From Bern with Love: Letters to and Fro Follow the relationship between Albert Einstein (Johnny) and Mileva Maric (Dolly) as they go from classmates to colleagues to friends to lovers to strangers
Discovery of the Letters • In Einstein’s will he bequeaths all his literary property to Dr. Otto Nathan and Helen Dukas. • Who is Helen Dukas? • As his secretary, she archived and organized all his papers. After her death, as per Einstein’s instructions, the papers were given to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem • The books that they created were then divided into two sections, Writing and Correspondence • In the Correspondence section, the world was shocked to discover over 50 letters between Einstein and Maric during his youth.
Analysis of a Relationship:From Albert to Johnny • Albert Einstein began attending the Swiss Polytechnic Institute (ETH) in 1896 • Mileva Maric was from Serbia and the only female student in the mathematics department • Meeting in ETH as colleagues they began to exchange letters… • In the first letter to Mileva he calls her ‘Geerhtes Fraulein’
Phenomena! These discoveries inspired several books…
Letter Happy Albert? Who else did he send letters to? • Marie Winteler
Colleagues • During this period, Mileva was an exchange student in Heidelberg • Studying under Professor Lenard a Nobel laureate she sent her observations to Albert about some of her classes
Letter Happy Albert? Who else did he send letters to? • Marie Winteler • Maja Einstein (Einstein’s sister)
Friends • After she returned to Heidelberg they became friends after she transferred from the medical path to the mathematics section Einstein was in. • They often discussed math questions or notes about classes as well as inquiring on how the other was doing • Their letters were often about books they were currently reading or how their parents were and vacations that they took.
Letter Happy Albert? Who else did he send letters to? • Marie Winteler • Maja Einstein • Marcel Grossman
Fellow Intellectuals? • Often it is written about our theory… • While some suggest that there was no collaboration, there is scientific talk between the two...
Letter Happy Albert? Who else did he send letters to? • Marie Winteler • Maja Einstein • Marcel Grossman • Michel Besso
Lovers • As they became lovers, they acquired pet names for each other. Including Johonzel and Doxerl… • These letters also follow their returning to their homes and their parents feelings on their relationship.
Letter Happy Albert? Who else did he send letters to? • Marie Winteler • Maja Einstein • Marcel Grossman • Michel Besso • Conrad Habicht
Einstein the… poet? Schnadaheupfl August 29 1900 O mei! der Johonzel, Der is ganzt verruckt. Gmoanthod er seins Doxerl Und's Kissen hot er druckt Wenns Schatzerl mir schmollen thut Werd i windelweich Doch es zuckt mit die Oxeln Und sogt: Is jo gleich. Moane Olden die denken Dees is a dumme Sach... Ober sogen thans nix, Sonst kriegatens aufs Dach. Mein Doxerl sei Schnaberl Des mechti gern hern Und nachher ihm's lusti mit meinem verspern..... Das Kind macht si rar, Was denkt er dazu? Hangt Doch mit all' Faeserle Dran an saim Bua • Einstein wrote several poem/songs to Mileva Da ich schreib in meinem Bett, Wirds halt nicht so furchtbar nett! Doch nur immer frisch drauf los geschmirt Das Doxerl sich doch dafur interessiert!....
Marrying a Book • Albert’s parents opposed the marriage for many reasons including her bookishness as well as her ethnicity • After failing the test for the second time where she learned she was pregnant. • Although living in a small apartment, Albert began looking for a career to support his future wife and child • However, the whereabouts of the child are still unknown • The couple decided to marry in January of 1903
Life in Switzerland • At this point he has taken a job as a patent clerk and is supporting mileva • As they are living together, the number of letters between each other decreases • After 1905, the amount increases as he attends more lectures • At this point many of the letters are addressed to mileva and the children
Letter Happy Albert? Who else did he send letters to? • Marie Winteler • Maja Einstein • Marcel Grossman • Conrad Habicht • Michel Besso • Max Planck • Henrick Lorentz
From a Distance • In Berlin • In Berlin, he is for the most part estranged from his wife and the letters take on a different tone • Infidelity arises while they are separated in the form of Einstein’s cousin Elsa
Happy Ending? • Not Really… • Their marriage dissolved long before their actual divorce. • In other letters, Mileva ponders the status of her marriage
All things must come to an end… • The divorce was finalized on February 19, 1919 • The last letter in the collection was sent on dealing with money in the divorce settlement • He ended the letter simply ‘Albert’
References • The Collected Papers of Einstein