Einstein may be known for his theory of relativity, but his fans may be surprised to learn that the legendary scientist married twice, the second time being to his first cousin, Elsa Löwenthal.
The couple began their affair in 1912 while Einstein was still married to his first wife. In 1919, the divorce was finalized and Einstein remarried a few months later in June of the same year.
Elsa’s surname at birth was Einstein. They were related as cousins maternally. But how did the Einstein surname arise along the male bloodline of the family? The couple were also second cousins paternally.
According to the Albert Einstein In The World Wide Web, Albert and Elsa used to play together as children during regular family gatherings in Munich. She referred to him as “Albertle” in her Swabian dialect. But the two parted company for several years when Einstein’s family moved to Milan in 1894.
Elsa married her first husband, a textile trader named Max Löwenthal, in 1896. They had two daughters together. In 1908 the couple divorced and Elsa moved to Berlin, where she would later become romantically involved with Albert Einstein.
The Inquisitr previously reported on the dark side of Albert Einstein’s family life, especially in relation to his treatment of Mileva Maric, his first wife. From Einstein’s personal letters referenced in Walter Isaacson’s book, Einstein: His Life and Universe, Einstein is portrayed as brooding and cruel, going as far as demanding that Maric abide by a list of conditions in a failed attempt to save their marriage.
Einstein was also open about his extramarital affairs that he had with several women during the mid-1920s extending to his emigration to the U.S. in 1933. Some of the names mentioned in letters were Estella, Ethel, Margarete, and two women called Toni. He often wrote to Elsa about them, mentioning in one letter to her about women showering him with unwanted attention.
“He was not capable of long and stable relations with a woman and he actually expressed that in a letter to the son of a friend who died,” Chairman of the Albert Einstein Worldwide Exhibition, Hanoch Gutfreund, said.
“If one talks about Einstein in love, his most consistent love from beginning to end was science.”