Given the intimate nature of some of the 80,000 documents that Albert Einstein bequeathed to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which the physicist helped to found, the school was not initially sure how much of the archive should be published and made public. Now, however, the school says it is committed to releasing the entire collection of physics manuscripts, political writings and love letters in a digital format, complete with English translations from Einstein’s native German, which will be of interest to academic researchers and the general public alike.
What’s the Big Idea?
Despite his über-human status as a genius, the new documents demonstrate that Einstein lived as many of us live, replete with love trials and speculative political solutions. Included in the papers are “24 love letters the scientist wrote to his cousin, Elsa Einstein, with whom he conducted an affair for several years before finally divorcing his first wife, Mileva Maric, and remarrying in 1919.” Einstein also proposed a secret council of Jews and Arabs to achieve peace in the region. The council would consist of a physician, a jurist, a trade unionist and a cleric from either side and hold weekly meetings.