“Librarians at Princeton University have discovered a diary written by one of Albert Einstein’s closest friends, a woman who recorded the scientist’s day-to-day thoughts and activities during the last year and a half of his life.
Albert Einstein and Johanna Fantova 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,” wrote the Princeton librarian, who kept a diary of their conversations.
The diary, written by Johanna Fantova, a former Princeton librarian, relates Einstein’s musings on subjects, profound and mundane, from physics and current events to the tribulations of growing old. Fantova, who knew Einstein for more than 25 years, chronicled their regular conversations in more than 200 diary entries.
In an introduction to the diary, Fantova wrote that she intended it to “cast some additional light on our understanding of Einstein, not the great man who became a legend during his own lifetime, not on Einstein the renowned scientist, but on Einstein, the humanitarian.”
Fantova met Einstein in the 1920s in Europe and then renewed the friendship in the United States during World War II. The two ate dinners and went sailing together in Princeton; she cut his hair, and he wrote poems to her. They also spoke by telephone two or three evenings a week. She compiled notes from their conversations into a 62-page manuscript, which is written in German and covers the period from October 1953 to Einstein’s death in April 1955 at age 76.”
By Steven Schultz
Read on @ The Princeton Weekly Bulletin