EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Three autograph letters signed ("Papa") to Hans Albert Einstein and his wife Frieda, n.p. [Berlin and Pasadena], 8 August [c. 1931] and n.d. Together 4 pages, 4to, one with a few minor spots. [With:] EINSTEIN, ELSA. Typed letter signed to Hans Albert Einstein and Frieda Einstein, "On Board S.S. Westernland," 7 October 1933. 4 pages, 8vo, with original envelope.
FLIGHT FROM GERMANY: "I MUST GO ABROAD BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE"
Undated, c. 1931: Einstein complains about Hans Albert's treatment of his second wife, Elsa: "My comment that you might be somewhat more polite to my wife...simply meant that you should behave like any well-bred young man would to a strange woman. The reason I haven't written is that I have been extremely busy. I can scarcely describe how overwhelmed I have been. In spite of all my efforts, I am still not sure whether my theory is good or not..." Einstein reports that he heard in Pasadena that the ether experiments of Professor Dayton Clarence Miller, which sought to confirm Michelson's, were regarded as "humbug." He adds, "I never doubted this." 8 August [c. 1931]: "It is true, I am the model of a poor grandfather and father...I'm happy that you are all in Zurich, since things here look very insecure." He inquires whether Hans Albert is happy in his work, and adds that he cannot imagine "what your work consists of. I'm interested to see what kind of father you will make...I recall how much pleasure I took in you, when you were a little fellow, like the one you have now." Sailing is going better than his work, "because the devil is leading me around by the nose." Undated: "I am indeed a poor father-in-law, grandfather, and above all, father. Isn't God responsible for the deficiencies of all creatures, therefore, especially, mine?" With his assistant (Walther Mayer) he has made great progress in his work: "We have entirely given up on the concept of 'Fern-Parallelismus' and have found the relationship between gravitation and electricity in a very different way. This has already been worked out quite definitively and signifies a fundamental advance. Our method may be extended further, and we believe we are approaching [a solution to] the 'atomistischen Probleme' on which we are working feverishly..." He has enjoyed the photographs of his only grandson (Bernhard), who seems sturdy and will hopefully find his way through this, "the best of all possible worlds." In regard to the world situation Einstein writes: "I think the situation here [in Germany] is ripe for a kind of Mussolinism, for which we probably won't have to wait long [Hitler came to power a year or two later]. Financial collapse and poverty are fearful and the weak leaders skid from one embarassing deal to another. They lack the strength to resist these national 'bum-bum-one-two-three-patriots'...New bankruptcies, rising taxes, reduced tax revenues, an excess of goods...falling wages...rising unemployment...a total collapse seems unavoidable." Einstein's trips abroad have made him enemies, but he feels obligated to lend his name to these causes. "I must try to transfer the remainder of my existence to a less volcanic soil, that is, I must go abroad before it is too late." 7 October 1933: Elsa writes from the ship which took them to America. She announces that all of Einstein's savings, destined for the children, have been confiscated. "Of all our happiness in Germany, nothing is left, even the beautiful boat that was Papa's greatest joy has been seized by Herr Hitler for the German fleet, for the honor and fame of Germany." She describes her daughter's flight to Holland and Einstein's flight to Belgium, "where he lived under constant guard," before moving to England. It was impossible for him to risk a trip to Switzerland for a last visit with Eduard. "The name Einstein is outlawed on German soil...Now, we are on our way to America." (4)