Sunday, March 26, 2006

Einstein's Wife, parental alienator

In Mileva Marić: Einstein’s Wife, Allen Esterson does a magnificent job of skewering PBS's revisionist feminist history of the 20th century's greatest acts of genius, but what is not widely known is that Mileva Maric was an alienating parent. For several years after their separation, Maric worked to obstruct Einstein's relationship with their two sons, both directly by refusing to allow them to visit him and indirectly by pressuring the children. The effects manifested in Hans Albert in particular, who became hostile, refused communication and cancelled vacations.

"I am writing to you now for the third time without receiving a reply from you. Don't you remember your father anymore? Are we never going to see eachother again?" -- Albert Einstein to Hans Albert, Sept 26, 1916.

This caused Einstein himself considerable distress, ultimately to the point of physical and nervous collapse, at a time when he was in the heat of working on his theory of General Relativity (around 1915 and after).

For more information see, in particular, The Private Lives of Albert Einstein by Highfield & Carter.

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