Albert Einstein divorces Mileva Maric
Einstein and Marić married in January 1903, and in May 1904 the couple’s first son, Hans Albert Einstein, was born in Bern, Switzerland.
Their second son, Eduard, was born in Zurich in July 1910. In 1914, Einstein moved to Berlin, while his wife remained in Zurich with their sons. Marić and Einstein divorced on 14 February 1919, having lived apart for five years.
Moreover, when Albert admitted adultery and divorced Mileva in 1919, he promised that in the event he should win the Nobel Prize all the money-not part of the money but all the money-would go to Mileva. According to the Einstein biography, Subtle is the Lord, Einstein kept his promise. When he received the Nobel Prize money in 1922 (he was awarded the prize for the year 1921; the award was announced and he received the money in 1922) Albert did indeed give Mileva all the money from the Nobel Prize. Why all the money?
There are other strange aspects to Einstein's life. Einstein was extremely secretive about his first marriage. It was only in 1987, with the publication of the Love Letters between Albert and Mileva that we find out Einstein fathered a daughter, named Lieserl, the first child of Albert Einstein and Mileva Maric. Nobody really knows what happened to this child; there is a mention in one of the letters to her having scarlet fever and it is believed that the child was put up for adoption in Serbia. Albert never breathed a word about her publicly during his lifetime, which is quite strange.
The Love Letters also make clear that Mileva Maric was absolutely hated by Einstein's mother, Pauline, who protested to her son that Mileva was, "a book like you." Still, despite his mother's fierce objections, Einstein stubbornly went ahead and married her. It was during this marriage that Einstein is credited with producing the 1905 papers which made him famous.
After they married, Mileva bore Albert two more children, sons Hans Albert and Eduard. Eduard suffered psychological troubles throughout his life, and according to Dord Krstic was even seen by Sigmund Freud.
Maric seems never quite willing to take complete credit for the work she did. Much has been made of Maric never having graduated from the Swiss Polytechnic, implying that she could not have been the intellectual equal of Albert Einstein.
In 1914 Einstein accepted a call to the Prussian Academy of Science in Berlin. Mileva was opposed to Berlin, but husbands determined the family’s domicile at that time. Under false pretenses Einstein moved his whole family to Berlin; writing to his paramour, he revealed his true feelings:
“Next spring at the latest I will come to Berlin to live. I am very much looking forward to the beautiful times we will spend together. (Albert to Elsa, July 14, 1913)
Mileva had no idea that the two of them had long since been talking about her divorce:
“Do you think it is easy to get a divorce if one has no proof of the guilt of the other party?” (Albert to Elsa, before December 2, 1913)
Six years later the divorce was granted, based on adultery on his part.
But in 1914 Mileva was managing another move with a sick four-year-old child and a ten-year-old: all without her husband’s help. When she became aware of his betrayal, passionate arguments and fights began; in the end Mileva left with the children to go back to Zurich. When the first World War began father and husband remained in Berlin, living with his cousin, whom he married two weeks after the divorce in 1919 – although by then he would have preferred to marry one of Elsa’s daughters.
The couple divorced on February 14, 1919. They had negotiated a settlement whereby the Nobel Prize money that Einstein anticipated he would soon receive was to be placed in trust for their two boys, while Marić would be able to draw on the interest, but have no authority over the capital without Einstein's permission, After Einstein married his second wife in June, he returned to Zurich to talk to Marić about the children's future, taking Hans Albert on Lake Constance and Eduard to Arosa for convalescence.
In 1922, Einstein received news that he had won the Nobel Prize in November and the money was transferred to Marić in 1923. The money was used to buy three houses in Zurich: Marić lived in one, a five story house at Huttenstrasse 62, the other two were investments. The family of Georg Busch, later to become Professor at the ETH, was one of her tenants. In the late 1930s the costs of Eduard's care — he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia — and institutionalized at the University of Zurich psychiatric clinic "Burghölzli"; overwhelmed Marić and resulted in the forced sale of two of the houses. In 1939 Marić agreed to transfer ownership of the Huttenstrasse house to Einstein in order to prevent its loss as well, with Marić retaining power of attorney. Einstein also made regular cash transfers to Marić for Eduard's and her own livelihood.