financial complication of Mileva's affairs, above all that 'There are mortgages on the house there (about 55,000 francs), which are in my name, but which morally speaking are your mother's property [Es sind Hypotheken auf das Haus da, (ca 55000 Fr), die auf meinen Namen lauten, moralisch betrachtet aber Eigentum Deiner Mutter sind]', as they were only designed to protect her from a compulsory sale; there should also be cash from the sale of the house, which technically belongs to the corporation Einstein had set up for this end, but 'Scandalously, it was impossible to obtain any statement of the proceeds, so that we are not in the position here to calculate and settle the so-called "profit tax" [Skandalöser Weise war es aber unmöglich, auch hierüber eine Abrechnung zu bekommen, sodass wir hier nicht imstande sind, die hiesige "Gewinn-Steuer" zu berechnen und zu verstrichten]'. In Einstein's opinion it would be much better to settle all this in correspondence with Dr Meili [who had taken over Mileva's affairs] -- Hans Albert cannot legally intervene, and any attempt to settle her affairs would seem like the last rites to Mileva. Einstein's feeling is that all the remaining money in Zurich should be used to care for his younger son Eduard [institutionalised by now for more than a decade]. Einstein mentions in passing that he has no intention of accepting a politically-motivated invitation to travel to Prague -- 'Es ist eine politisch angehauchte Journalisten-Mache'.

    Mileva died on 4 August 1948.


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