Saturday, 16 December, 2017.

**ABSTRACT: This paper presents some data about Mileva Marić Einstein that were published in the daily newspaper "Politika" during the 1994-1996 period, from which it becomes obvious that the peculiar fate of this woman has been used for certain purposes of the society and the nation. The feminist approach was neglected, although it would have been illuminating as regards Mileva Marić's contribution to science. 

In the second part, one of several possible approaches to Mileva's personality is presented - through the analysis of the private letters Mileva and Albert Einstein wrote to the Chavan family of Berne in the course of several years.

The differences concerning Mileva's and Albert's personalities are highlighted through a textual analysis of two letters.

Key words: discourse analysis, feminist approach, private correspondence.

In the last two years, both on the local scientific public scene and in publishing generally, quite a lot of information and articles have been published about Mileva Marić-Einstein (1875-1948), the first wife of the renowned scientist Albert Einstein, the first woman from this region to obtain a degree in mathematics and physics at the Scientific College in Switzerland. The basic intention of the papers was to specify to what an extent Mileva Marić was unjustly neglected when it came to recognising her contribution to physics, and also to discuss the extent of her contribution to new twentieth-century theories in the field of physics was. By "new theory" we mean the special theory of relativity (STR), made public in 1905 in the German periodical Annalen der Physik, undersigned by Albert Einstein only. There exists the controversial testimony of a Soviet National Academy member, Jofe, saying that he saw a manuscript in the editorial office signed by A. Einstein - Marity, which made him think there had been two authors.

We have been following articles about Mileva Marić-Einstein in the local daily "Politika" and have come to some conclusions about the (mis)use of a knowledgeable woman for particular aims in society.

To begin with, a conference was held in Novi Sad, organized by the University (May 13-14th 1994, at the Matica Srpska Institute) under the title "Mileva Einstein (Marić): her contribution to science: an evaluation of the contribution of a lady from Novi Sad, Mileva Marić, to the world of physics" (italics S.S.). The conference was organized by mathematicians and physicists from the Novi Sad University, supported to a considerable extent by Rastko Maglić.[1]

In the closing chapter of his paper, Maglić says that the intention is not "to diminish the reputation and recognition Albert Einstein achieved in science and "philosophy", but "to put things right concerning the unfair image of Mileva Einstein in the world of science and to give her the recognition she deserves" (162). On the basis of this statement, we could conclude that he focused on who Mileva Marić really was and what she achieved in professional terms.

Nearly two years passed between the conference and the publication of the book; meanwhile, many articles were published about Mileva Marić. For example, in "Politika" alone, several articles appeared written by authors among whom there were also some of the conference participants. We present them here with a view to showing their different attitudes towards the topic of the conference, but placed within the framework of the 1994-1996 period in this country.

Among the papers that say nothing or scarcely anything about Mileva, but do say something about Albert or physics and mathematics in general, we present Zvonimir Marić's paper "Einstein's Investigations Concerning the Aim and Method of Theoretical Physics" first. Mileva is not mentioned in it at all, but in the appendix to the paper entitled "A reflection about Mileva Marić", there is an outspoken judgement about the possibility of her reaffirmation as a scientist: Mileva Marić is "outside the intellectual flow of the philosophical evolution of Einstein's thought", he says. Other people’s opinions are also presented, as the author puts it, "without any comment"; having analyzed that part of the article, we can guess why the author particularly decided to choose the opinion of three male individuals who knew her. He quotes Philip Frank’s opinion first (Philip Frank, 1955):

"Although of Orthodox origin, (Mileva Marić) was broadminded and progressive in her thinking, just like the majority of Serb students. She was reserved by nature, unable to create a pleasant and intimate atmosphere… There was a rough streak and a strictness about her character. Life with her was not a source of peace and happiness for Einstein… When he initiated talks with her about his ideas that occurred in abundance, she would respond with a sort of indifference, so he found it difficult to guess whether she was interested or not" (italics S.S.) (p. 62).

To the aforementioned statement the author adds the opinion of Hans Albert Einstein, the elder son of Mileva and Albert Einstein:

"It is not fair to describe someone who went through so much hardship as rough, i.e. strict... I would rather say a person in need of love, in terms of both receiving and giving love. A personality whose main characteristic was not her rationality." (italics S.S.).

Further on, the author adds Carl Sellig’s opinion (1960), that Mileva was not particularly gifted for mathematics.

