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Hans Albert Einstein Papers

Identifier: MsC0900

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Scope and Contents

The papers are a mix of personal and professional correspondence, in part documenting Hans Albert's assistance to his brother Eduard, who exhibited symptoms of schizophrenia in 1930 and spent much of the rest of his life in a Swiss sanatorium, where he died in 1965. A substantial part of the collection relates to a book of Einstein Family letters proposed by Frieda Einstein, who assembled and edited correspondence from a number of family members under the working title Albert Einstein in His Letters to His Wife and Children. The book was not published. Box 2 folder 2 contains materials received from Elizabeth Einstein in 1990 and incorporated in part in her Reminiscences published by the The University of Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research in 1991. The remaining materials, Box 1 folders 1-6 and Box 2 folder 1, were sent to the Hydraulic Institute by her estate's executor in 1995 and later transferred to the Libraries. The materials are in German unless otherwise indicated.


  • Creation: 1900-1990


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research, however access to it is only permitted to on-site readers.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections & Archives as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Hans Albert Einstein was born in 1904 in Bern, Switzerland to Albert Einstein and Mileva Maric. His siblings were older sister Liserl (1902-?), and younger brother Eduard (1910-1965). In 1914 his parents separated: his father moved to Berlin, Germany, and his mother took her two sons with her to live in Zurich, Switzerland. Hans Albert was educated in Zurich, where he earned a doctorate from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He married Frieda Knecht, a teacher of German language and literature, in 1927, and they had three children: a son Klaus (1932-1938) died young of dyphteria, shortly after the family moved to the U.S.; a second son, Bernard (1930 - ) is a physicist; and a daughter Evelyn (1941 - , adopted) earned a degree in anthropology.

The Einsteins emigrated to the United States in 1938, and in 1947 Hans Albert was hired by the University of California, Berkeley, where he had a long career as Professor of Hydraulic Engineering. Frieda died suddenly In 1958, and a year later, Hans Albert married Elizabeth Roboz, a biochemist and fellow university professor. Hans Albert Einstein died in 1973 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, U.S.

Senders and recipients of letters are listed in the finding aid where it has been possible to identify them. Family members (including his aunt Maja, his father, mother, and his first wife Fri(e)da) often referred to Hans Albert as “Hadi” or “Adi.” Hans Albert often addressed his father as “Vati” (“Dad”) or “Papa” – and his father often signed his letters to his son in this way.

Biographical information based on “Inventory of the Hans Albert Einstein Papers.” Online Archive of California.;query=;style=oac4;view=admin#bioghist-1.8.4; and “Short Life History: Hans Albert Einstein.” Albert Einstein in the World Wide Web.


3.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials




Personal and professional papers of a hydrologist whose long career was mainly at the University of California, Berkeley. Substantial part of the collection consists of drafts of an unpublished book compiled by his wife Frieda with the working title Albert Einstein in His Letters to His Wife and Children. Includes a few autographed and typed letters from Albert Einstein to his son.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection came to The University of Iowa from the executor of the estate of Elizabeth Roboz Einstein in 1990. Further materials were aquired by staff of the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research, who worked with Ms. Einstein's executor, before transferring them to the Libraries. They were organized and this finding aid was posted to the internet September 2010. The collection was reprocessed and added to ArchivesSpace in 2024.

Genre / Form


Hans Albert Einstein Papers
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)