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Evelyn Einstein, Granddaughter, 70

Shiva Stars

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Evelyn Einstein in 1960.(AP/NYT)

Like “Huppah Dreams,” our weekly series which picks the most interestingly Jewish announcement in the Weddings/Celebrations section, “Shiva Stars” will selected the most interestingly Jewish obituary from the past week’s New York Times. This is not intended to make light of the dead, but rather to celebrate their lives. However, if you feel it crosses a line, let us know in the comments. Not that you needed us to tell you that.

Each Thursday, we select the most interestingly Jewish obituary from the past week. Today, it is Evelyn Einstein, 70, granddaughter of a certain Albert, who despite obvious mental gifts and allegiance to certain causes (she was arrested in 1960 for protesting the House Un-American Activities Committee), lived a liminal existence that included stints of homelessness. Being Einstein’s granddaughter turned out to produce a severe anxiety of influence, in unexpected ways: “It’s not so easy being an Einstein,” she once said. “When I was in school at Berkeley in the ’60s, I could never tell if men wanted to be with me because of me, or my name. To say, you know, ‘I had an Einstein.’” (One such man, her husband, was an anthropology professor who tried to prove the existence of Bigfoot—unsuccessfully, we can presume.)

Yet her lineage was important to her, if her battle, at the end of her life, to fight Hebrew University’s infamous marketing of Einstein’s image, is any indication. “What does a bobblehead doll have to do with a literary estate?” she asked.

Evelyn Einstein Dies at 70; Shaped by a Link to Fame [NYT]
Earlier: E=Lawsuit Squared

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Hershel Ginsburg says:

About 5 years ago the NY Times Magazine (yes, even I’ll reference the Times on occasion) had an excellent article on the Salafis in Jordan, by Nir Rosen (of all people) that portrayed them as making al Qaeda seem moderate in comparison. Rosen also noted that the Salafis were clearly a growing threat to the Hashemite rule over Jordan although the royal family did manage to reach a modus vivendi with the Islamist group which probably bought the King some time. Clearly now that may be coming to an end.

Definitely worth (re-)reading now given the turmoil in the Arab world, particularly those naive politicos, policy pontificators, and pooh-bahs of punditry (from both the left and the right) who have viewed the Arab “Spring” through rose-colored Pollyannish glasses. URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/19/magazine/iraq.html

hg

Efrata / J’lem

Allen Esterson says:

Marc: Your write that Evelyn’s lineage was important to her, but do not mention she was actually the adoptive granddaughter of Einstein. She was adopted by Hans Albert, Einstein’s elder son, after he and his first wife lost their son to illness at the age of six.

By all accounts, when Hans Albert married a second time after his first wife died, contact between them and Evelyn was lost. So the distancing of Evelyn from the Einstein family occurred a generation below Einstein.

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Evelyn Einstein, Granddaughter, 70

Shiva Stars

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