In the first quotation, the possible implications are related to Frank's expectations of a different behaviour, stemming from his prejudice towards a person of Orthodox creed ("although Orthodox"). He estimates Mileva from the point of view of his own culture and faith; his estimates of her personality are mainly positive, though. By choosing this quotation, the author, belonging to the Serb culture manifested a certain degree of intolerance towards Frank, whose judgement he quoted, all the more so in view of the fact that he did not comment on it in any way. Further on, from the words of her son, who spoke warmly about his mother, we did not get an entirely positive estimate of his mother - rationality, that highly appreciated trait in the western world, was not her main character feature. The latter judgement completely excludes Mileva’s scientific contribution to twentieth-century physics.

In other words, Zvonimir Marić did not contribute to a comprehensive image of Mileva Marić as a scientist on the one hand, but did contribute to creating a resistance towards everything and everybody surrounding Mileva while she lived with Albert.

After the conference, some of the authors tried to present their opinions in daily newspapers. Dragan Trifunović ("Politika" July 2nd 1994, p. 17) makes this statement: "Quite simply, among the scientific papers there is no trace of any work done by Mileva"; this fact is the basic indicator of someone’s role in science. He expresses the opinion that objective science cannot be based upon "the interpretation of verified or unverified, even made up statements of Mileva’s and Einstein's contemporaries ", which is a "scientifically false... and dangerous" path to follow, for "it penetrates the very foundations of morality". The author directly denies the value of those papers (presented at the conference) which are based on precisely such data.[2]

Somewhat later, Rastko Maglić, who was one of the organizers of the conference, in his article ("Politika", November 6th 1995) affirmed Mileva’s significance: "I am convinced that the STR (Special Theory on Relativity) definition required not such a high level mathematics, but a calm and logical brain. Young Albert (four years Mileva’ junior) was full of inspiration, abounding in new ideas, whereas Mileva was the calming element in their joint work" (let us remember their son’s opposite judgement, that rationality was not Mileva’s characteristic). Maglić believes in Mileva’s merit, but lacks objective scientific evidence, referred to by his colleague Trifunović, to support his claim. He would like Mileva to be praised in her home town, Novi Sad, today as a Serb lady originating from the region of Vojna krajina (army-controlled borderland region). In his introduction (p. 10), he says that "he would not by any means like to smear Albert Einstein’s reputation, just to emphasize Mileva’s merit in order to ensure a deserved place in the history of science for her – which is as much as she deserves" (p. 10), but at the end of his closing chapter (p. 162) he quotes John Stahel's words (obviously agreeing with him) that, after a detailed analysis of Mileva’s and Albert’s joint work, "Albert’s image will not remain untarnished - and he will not emerge out of this as a saint…" (italics S.S.)

A few months later, ("Politika" December 30th-31st 1995) in an article about the Novi Sad conference Stanko Stojiljković quoted the above statement that "Albert Einstein will not emerge out of this as a saint". This isolated sentence quoted in "Politika" counters the claim made in Maglić's introductory note, namely, that "the conference had no intention of smearing Albert Einstein’s reputation".

Some other articles, also printed in "Politika", also exhibit an air of intolerance towards Albert Einstein, supported by statements taken from the delegates’ papers. Let us look at the evidence Maglić presents in his paper for the purpose of reaffirming Mileva's contribution to science.

One piece of evidence is of linguistic nature. The Russian physicist Abram F. Jofe "had the opportunity to see the ORIGINAL PAPER ON THE SPECIAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY" at the editorial office of the magazine Annalen der Physik in 1905. He wrote that the signature he had seen on the paper about the Special Theory of Relativity had been A. EINSTEIN-MARITY. Jofe explained that MARITY was the Hungarian version of the name MARIĆ; furthermore, he speculates that it was "a habit in Switzerland for a husband to add his wife’s maiden name to his own!" He also dwells on this issue by stating that "in Switzerland it is not common for husbands to sign their names adding their wives’ names." Evidently, Jofe could not believe that a woman could be the author of a paper" (p. 156). Maglić does not say when husbands sign their names adding their wives’ names, and we do not know of any other instance when Albert Einstein signed his name alongside hers, except in this case.

In the early years of their marriage, the Einsteins did not sign their letters sent to friends by both surnames (see he appended material), but Albert most often undersigned them by A. or by his surname (Einstein). The evidence concerning the surname, however important it may seem, can not be used in favour of Mileva Marić, i.e. to prove that she was the co-author of the manuscript. Arguments of other nature are necessary.

