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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Papers of Hans Albert Einstein
MsC 900
Collection Dates: 1900-1990
3 linear ft.

Access and Restrictions: .This collection came to The University of Iowa from the executor of the estate of Elizabeth Roboz Einstein. Access to it is permitted only to on-site readers.  On-site readers may include research assistants or agents acting on behalf of other individuals, but such assistants or agents must make themselves known as such and must identify, on the Reader’s Application, the person whom they are representing

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright: Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Acquisition and Processing Information: The Hans Albert Einstein Papers were acquired in the 1990s by staff of the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research. They were organized and this finding aid was posted to the internet September 2010.l

Photographs: Yes

1973 photograph of Hans Albert Einstein

Hans Albert Einstein in 1973. From Elizabeth Roboz Einstein, Hans Albert Einstein: Reminiscences of His Life and Our Life Together (Iowa City: Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research, The University of Iowa, 1991).

Scope and Contents

Box 2 folder 2 contains materials received from Elizabeth Einstein in 1990 and incorporated in part in her Reminiscences published by the The University of Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research in 1991. The remaining materials, Box 1 folders 1–6 and Box 2 folder 1, were sent to the Hydraulic Institute by her estate's executor in 1995 and later transferred to the Libraries. The materials are in German unless otherwise indicated.

The papers are a mix of personal and professional correspondence, in part documenting Hans Albert’s assistance to his brother Eduard, who exhibited symptoms of schizophrenia in 1930 and spent much of the rest of his life in a Swiss sanatorium, where he died in 1965. Another substantial part of the collection relates to a book of Einstein Family letters proposed by Frieda Einstein, who assembled and edited correspondence from a number of family members under the working title Albert Einstein in His Letters to His Wife and Children.  The book was not published.

Biographical Note

Hans Albert Einstein was born in 1904 in Bern, Switzerland to Albert Einstein and Mileva Maric. His siblings were older sister Liserl (1902-?), and younger brother Eduard (1910-1965). In 1914 his parents separated: his father moved to Berlin, Germany, and his mother took her two sons with her to live in Zurich, Switzerland. Hans Albert was educated in Zurich, where he earned a doctorate from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.  He married Frieda Knecht, a teacher of German language and literature, in 1927, and they had three children: a son Klaus (1932-1938) died young of dyphteria, shortly after the family moved to the U.S.; a second son, Bernard (1930 - ) is a physicist; and a daughter Evelyn (1941 - , adopted) earned a degree in anthropology. The Einsteins emigrated to the United States in 1938, and in 1947 Hans Albert was hired by the University of California, Berkeley, where he had a long career as Professor of Hydraulic Engineering. Frieda died suddenly In 1958, and a year later, Hans Albert married Elizabeth Roboz, a biochemist and fellow university professor. Hans Albert Einstein died in 1973 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Biographical information based on “Inventory of the Hans Albert Einstein Papers.” Online Archive of California.;query=;style=oac4;view=admin#bioghist-1.8.4; and “Short Life History: Hans Albert Einstein.” Albert Einstein in the World Wide Web.

Historical Note

Senders and recipients of letters are listed in the inventory below where it has been possible to identify them. Family members (including his aunt Maja, his father, mother, and his first wife Fri(e)da) often referred to Hans Albert as “Hadi” or “Adi.” Hans Albert often addressed his father as “Vati” (“Dad”) or “Papa” – and his father often signed his letters to his son in this way.


Box Contents List

Box 1, folder1

Folder 1a. Letters signed (LS) to Hans Albert Einstein (HAE) from the following:

- “Tante Maja” to Frida,  23-12-1936. [Maria “Maja” Einstein, Albert Einstein’s sister, and thus aunt (“Tante”) to HAE].

- P. Nemenyi. New York. 1-10-1938. ALS with enclosed note signed “Papa”.

- [Rector of Eidgenossiche Technische Hochschule, Zurich]. 2-5-1955. TLS. Letter of condolences on the death of Albert Einstein.

- E. Wieland. Basel, Switzerland 4 -8-1965. ALS.

- Dr. Jur. H. Meili. Zurich, Switzerland 5-11-1965. TLS. Regarding funeral of Eduard Einstein (EE).

