Einstein and Fantova met in 1929, in Germany, during the Fanta Salon where among the guests were Kafka. Running away from Nazi Germany, Einstein in 1933 and Fantova in 1939, Fantova become Einstein’s assistant to his personal library. Fantova attempted to publish her notes during her lifetime without success, but were published a few years ago when scholars at Princeton started to torganize the story of historical couples associated to the university. Among interesting quotes:

“He claims he is totally stupid,” writes Fantova, “that he has always thought so, and that only once in a while was he able to accomplish something.”


Einstein and Fantova, sailing in Lake Carnegie.

They both together spent many enjoyable hours on Lake Carnegie. “Seldom did I see him so gay and in so light a mood as in this strangely primitive little boat.”


He was also concerned about his reputation in the scientific world, where by the time of his death attention had moved away from his theory of relativity.

“The physicists say that I am a mathematician, and the mathematicians say that I am a physicist,” he told Fantova. “I am a completely isolated man and though everybody knows me, there are very few people who really know me.”


[1] – Princeton-Weekly bulletin: https://www.princeton.edu/pr/pwb/04/0426/