Following the articles concerning the conference and its delegates, three publications appeared related to a book written by Dragana Bukumirović, a journalist with "Politika", entitled Mileva Marić-Ajnštajn[3]. Both the title and the article (Sunday, December 24th 1995) correspond to the political tendencies in the newspaper "Politika" at the time of publication:

Series title: Fatal Serb Ladies

Title: Wife of a Genius

Subtitle: Who was Mileva Marić-Einstein, a forgotten Serb lady, the first wife of the famous Nobel Prize winner

These elements only show that something was being insisted on, something that was supposed to be emphasized in the "Politika" newspaper given the political situation at the time - a reminder to the public that Mileva belonged to an exceptionally gifted nation, to a large flock of clever people; she was, however, presented as a fatal woman (the title of the series in which the book was published). And finally, the way in which a woman is defined cannot go beyond the traditional image of women, so she is defined as a woman belonging to a genius. Her position is defined as being between a brilliant nation and a brilliant husband. The answer to the question from the subtitle would be: she was a Serb woman belonging to a genius and to us.

The second paragraph of the article reads: "Without any intention of raising feminist-typeobjections, like those lamenting the fact that certain gifted women are forgotten, the intention of the publisher (editor-in-chief Miličko Mijović) and the author is to present the fate of those women who tried to resist being average and unimportant" (italics S.S.).

The text ends like this: "The intention of the book is to highlight the fact that in the life of a woman it is difficult or even impossible to harmonize professional happiness and personal happiness. One or the other should be sacrificed" (italics S.S.).

The message is clear: Mileva can be used for promoting national (even nationalistic) ideas,[4] but should be protected from feminist ideas. In other words, "we can use her for our purposes, but under no circumstances should she be used by you, who want to enlighten women and to affirm that a professional career and motherhood can be harmonised."[5]

From such writing one can conclude that something being discussed abroad has been accepted at home – diminishing Mileva Marić's values,[6] which is used (whether consciously or not) for strengthening anti-Semitic ideas.[7]

A negative attitude towards a feminist approach to Mileva's personality and her professional fate was expressed by Rastko C. Maglić, one of the conference organisers (p. 10). Expressing some reservations concerning research into Mileva’s contribution to science, among other things he says:

"Another reservation that should be emphasized in this case is the interest of contemporary feminist groups in identifying Mileva's case with their own purposes. Still, there are many reasons to observe Mileva Marić’s case from this point of view, but they are not of any interest to this conference" (italics S.S.)

Interest groups have been formed around Mileva Marić, groups which seemingly contribute to her reaffirmation at home and abroad. In her book, Dragana Bukumirović depicts a negative image of Einstein, which is at variance with the original intention: to show HER contribution to science, not diminish HIS.

The marketing of Dragana Bukumirović's book does a disservice to Mileva, opening up new problems - the human and professional values of her husband of Jewish origin, as seen from the Serb point of view (I deliberately refrain from saying – from Mileva's point of view). [8]

The Feminist Approach

We will present here an approach to Mileva Marić's personality by reading texts written by Mileva herself. The only material in writing left are the private letters she was writing to a friend of hers in Berne.[9]

This type of written communication is close to speaking, for it was not proof-read or corrected in any other way; therefore, the stream of thoughts in a letter can be connected to oral communication,[10] adjusted to the formal demands of letter-writing as a specific genre. So far, the public has been offered the love letters of Mileva and Albert Einstein (Renn & Schulmann, 1992) and the letters written until 1914 (Stohel, 1987).

The corresponding method of analysing private letters requires a certain amount of background knowledge about the individuals engaged in correspondence and about the topic of correspondence. The analysis can focused on either the sender or the recipient, or even both of them at the same time.

The purpose of the analysis is to show, on the basis of analysing two private letters, how different Mileva and Albert were as persons, how different their views of others and their environment in general were. This would illustrate a method through which we could understand Mileva Marić better, analysing her personal activities.

In the existing literature about the ways of communication between a man and a woman (Tannen, 1990, Trömel-Plötz, 1992) the differences in communication are highlighted in relation to the manner of socialization of men and women in their own cultures and societies. Therefore, sexual differences linked to forms of communication are also observed as cross-cultural communication. By means of such input, the difference between ways of communication is emphasized as a result of cultural and social upbringing and testifies to the importance of this research. The primary task of such an analysis is to show and explain different forms of misunderstanding between men and women in everyday life. In this case, it is about misunderstanding between Mileva and Albert Einstein.