- Lisbeth Hurwitz. Zurich. 24-11-1965. Letter of condolences on the death of EE. TLS with enclosed fragment note (likely a poem) signed “Papa 1934” and news clipping of Bruckenbauer 19-11-1965 article on the memory of EE.

Folder 1b. Twelve HAE letters to others (ten are carbon typescripts, two carbon ALS).  Fourteen letters to HAE from others, variously autograph and typed.  Letters date from 27-11-1938 to 1954.  Seven of the HAE carbons are addressed “Lieber Papa”; two are signed “Papa”. 

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” Greenville, SC, 27-11-1938.
- Margot to Friedel and Adn, Princeton, 7-1-1939
- Helen Dukas to Mr. and Mrs. Einstein, Princeton, NJ, 8-1-1939. Letter of condolence (on the death of their son Klaus)
- Legation [Embassy?] of Switzerland, Washington, DC to HAE, 21-1-1939
- Legation [Embassy?] of Switzerland, Washington, DC to HAE, 22-2-1939
- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” Greenville, SC, 2-11- [1939?]
- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” 1-6-1941
- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” 14-10-1942
- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” 4-11-1942
- HAE to Theodore Karman, Pasadena, CA, 17-11-1942
- "Papa” to “Lieber Adi”, Princeton, 7-5-1943 [Mentions research based on idea he had in Greenville]
- "Papa” to “Lieber Adi”, Princeton, 26-7-1943
- “Tante Maja,” Princeton, to ?, Saturday “8/43?”
- “Tante Maja,” Princeton, to ?, Thursday “8/43?” [Another letter]
- “Tante Maja,” Princeton, to ?, 7-8-1943
- "Tante Maja,” Princeton, to ?, 9-8-1943
- “Mama” to “Lieber Adi u. Liebe Friedi,” Zurich, 29-7-1943
-  "Tante Maja,” Saranac Lake, NY, to “Albert.” 5-7-1944
- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” 31-8-1943
- “Tante Maja,” Saranac Lake, NY, 1-7-1944
- “Tante Maja,” Princeton, 5-1-45
- “Liebe Mama,” Pasadena, 3-11-1946. 2 copies.
- HAE to “Liebe Mama,” “1948?”
- “Albert” to [HAE?]. 9-6-[1948?]
- “Mutti” (Mother) Zurich,  14-?--1953
- ? and “Friedi” to “Lieber Papa” 14-3-1954

Box 1, folder 2. Correspondence and materials, mostly regarding Eduard Einstein (EE), and dealing with Mileva (Maric) Einstein’s family home in Yugoslavia. Also some clippings, photographs and proofs of images apparently intended for use in Albert Einstein in His Letters to His Wife and Children.

Folder 2a. Miscellaneous loose materials, most regarding EE.

- Original of January 1950 letter, AE to HAE; also photocopy with 1911 Prague photo of Albert and wife Mileva.
- “Before wedding,” from “Hadi” to “Vati” (“Dad”)
- From “Hadi” to “Vati” (“Dad”)
- To “Hadi” 24-1-1963. Presumably response to above letters. Another copy of this same letter.
- Dr. H. Mehili, Zurich to HAE, Berkeley, C.A., 15-5-1964. Regarding visiting EE.
- Dr. Bleuler, of University Psychiatry Clinic Zurich, to Dr. Mehili, 12-5-1964. Regarding EE's condition.
- Dr. Bleuler, of University Psychiatry Clinic Zurich, to Margot Einstein, Princeton, 19-5-1964. Regarding EE's condition.
- HAE to Dr. Bleuler, Zurich, 6-6-1964. Regarding EE's condition.
- Dr. Bleuler to HAE. 8-11-1965. With 3 photos – 2 of AE and EE, 1 of EE. [Perhaps last surviving photograph; see Folder 2b].- - Dr. Bleuler to HAE  6-11-1965. Regarding EE's funeral.
- Elizabeth Einstein’s undated note (in English) to psychiatric institution regarding EE; Dr. Bleuler to Elizabeth Einstein 20-4-1982 regarding EE; Elizabeth Einstein’s undated note to psychiatric institution regarding EE. In envelope.

