June 17, 1924

Einstein Writes About House Bought With Nobel Prize Money - “the Visible Result of My Musings”

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When Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921, not only was he not surprised, but he had already agreed, two years before, to give away the money. Thus the sum of 121,572 Swedish kronor - about ten times the annual salary of the average professor at that time – went to his ex-wife Mileva Maric, as stipulated in their 1919 divorce settlement. She used the prize money to buy three homes with rental apartments in Zurich. This letter concerns the first of those homes, on the Zurichberg…

Hopefully the elephant has been born by now, i.e., that the house has been bought. As far as the photograph is concerned, I like it very much. It does not yet seem old and in need of repair, but rather in good condition. I wish you luck and as many lodgers as you need who will pay their rent and will not cause you more annoyance than you will cause them. Meanwhile I am very much looking forward to seeing it, especially because this purchase is the visible result of my musings.

The rest of Einstein’s news concerns travel, and who will be where that summer. He does add, however, in connection with Hans Albert’s studies, that “Anschuetz would like to see you as his successor. But it is far from me to influence you in any way. Everyone has to make these important decisions in life by himself.”

Autograph Letter Signed (“Papa”), in German, 1 page, quarto, no place, June 17, 1924. To his ex-wife Mileva Maric and their two sons, Hans Albert and Eduard (“Tete”) Einstein.

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Transcript

17.V1.24.

My dear ones!

Hopefully the elephant has been born by now, i.e., that the house has been bought. As far as the photograph is concerned, I like it very much. It does not yet seem old and in need of repair, but in rather good condition. I wish you luck and as many lodgers as you need who will pay their rent and will not cause you more annoyance than you will cause them. Meanwhile I am very much looking forward to seeing it, especially because this purchase is the visible result of my musings.

I shall probably only come to visit in September, when I will have to travel to Switzerland anyway, to give a lecture in Lucerne. I again became a member of the League of Nation's Committee, so that I will be obliged to visit Switzerland several times a year. I think we should do as follows: In July, dear Mileva, you will go with Tete on vacation, whereas Albert will attend his course in surveying. At the beginning of August, the boys and I will meet in Lautrach. Anschuetz wants this very much, he likes the boys so much. Sommerfeld will not be invited on that occasion, so that it will be very cozy. There will be no problem with the passports, and the travel expenses to Lautrach are insignificant. I am not sure I will be able to travel with you to Kiel this year, dear Albert, although I would prefer this more than everything else. If only Tete could come also join us once.  

I am glad, dear Albert, that you like your studies. Anschuetz would like to see you as his successor. But it is far from me to influence you in any way. Everyone has to make these important decisions in life by himself. You should come to Lautrach at the beginning of August, if at all possible. Please, inform me of your decision immediately, so that I can inform Anschuetz, who has to be told due to the arrangements he has to make.

Cordial greetings from your
PAPA .