In this paper we shall analyze the texts of private letters written by Mileva Einstein (Marić) as the sender, in relation to the recipient of the letters and in relation to Albert Einstein, her husband, who wrote parts of the same letter. In two unpublished letters (out of the 11 preserved in Einstein's Museum in Berne),[11] Mileva and Albert Einstein wrote together to their friends, Mr. and Mrs. Chavan in Berne, during 1911 and 1912.

Like other textual forms (Savić, 1993), private letters have a standardized form of a beginning, contents and ending. This basic structure is analyzed here by the application of three basic cognitive categories: a subject related to others in a specific space and in a specific time-frame:

  1. subject:  related to others (I/we - others)
  2. place of an event: here - there
  3. time of an event: past - present - future

What is also considered is the time distance that separates the subjects from the time when the letters were written, because the discourse of private correspondence has been changing over time, depending on the changing relations in society. Private letters sent to close persons or friends are analyzed, so that one gets the impression that the time scope of 90 years has not significantly changed the way letters of this kind are written.

In their first joint letter, it is Albert who writes first, and Mileva’s lines are below his lines. The letter was written immediately after they moved to Prague (April 5th 1911), where Albert was assigned the post of a lecturer in theoretical physics at the University.[12]

These private letters have a recognizable beginning, which is the conventional salutation:

Dear Mr. Chavan, in Albert's wording,

Dear Mrs. Chavan, in Mileva's wording.

In private correspondence, all sorts of closing phrases can be used; in this case it is:

Best wishes, in Albert's wording,

With cordial regards, in Mileva's wording.

These are followed by the signatures:

Yours, A.E., in Albert's wording

M. Einstein, in Mileva's wording.

On the basis of the ways they undersigned the letters, one can draw conclusions about how the author wanted to be seen in the mind of the person who read his/her letter; to what an extent he or she reveals himself/herself also depends on how he/she imagines being observed by the person to whom the message is sent. A postcard is closely examined then, the answer to a letter received earlier, sent to close friends who can make out the difference between their handwritings. The writing on the postcard is also visible to other potential readers, for whom the message was not intended. It is a fact that Albert bore in mind when he did not mention the names of the persons he intended to communicate with but just gave the initials (V. and Z.). In the light of this, one can judge Albert’s decision to use his initials instead of his full name, unlike the writer of the previous letter. Albert, as the first one, undersigns using his initials, A.E., only, whereas Mileva does it by using her husband’s full surname, preceded by the initial of her personal name. Albert's signatures in several other letters are different: only A., A. Einstein or his surname only (Einstein). Mileva always signs her name in the aforementioned way: as opposed to Albert’s varying signatures, Mileva’s consistency is manifested by always writing her name in the same way. For her, it seems important to show and emphasize that she is Einstein. Apart from this, in the German environment in Berne her name, Mileva, might have revealed her as a non-German, someone one belonging to the Slavs, who were not exactly welcome in those surroundings. That may have been the reason why Mileva chose the strategy of concealing herself by using her initials only.

For those readers who read these lines from today's perspective, it may seem that Albert's identity becomes known through Mileva's signature.

The content of the text itself is between the beginning and the ending. We break it up into smaller syntactic units - clauses (a syntactic unit that must have a predicate). We examine these units closely on the basis of three chosen criteria (1-3).

Criterion 1:

1. I/we - others

Albert
 
Mileva
I was saddened by your news We have arrived happily in Prague
I will write in order to help We send you friendly greetings
We have arrived after a hard journey  I will send a parcel to you
We have even found a flat I have no time


Albert places information concerning his "self" at the beginning, whereas Mileva begins with information concerning togetherness - the whole family ("we"). Her information about moving to Prague tells the recipient about the end of the process of moving, which she describes as "happy" and where she includes herself along with her family. Albert, however, informs the recipient about the process of their moving which was obviously "hard" to him, and he also mentions both himself and other family members. We have two persons informing the recipient of the same experience but in different ways, since they experienced the event differently: Albert speaks about the hard process of moving to another city, while Mileva writes about the happy ending of that same hard process of changing their residence. It certainly was not easy to find a flat quickly in Prague at that time. Albert most likely worried due to that fact, since for him it was a relief to have been able "to find a flat, even". Mileva, on the other hand, does not mention this.