Folder 2b. Materials regarding EE.

- Last (?) photo of EE and Albert Einstein (“1935 in sanatorium”)
- Photo of EE at end of life (“26.10.1965”)
- Death notice from newspaper (Neue Zurcher Zeitung, 26-10-1965)
- AE to "British authorities."  ?-2-1939 TLS, asking permission for EE and Mileva to enter England so they would not be arrested and tortured by the Nazis. With 1964 letters between HAE and personnel at psychiatric hospital.

Folder 2c. Miscellaneous photocopies and letters.

- Xeroxes of ETH school records from the turn of the 19th and 20th century, with information about Albert and Mileva marked;
- Undated photocopy of handwritten page 15, marked passage about Albert Einstein and music

Elizabeth Einstein, 1976, letters about legal aspects of Mileva's family home in Yugoslavia:
- Elizabeth Einstein to law attorney Michael C. Ferguson 12-1976
- Lawyer Fedor Adamovic, Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, to Ferguson 25-11-1976
- Ferguson, Berkeley, C.A., to Adamovic, 15-12-1976

Separate large envelope:
- Frieda Einstein, Albert Einstein in His Letters to His Wife and Children. (Typescripts drafts). Childhood photo of AE, with a letter on the verso.  Origo-Verlag publisher to Elizabeth Einstein, “8.9.58.”
- Reprinted letter from “Papa,” 2-2-1924, presumably to be part of the manuscript

Box 1, Folder 3 Draft Introduction to Albert Einstein in His Letters to His Wife and Children.

- Autograph copy (or first draft?) of introduction, 26 pp, double-sided, part in English and part in German.
- Ribbon typed copy of the introduction, with FE's hand-written corrections and additions. 44 pp, single-sided, in German.
- “Incomplete” copy of introduction with handwritten corrections. 44 pp, single-sided, in German.
- “Incomplete” copy of introduction with handwritten corrections. 42 pp, single-sided, in German.

Box 1, Folder 4. Correspondence and court filings 1958-1962 from the legal proceedings around Albert Einstein in His Letters to His Wife and Children.

Taped to the large envelope are:
- Contract between HAE, EE, Dr. Meili, and Dr. H.A. Wyss of Origo Verlag publishers, Zurich, “Albert Einstein: Letters to His Family,” 20-6-1958
- Bank invoice of Artemis Publishing Co., Ltd., Zurich, Switzerland, from Frieda Einstein to Dr. Meili, 8-10-1958
- Rights lawyer Dr. Rico Steinbruchel of Zurich to “Frau Prof. Einstein,” 8-2-1958. [Steinbruechel and Wyss are AE's, the publisher's lawyer, or Frieda/HAE's Swiss agent.]

In large envelope:
- HAE to Steinbruchel, 5-12-1959
- List of enclosures sent to HAE 9-7-1962, returning the manuscript and  presumably the entire project.
- “Copy of Nathan’s letter: 23-1-1958” [Otto Nathan, executor of AE’s estate] to HAE, disputing rights to publish AE’s letters. 4 pp, in English.
- Itemized bill from Wiss of Origo-Verlag publishers, 17-8-1960
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 28-11-1959
- Copy of Steinbruchel to rights lawyer Dr. E. Fruhlich, Zurich, Switzerland, 14-11-1958
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 10-8-1961
- Court papers from the Zivilkammer [civil law division] of the Kanton Zurich, Nathan and Dukas vs Origo-Verlag, 8-7-1961
- Origo-Verlag, Zurich to Frieda Einstein, 13-8-58
- HAE to [Dr. Rico] Steinbruchel, (Grossmuensterplatz 8, Zurich), 22-7-1960. Copied to a Dr. Schneider.
- HAE to [Dr. Hans A.] Wyss of Origo-Verlag, 25-7-1958
- HAE to Wyss of Origo-Verlag, 30-7-1958
- Copy of HAE’s “Foreword.” Undated, 3 pp
- HAE to Wyss of Origo-Verlag, 19-8-1958

