Albert Einstein was the outstanding genius of the 20th century
- but he was also an ordinary man,
- who had many affairs during his 2 marriages.
- this other side of the scientist,
- who was declared the man of the century by Time Magazine,
- is explained in a new exhibition to mark Einstein Year
Revered by leading scientists and the ordinary public alike
- for his intellectual powers and sharp wit,
- and loved by children across the world for his gently avuncular air and unruly mop of white hair
- Einstein was also a keen ladies' man.
- "He was a passionate and very complex man, fascinatingly full of contradictions," said Hanoch Gutfreund,
- Einstein specialist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
- which helped mount the show at the Jewish Museum in London's Camden Town.
"He loved both of his wives but
- he went actively seeking the affairs, and women also sought him out"
- And while he cherished the mountains of letters he got from children
- during his years at Princeton University in the US,
- where he fled in 1933 aged 54,
- he had little contact with his own three children by his first wife Mileva Maric.
There is no evidence he ever saw his daughter Lieserl
- who was born in Hungary in 1902
- before the couple married and
- while Einstein was working as a technical expert at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern.
- Indeed her existence was not even known until relatively recently
- discovered in love letters from Einstein to Maric before they married in 1903
- and all trace of her disappears after that year.
His marriage to Maric -- an intellectual foil for Einstein
- was against the wishes of his domineering mother
- as she was Serbian and not Jewish.
- The marriage produced two sons
- Hans Albert, born in 1904, and Eduard, born in 1910.
- But as the marriage crumbled, she took the boys away with her.
- "It was a very passionate love affair at the outset.
- But it soured quite quickly and their divorce was very bitter," Gutfreund said.
Well before the marriage ended, Einstein had several affairs
- and had begun a relationship with his cousin Elsa
- who he promptly married after divorcing Maric in 1919
- the year his theory of relativity was proved and he shot to stardom.
- Although Elsa was no match for Einstein intellectually
- she did provide him with a comfortable home and there is no doubt that he loved her, Gutfreund said.
- But that didn't stop him carrying on a series of discreet affairs before she died in 1936.
Maric died in 1948
- while Eduard -- a schizophrenic -- died in a sanatorium in 1965 and
- Hans Albert died in 1973.
- Einstein died aged 76 at Princeton in April 1955,
- a cultural icon to the world,
- but still an enigma of towering intellect with a turbulent personal life
- who had spent much of his time in solitude.
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