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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).






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