About Evelyn Einstein
From: Children of a Lesser God. For the offspring of a science deity, the legacy is more burden than blessing.
by Michele Zackheim
Excerpts From DISCOVER, the March 2008 issue; published online February 12, 2008:
"Evelyn was an infant when she was adopted by Hans Albert and Frieda. I listened in astonishment as she told me, “Since I was young, I have been told that I was really Albert Einstein’s daughter.” She believes that she may, in fact, be the result of an affair he had with a dancer in New York. But she does not insist: “I realized that this big, dark secret about my birth was an open book to many people. Since I have no proof, I thought that if I broached this subject to people they would think that I am crazy, a total fruitcake! So I never spoke about it.” Thus Hans Albert, Evelyn’s adoptive father, may possibly be her half brother, and Evelyn’s brother, Bernhard, may be her nephew. Evelyn takes perverse delight in the scenario.
Evelyn, born in 1941, is a highly intelligent woman, but her life as an Einstein has been awful. From the beginning, she felt closer to her mother and distant from her father. Married and then divorced, she had no children. Among a number of other jobs, she worked as a dogcatcher, a reserve policewoman, and a cult deprogrammer. After battling cancer and liver disease, she began to slide downhill. For a while she was living in her car and eating out of the trash. “I can tell you every good garbage Dumpster in the area,” she said, “but I never panhandled a penny.” With tenacity she pulled herself up, began to collect disability insurance, and settled down to a cloistered life, still possessing a wry sense of humor."
"Evelyn lives in a home that is a jumble of history. When I first met her, in 1995, she was in her fifties, with cropped brown and silver hair, dressed in black pants and sandals and a bright crimson shirt. On her collar was a silver Star Trek pin. Due to illness, she could barely walk. She scooted among leaning towers of paper in an old wheelchair decorated with garishly colored plastic Star Trek gewgaws."
-------------------- Einstein wrangle 'almost settled'
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
A DISPUTE among members of the Einstein family that is behind next month's auction of more than 400 of the physicist's personal letters is close to being resolved, lawyers said yesterday.
The wrangle began in August last year when Albert Einstein's granddaughter, Evelyn, filed a suit to remove her nephew, Dr Thomas Einstein, from a trust overseeing the personal letters.
Her $5 million suit, due to be heard in December, claims that her medical and other needs required money from the trust and that she was unaware of the existence of the trust before April 1995.
"The disagreements will hopefully be fully and amicably resolved soon," said Bernard Burk, a San Francisco lawyer who represents Dr Einstein.
The trust was created in May 1984 by Evelyn Einstein's stepmother, Elizabeth Einstein. It names Evelyn, her brother Bernard, and Dr Einstein, Bernard's son, as co-trustees.
Evelyn and Bernard Einstein are the children of Hans Albert Einstein, one of Albert Einstein's three children.
It is thought that the collection, which is expected to fetch between $3 million and $15 million at Christie's, New York, is likely to end up in a centre of Einstein studies in Germany.
Evelyn Einstein is unhappy at this prospect, given the profound dislike of Germany expressed by the scientist.