Stapled together:
- HAE to Steinbruchel, 22-10-1960. Verso HAE to Schneider, undated.
- HAE to Steinbruchel, 22-10-1960. Handwritten, with edits and corrections.
- Schneider-Mousson to HAE, 7-10-1960
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 7-10-1960. Court papers from the Zivilkammer [civil law division], Kanton Zurich, Nathan and Dukas vs Origo-Verlag, 10-6-1960
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 4-7-1960

In air mail envelope (stamped 22.X.60):
- Copy of Steinbruchel to HAE, 7-10-1960
- Copy of Steinbruchel to president of Zivilkammer [civil law division] court, 22-10-1960
- Original typed Steinbruchel to HAE, 22-10-1960
- Copy of Steinbruchel to president of Zivilkammer [civil law division] court, 20-10, 1960
- Wyss of Origo-Verlag to HAE, 3-11-1960
- Court papers from the Zivilkammer [civil law division], Kanton Zurich, Nathan and Dukas vs Origo-Verlag, 18-12-1961
- HAE to Steinbruchel, 7-11-1960
- Origo-Verlag to HAE, 2-11-1960 itemized bill
- Steinbruchel to Zivilkammer [civil law division], submission of 12-11-1960
- Steinbruchel’s 9-7-1962 Appendix
- HAE to Steinbruchel, 24-6-1962
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 16-5-1962
- Wyss of Origo-Verlag to HAE, 13-6-1962

In express mail envelope (stamped 8.IX.61):
- Dr. A Luchinger to HAE (on Steinbruchel’s letterhead) 8-9-1961
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 8-9-1961, Itemized bill
- On verso of above is HAE to Steinbruchel, 22-9-1961
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 22-3-1962
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 22-2-1962
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 15-11-1960
- Steinbruchel to Schneider-Mousson, 15-11-1960
- HAE to Steinbruchel, 5-8-1962
- Wyss of Origo-Verlag, Zurich to University of Berkeley, 26-6-1962, asking for contacts of HAE, presumably traveling
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 20-6-1962
- Steinbruchel’s 9-7-1962 Appendix

In air mail envelope stamped 11.8.62:
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 10-8-1962; receipt of Wyss of Origo-Verlag for money from HAE, 9-8-1962

In air mail envelope stamped 10.V.61:
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 10-5-1961; Steinbruchel’s submission to Zivilkammer [civil law division], 9-5-1961
- Wyss of Origo-Verlag to “Frau Prof. Einstein,” 22-9-58
-  Elizabeth [Einstein?] to Wyss, Origo-Verlag, 26-9-1958
- Steinbruchel to Dr. E. Frochlich, 26-11-1958
- Wyss, Origo-Verlag to HAE, 10-11-58
- HAE to Steinbruchel, 4-12-1958; with handwritten longer draft
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 26-11-1958
- HAE to Steinbruchel, 30-7-1959
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 5-8-1959
- HAE to Otto Nathan [executor of AE’s estate] 1-9-1959
- HAE to Steinbruchel, 1-9-1959
- Schneider-Mousson to HAE, 30-12-1959
- Steinbruchel’s submission to Zivilkammer [civil law division], 8-12-1959
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 28-8-1959
- Steinbruchel to Schneider-Mousson, 6-1-1960
- Steinbruchel to Schneider-Mousson, 19-3-1960
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 19-3-1960
- Handwritten contract between Origo-Verlag and HAE, 10-6-1958
- HAE (?) to Steinbruchel, undated, handwritten.
- Steinbruchel to HAE, 9-12-1959
- HAE to Steinbruchel, undated, handwritten on note paper

Box 1, Folder 5. Incomplete manuscript of Albert Einstein: Letters to His Family

- 8/1995 Checklist sheet of manuscript Albert Einstein: Letters to His Family
- Carbon copy of 275 letters of Albert Einstein: Letters to His Family, without introduction

Box 1, Folder 6. Letters concerning publication; incomplete manuscript of Albert Einstein: Letters to His Family.