If we recall the information given in Mileva’s biography (Đurić-Trbuhović, 1969), namely, that she reluctantly moved to Prague, we will easily conclude that Mileva was, most likely, concealing her feelings and did not want to reveal them in their letters in order not to be blamed.

Another criterion in our analysis takes us to the spatial relations of events occurring in the new place of residence (Prague), in relation to the previous one in Berne.

2.     here - there

In the very first two separate syntactic units, Mileva connects "here and there". She does so by using the conjunction and to connect their happy arrival in Prague and the act of sending friendly regards to those who stayed "there", in Berne. In her thoughts over "here" are others, those who stayed "there".

Expressing these events in terms of temporal relations in each discourse, including private correspondence, reveals her readiness to shift events in time depending on personal judgement and perspective. Therefore, a time-based analysis can tell us more about the subject in space.

3.     past - present - future

Albert places helping others in the future ("I will write to V" and "to prof. Z.");

Mileva also places care for others in the future (I will send you a parcel), recalling her duty ("as I promised"), but her future care for others is a natural consequence of her care in the present ("we send you friendly greetings").

The present seems to be Mileva's full-time duty ("I can hardly manage").

The past is behind them ("we have arrived; we have found").

In his writing Albert looks upon the future as something unpleasant, linked with changes, new habits that seem difficult to him ("myriads of difficulties are to be overcome when one gets to such completely different and new circumstances"). It is likely that he does not want to confess his feeling of unease, so he expresses his feelings using impersonal syntactic constructions, thus minimizing the fact that it is his personal feeling concerning the space "here".

From the content of the first letter we can conclude that Einstein was more  ready to tell others what he felt uneasy about, what made him unhappy or uncertain, whereas Mileva tried to hide such feelings and preferred to be optimistic.

In their second joint letter (number 153), written upon their arrival in Switzerland from Prague, certain patterns are recognizable concerning Albert’s and Mileva's manner of presenting themselves to others.[13]

1. I/we - others

This time it was Mileva who wrote first, with Albert adding lines of his own .

Albert Mileva
I apologize / admit my fault  I would be glad for you
I did not write   I would like to see you
I was busy I ask you to come
I would be happy to see you again We are all very well
I ask you to come I say the children are big
We are glad I am glad for you
We felt like strangers in Prague
I feel glad about you
I hope it would last for a while
We shall help again


Although both Albert and Mileva put themselves in the central position in the opening clauses, they do so from different angles. Albert is more focused on himself, his job, whereas Mileva speaks about herself while thinking of others ("I feel glad about you", "I would like to see you", "please, come to see us"). After describing unpleasant events using first person plural ("we felt like strangers in Prague"), Albert returns to himself.

2. here - there

Switching to their family "we", Albert informs the recipient about feeling out of place in Prague ("like strangers"); the children, however, are small and they feel comfortable wherever they are with their parents. He most likely includes Mileva, speaking in her name as well. But she, feeling uncomfortable "there", does not want to say anything to those who read the letter in their "here". She simply speaks about "here and now" ("we are all well"), not mentioning anything about Prague. Mileva does not want to burden others with her feeling of unease. She wants to present herself in an optimistic light.

3. present - past - future

Mileva speaks about the present and the children, who are her major concern.[14]

Albert, however, does not mention them - he is preoccupied with his important jobs and meeting others. Both he and Mileva invite their friends to come and visit them, but they speak about that in different terms. Mileva says specifically that it will be around Christmas and New Year, while Albert just refers to the holidays. Albert is of Jewish origin, Mileva is of Orthodox creed, and what they refer to is Catholic and Protestant Christmas and the New Year in Switzerland, the country the Chavan family are citizens of. For Albert, it might have been just one holiday of the many there are, but not his holiday; for Mileva, "now" in Switzerland, others’ holidays are hers at the same time. That fact shows how adapted she was to the new surroundings, and also expresses her wish to fit in with this "other/now", which belongs to the tradition of those to whom the letter was sent to, that is, the Chavan family. This also shows how Mileva and Albert are different in wishing to be ("we") similar to "others".[15]

Conclusion

In our parallel analysis of what Mileva and Albert wrote, it was Mileva who interested us in the first place. She was a person who, following a brilliant intellectual start, had a tragic life. To what an extent this was due to the social circumstances she lived in, her personality or the cultural tradition she had just seemingly left behind, still remains to be established . In this paper we discuss how one can look upon the things that Albert and Mileva did or experienced. From the letters Mileva and Albert wrote to the same family in Berne, we may conclude that they were different regarding the ways they wrote about themselves and how they spoke about "others". The differences can be due to their individual characteristics. It may well be, however, that the way they looked upon their stay in Prague and upon their relations with others from that city, is the result of having received different upbringing, hers originating from the Slavic, Serbian tradition, and his from the German-Jewish one.

