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Tag: Annamaria Einstein

Robert Einstein: the engineer cousin of Albert Einstein in Italy (Part 6-End)

The tragic death of Robert Einstein and the end of the war


Major U.S. Milton Wexler came shortly after the massacre and although he was able to inform Albert Einstein about safety of his cousin Robert, he was also forced to tell him about the massacre of the Einstein-Mazzetti family, in a letter dated 17th September 1944.


Milton Wexler letter to Albert Einstein


Albert Einstein was pained by this tragedy. Later he also received a letter from a desperate Robert who was trying to discover the guilty Germans who had killed his whole family.

On 27th November 1944, the same Robert wrote a letter to his cousin informing him that the American Commission for war crimes had already started the investigation and asked for help to him to get the identification and condemnation of the killers.



Robert Einstein letter to Albert Einstein


Robert Einstein never could repair his pain and one year after the massacre, on his wedding anniversary, 13th July 1945, committed suicide. He writes to his farmer:

I regret that with my death I have to bring to you not just pain, but also so much trouble. But I also prefer to die at the Focardo, where they suffered the torture and I wish to be buried as close as is possible to them.


Robert Einstein letter to his farmer Orando


After the end of World War II, after 6 milion of Jewesh people deaths just because Jewesh in that horrible time of Nazism and Italian Fascism when Jews were not allowed to live like everyone else, after about 55-70 million deaths on total, that made one the biggest cemetery on the world in the History, the life restarted, the bridges of Florence were rebuilt, although the criminal killers of the Einstein-Mazzetti family were never found.

Today there is a street in the centre of Rignano sull’Arno named Via Famiglia Einstein dedicated to the memory of the Einstein Family. A monument is dedicated to them in the small Cemetery of the Badiuzza, where all members of this martyred family, victims of the Germans crime, finally rest together.

In the tranquil silence of that small cemetery, with the names of these four poor, innocent people, I imagine hearing an echo saying to us:

Never forget, remember forever.







The Fallen of World War II




Special Thanks: Barbara, Stacy di Anna Pollard




Robert Einstein: the engineer cousin of Albert Einstein in Italy (Part 5)

The Massacre of the Einstein’s Family


In the opinion of some it seems that at some point there was news, or talk in the street or even just the feeling that Hitler had ordered the hunting of Einstein’s relatives in Italy. The situation was frenzied. The Germans coming from Florence raided the countryside. Some witnesses say that people there were panicked, crying, “they will kill all of us! They will kill all of us!”, running and escaping as best they could. In this absolute chaos for the local population, it seems that friends or partisans, at some point, suggested to Robert Einstein that he must leave the Villa del Focardo. At last, he decided to escape and went into hiding in the countryside, not too far away from the villa. 

Surely, Robert must have been worried for his family, but was probably convinced that nothing would happen to his daughters and wife, since they weren’t Jewish. Witnesses say that to stay at the villa was a choice by Robert’s wife, Cesarina Mazzetti, who didn’t want to run away, saying:

“What could happen to us and why? We don’t have to run away. Nothing will happen to us”.

Then, the tragedy. Nowadays sadly known as the Eccidio della Famiglia Einstein-Mazzetti: the Massacre of the Einstein’s Family.




Not finding Robert Einstein inside the villa, a division of the Wehrmacht (note 2) ordered Robert’s wife and daughters Luce and Annamaria to call out “Robert, Robert” or “papà, papà”, to see if he would come out. Some reports that the three women were taken outside into a courtyard, other reports to a room in the villa, leaving all others who were there alive. And here is what happened: a shot, then a stop for a moment, a second shot, then a stop for another moment, a third shot of the machine gun, then the infinite silence. So died Cesarina Mazzetti (Nina), wife of Robert Einstein, age 56, Luce Einstein, 27, and Annamaria Einstein (Cicì), age 18.

The Germans killed the three without mercy and then set fire to the villa. Robert knew from somebody – or saw the fire at the villa – and must have realized that his life was destroyed. The day after he was a completely desperate man. We can just imagine what he felt. He probably felt guilty having run away the day before, leaving his family at home without any protection, thinking that the risk was only for him, that the Germans were hunting just him. It was impossible for me not to imagine Robert Einstein thinking hundreds, thousands of times:

“If I was there they would have killed just me and would have left my dear daughters and my wife alive”.

It seems that the Germans left their signature of death and destruction with a horrible note, discovered on the 4th of August:

We executed the components of Einstein’s family, guilty of treason and Jews. (Abbiamo giustiziato i componenti della famiglia Einstein, rei di tradimento e giudei).






Robert Einstein: the engineer cousin of Albert Einstein in Italy (Part 2)

Robert Einstein between Germany and Italy, then in different places of Italy and finally at Rignano sull’Arno, Tuscany


Unfortunatly, there are no much news on the Internet about Robert Einstein in general (note 1), and less yet in regard the time he lived in North Italy. An article tells us that while Albert Einstein couldn’t remain in Italy to study, “his cousin” was studying in Pavia.

Albert Einstein in 1893

Albert Einstein in 1893


Albert also came often the years his family lived in Pavia and Milan since 1894, spending about three months a year in Italy, doing his research and debating much on it with his friend Michele Besso. After Hermann’s death (1902), Pauline and Maja Einstein went to live in Switzerland, while Jacob and Robert lived in Milan and they were always in contact by letters with the other Einsteins.

After the Jacob death, it is also quite likely just to deduce that Robert Einstein some times went back to Germany for periods and came back to Italy, before finally staying in Italy. Indeed, he married a Waldesian Italian woman, Cesarina Mazzetti (Nina) in Rome in 1913, while their first daughter Luce Einstein was born in Munich, Germany, in 1917.

At about the mid of the 1920s we meet again Robert Einstein in Rome, where also his second daughter Annamaria Einstein was born, in 1926, and in the countryside of Monte Malbe, near Perugia.

Cesarina Mazzetti and Robert Einstein

Cesarina Mazzetti and Robert Einstein



Robert’s wife Cesarina Mazzetti had a brother in Rome, who was married with two daughters too. After the parents died, the two girls, Paola and Lorenza, were adopted by the Einstein-Mazzettis and went to live with them.

Villa del Focardo at Troghi, Rignano sull'Arno

Villa del Focardo at Troghi, Rignano sull’Arno

At about the mid of the 1930s the family moved to Florence, at Corso dei Tintori, and also bought in the tuscan countryside the Villa del Focardo with a farm, fields and vineyards. The villa was about 20 kilometres away from Florence, in Rignano sull’Arno area, at the village of Troghi.




Note 1: unfortunatly the sources are scarse and often not sure, for example you could find an article telling us that Robert Einstein was living in a place a year, while an other article tells us that at the same year he was living in an other place.



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