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Achtung! Einstein never wore socks

india Updated: Jul 17, 2006 21:22 IST

The last remaining trove of celebrated physicist Albert Einstein’s personal family letters opened to the public last week has revealed that he never liked wearing socks and that he managed to hide the habit by wearing high boots.

"Even on the most solemn occasions I got away without wearing socks and hid that lack of civilisation in high boots." Newscientist quoted Einstein as writing to his cousin and second wife Elsa, during a visit to the University of Oxford.

Einstein’s stepdaughter Margot Einstein, donated around 1400 letters, to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel and, decreed that they remain sealed for 20 years after her death.

The collection contains 3,500 pages of correspondence from 1912 to 1955, a span during which Einstein wrote almost daily to his wife and stepdaughter.                                                            

"This is the last such collection of material that will be revealed," says Hanoch Gutfreund, a physicist at the University.

The letters may help clear a blemish on Einstein's image of being an irresponsible and cruel father.

"People perceive Einstein as an irresponsible, even cruel father. He describes his sons with great warmth and pride, and is concerned for their financial well-being," says Gutfreund.

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