We suggest that Mileva Marić-Einstein's contribution to science should be researched by means of a method that would make it possible for us to fully understand her personality, both professional and individual, without diminishing the importance of others.

Translated by Edit Jankov

Svenka Savić
University of Novi Sad
October 1966.

LITERATURE

  • Đurić - Trbuhović, D., (1969),  U senci Alberta Ajnštajna, Kruševac, Bagdala, drugo izdanje 1995.
  • Frank Philipp, (1955), Einstein: His Life and Time, New York.
  • Renn, J. i R. Schulmann, (1992), Albert Einstein, Mileva Marić: The love letters, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.
  • Savić, S., (1993), Diskurs analiza, Filozofski fakultet, Novi Sad.
  • Seeling, C., (1960), Albert Einstein: Eine dokumentarische Biography, Zurich.
  • Stochel, J. ur., (1987), The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, Vol. 1: The early years (1879 - 1902), Princeton University Press.
  • Tannen, D., (1990), You just don’t understandWoman and man in conversation, Ballantine Books, New York.
  • Trömel-Plötz, S., (1992), Frauensprache: Sprache der Veranderung, Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt.        

______________________________________________________________

** Mileva Marić was born in Titel (on December 7th 1875) and died in Zurich (on August 4th 1948). "The little lame girl with big black eyes"..."had a congenital sense of humour and a talent for music". She completed her studies of mathematics and physics in Berne in October 1896. She married Albert Einstein in Berne on January 6th 1903. Their first son, Hans Albert, was born on May 14th 1904. Eduard, their younger son, was born on August 28th 1910. He was ill for many years.

[1] The papers presented at the conference were published afterwards in a book bearing the same title (1995), but leaving out the subtitle (editor-in-chief, Dragoslav Herceg). It should be noted that the book was published without adequate proofreading. It is not to the credit of Novi Sad University to publish such a neglectfully edited book, all the more so if it is intended for readers who know little about her.  Underneath is the list of titles of those papers from which we quote in this text.

  1. Dr Vojislav Trbuhović: Mileva Ajnštajn-Marić and her Biographer
  2. Dr Dragan Trifunović: The Relativity Theory among Serbs
  3. Marko D. Leko: The Special Relativity Theory
  4. Dr Zvonimir Marić: Einstein's Research Work Concerning the Aims and Methods of Theoretical Physics
  5. Dr Milutin Blagojević: Physics in Space and Time
  6. Drenka Dobrosavljević: Correspondence Between Mileva Marić and Albert Einstein 1897-1902
  7. Živko Marković: The Einsteins as Remembered by the Old Settlers of Novi Sad 
  8. Rastko C. Maglić: Mileva Einstein's Contribution to Science
  9. Raša Popov: Titel, Kać and Vojvodina - the Intellectual Cradle of Mileva Marić
  10. Mirko Kutlača-Kistanjac: Albert Einstein and the Nobel Prize.

From the very titles of papers collected in this book, it becomes obvious that the only paper to deal directly with the topic of the conference, is that of R.C. Maglić. In Dobrosavljev's paper, data are presented from the correspondence between Albert and Mileva from the early years of their friendship and marriage. In the papers written by D. Trifunović, M.D. Leko, Z. Marić, Z. Blagojević, physicists and mathematicians speak about physics and mathematics, implicitly referring to Albert Einstein as well, as can be seen from the title of the paper written by M. Kutlača-Kistanjac. These papers lack any direct connection with Mileva, whereas two of the others provide data about the environment in which she lived prior to leaving for Zurich. The general impression one gets is that the book bearing the title Mileva Einstein-Marić's Contribution to Science does not contain any clear facts pertaining to her contribution to science, tending to focus on presenting Albert's contribution instead.

[2] The author cannot see what the problem really is, because Tolstoy’s wife Sophia also helped her husband "she even copied Tolstoy's writings"..."remaining, though, on the margins of literary history".

[3] Published  by "Narodna knjiga" in Belgrade, as the second book in the series entitled "Fatal Serb Ladies", (the first one having been on Draga Mašin!). First came the announcement of the presentation (December 23), then the presentation itself (December 24) and reactions to the presentation (December 27, 1995).