- Wyss, Orig-Verlag to “Frau Prof. Einstein,” 18-7-1957
- Steinbruchel to “Frau Professor Einstein,” 23-12-1957

Stapled together:
- Henry W. Simon, Simon and Schuster, Inc., Publishers to HAE, 17-12-1957. HAE’s autograph reply on same page. Both in English.
- Henry W. Simon, Simon and Schuster, Inc., Publishers to “Mrs. Einstein,” 17-12-1957. In English.
- Air mail envelope from Simon and Schuster to HAE, stamped in New York 19-12-1957. In English.
- Rights lawyer Dr. W Schneider, Zurich, Switzerland to “Prof. Dr. Frieda Einstein-Knecht,” 7-2-1958
- Verso of previous, plus a page of a note paper: “Foreword,” undated, unidentified author. In German.
- HAE’s reply to Simon and Schuster as above, typed, 2-1-1958
- Carbon copy of 272 letters of Albert Einstein: Letters to His Family, without introduction

Box 2, folder 1. Incomplete manuscript of book of Albert Einstein: Letters to His Family. The chronology of the letters starts and finishes earlier than in the other two manuscripts. The last number is 254. Most letters seems identical to those in the other two manuscripts.

Box 2, folder 2. Photocopies of 49 letters, 1937 to 1950, primarily from HAE to AE, although some from other persons to HAE. Many of the letters relate to HAE’s professional career. Some in poor condition; location of the originals is unknown.

- HAE to “Professor Dr. Albert Einstein,” Berlin, 17-11-1932

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” Zurich, 21-1-1937

-“Vater” to “Lieber Albert,”Princeton, 17-4-1937

- “Adi” (?) to “Lieber Papa,” Zurich, 12-5-1937

- “Adi” (?) to “Lieber Papa,” Zurich, 25-5-1937

- To “Lieber Papa,” 17-6-1937. Typed.

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” Zurich, 17-8-1937

- “Dein Vater” to “Lieber Adi,” undated, handwritten note / letter. Stapled to letter’s writing showing through paper, interferes with reading; L. F. M/Woody’s list of people who he mailed letters of introduction for Dr. H.A. Einstein, Princeton, 6-11-1937

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” 27-2-1938. Typed, with another typed letter showing through and interfering with reading.
- “Papa” to “Lieber Albert,” 29-7-1938

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” Greenville, 7-9-1938

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” Greenville, S.C., 23-1-1939. Typed.

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” 4-5-1941. Typed.

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” 18-5-1941. Typed.

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 2-5-1943. Typed. Regarding HAE’s citizenship exam and proving he lived in US for previous 5 years.

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” Greenville, S.C., 6-7-1943. Typed.

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” Greenville, S.C., 31-7-1943. Typed, with handwritten passages.

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” 7-8-1943

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” 10-8-1943

“Papa” to “Adi,” 12-8-1943; attached to note from “Tante Maja;” typed note from “Helen[e?]”

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” Pasadena, 29-7-1944. Typed.

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 19-12-1944. Typed.

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 28-5-1945. Typed.

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” 15-7-1945. Typed.

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” 18-7-1945. Typed.

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 27-8-1945. Typed. Caustic humor in passages about papers linking AE to the atomic bomb (recently dropped on Japan) and the theories behind the bomb.

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 4-2-1946. Typed.

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” 15-12-1946

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 17-1-1948. Typed.

- AE to Bela Kornitzer, New York City, 1-3-1948

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 16-4-1948

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 3-6-1948

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 8-7-1948

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 28-7-1948

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 4-8-1948. Regarding telegram about mother’s death.

- “A.E. dem Zweiten” (“A.E. the Second”) to “Lieber Papa,” Berkeley, 10-3-1949. Typed poem-letter. Sheet includes a handwritten address.
- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 1-4-1949
- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” 5-6-1949

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 8-9-1949

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 7-12-1949

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 27-12-1949

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 19-3-1950

- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 14-5-1950. 2 pages, includes typed passages
- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 9-12-1951
- “Adi” to “Lieber Papa,” 16-6-1952

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” 21-2 no year, autograph, stapled to: 3 photocopies; note to “Dr. Straub” of Hydraulics Division

- “Papa” to “Lieber Albert,” date off edge

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,”undated.

- HAE to “Lieber Papa,” undated
- “Einstein” to Heinrich Meili, Zurich, undated note/telegram (?)

Box 3. Original mailing box which contained the materials, addressed to Connie Mutel, Institute of Hydraulic Research, The University of Iowa, 4-4-1995. Now empty.