[4] The author used her position as a journalist with the daily "Politika" to launch an idea that Mileva certainly would not have approved of- emphasising the national element (not to mention the element of fatality) in an inappropriate context. The very fact that she married Albert Einstein, a Jew of German origin, proves what her national beliefs were like.

[5] Elements for such an opinion can be found in Mr. Maglić's paper as well (p. 160). In picture number 11 it is shown that "Pupin, Tesla and Mileva Marić originated from the Vojna krajina region: the three of them were born around the same time (1864/10). A combination of Serb talent and Austro-Hungarian work discipline produced good results". The timing of the conference (1994) and the publication of the book coincided with the war in the Srpska Krajina region in real life. The affirmation of "Serb talent" from that region in a paper of this kind did not have to do with science only.

[6] "Einstein's biographers hardly mentioned Mileva at all, and when they did, they did it in a humiliating manner." (R.C. Maglić, p. 143).

[7] "The image of Mileva Marić as a mysterious and enigmatic theoretical physicist (the first woman of that profession) whose work did not get the recognition it deserved was used by those who wanted to create a myth about Einstein – a myth they needed (is there any need to create a myth about Einstein?) in order to facilitate collecting money for the purpose of the foundation of Israel… In that myth there was no room for Mileva" (italics S.S.) (Maglić, p. 143).

[8] Another short article (undersigned by S.M.S.) about the second edition of Desanka Đurić-Trbuhović's book in Serbian (1995) In Albert Einstein's Shadow (the first one dates from 1969), makes articles about Mileva M. more complete (the book had 5 editions in German translation). An important piece of information given in it is that back in 1960 Mileva's grave still existed at a Zurich cemetery, but a little later that plot was dug up, so the last material trace of Mileva’s presence in public life disappeared.

[9] I am grateful to the Einstein Museum in Berne for letting me examine a selection of Mileva Einstein's letters and the facsimile of their marriage certificate. I would also like to thank Veronika Mitro, Lidija Dmitrijev and Mirjana Jocić for their remarks concerning the previous version of my paper. 

[10] Apart from that, a hand-written message enables some other analyses as well, from which we learn more about the sender of the message, such as graphological information for those who know how to read such kind of information (which our analysis, unfortunately, lacks). 

[11] All of the 11 letters (postcards and picture postcards) were written by Mileva to Mrs. Chavan in Berne (Chavan, Benndenfeldstr. 5), and just a few contain parts written by Albert, occasionally by their sons. Some of them are dated, and in the case of some of them the date and the place they were sent from can be deduced from the text of the letter itself or from other data known to us about the Einstein couple.

[12] In the above-mentioned biography of Mileva Marić, the author says that when they moved to Prague:"... misunderstandings, clashes and quarrels between Mileva and her husband began" (p. 129).

[13] In August 1912 the Einstein family returned to Switzerland, because Albert was elected a full-time lecturer in theoretical physics at Zurich University. In September 1913, Mileva was alone with the children, staying with her family in Serbia. In 1913, Albert was appointed a professor in Berlin. Mileva did not want to go with him. In February 1918, they were officially divorced and in 1919 Einstein married Elsa, a close relative of his.

[14] "By the end of March 1911, the family left Zurich; Eduard was eight months old and Hans Albert nearly seven. He was about to start school. They came to Prague and hired a flat at 125 Trebisheho St. Mileva did not like the city." (Đurić-Trbuhović, 1969, 128).

[15] In Mileva's family, a lot of tragic events occurred that shaped her fate. Her sister, also lame from childhood, began showing signs of mental illness, her brother disappeared at the front during W.W. I, her father died in 1922 (the same year when Einstein won the Nobel Prize). Her mother died in 1935, at the age of 88, and in 1938 Mileva's sister died under dramatic circumstances. D. Đurić-Trbuhović (1969, 247) wrote this about Mileva in the year of her death (1947): "The dreadful things with her son had been going on for 20 years. He was in hospital, she was visiting him every day in cold weather and snow, lame, old and ill. While going to the hospital on February 19th 1947, she fell and broke her leg. She was told to leave the house she had sold back in 1939."

After Mileva's death a tutor, was appointed to her younger son; he lived in a sanatorium until his death in 1965.

Women's Studies Journal

Selected Papers
Anniversary Issue 1992/2002

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