xxxvi INTRODUCTION
TO VOLUME
1
Einstein
was
born
in
Ulm and
spent
his
childhood
in
Munich,
where
he
obtained his
primary
and
secondary schooling. Many
traces
of
his
South
German
background
(as
well
as
of
his
later
stay
in
Switzerland)
are
found in
his
choice of
words,
especially
in his
letters
to
Maric.
His attachment
to
the
German cultural tradition
in
literature,
philosophy,
and music
is
evident
in
his
letters,
as
is
his
negative
reaction
to
German
authority-worship
and anti-
Semitism. At
the
age
of
fifteen
he
left
Munich
in
the middle of the school
year
and
joined
his
family
in
Italy,
where
his
father and uncle had moved
their electrotechnical
firm. An
attempt
to enter
the
Swiss
Federal
Polytech-
nical School
(ETH)
failed,
and
he
was
advised
to
complete
his
secondary
schooling.
He did
so
in Switzerland
in
the technical section of the
Aargau
Kantons-
schule
(see
the editorial
note
about
this
school).
He
flourished in the liberal
atmosphere
of the school and
came
to
know
Swiss
life
through
the Winteler
family,
in
whose home
he lived while in
Aarau. This
stay
led to his
first
se-
rious
romance,
with
Marie,
one
of the Winteler
daughters.
Both
sets
of
par-
ents
looked
kindly
on
their
relationship,
but Einstein ended
it
within
a year.
Through
school
expeditions
and
holiday
trips,
he
came
to
appreciate
the
beauty
of
the Swiss
mountains and
lakes.
Music,
which had
a
significant
place
in his
emotional
life,
also
played
a
large
role
in his
social
life while in
Aarau
and thereafter.
By
the time Einstein
left Aarau, he
was sure
of
his
vocation: the
study
of
physics, especially
its
theoretical
aspects.
His
years
in
Section
VI A
of the
ETH constituted
his
apprenticeship
in
physics
(see
the
two
editorial
notes
about the
ETH). Apart
from H.F. Weber's
lectures,
his
study
of
theory
con-
sisted
primarily
of self-instruction. Einstein
was
also fascinated
by
his
work
in
Weber's
laboratories,
which
were
among
the
best-equipped
academic
laboratories in the world. His letters
suggest
that such
experimental
work
played
a
significant
role
in his
approach
to
physics.
While
at
the
ETH,
Einstein became
acquainted
with Mileva Maric,
a
Serb born
in
a
region
of
Hungary
that
is
now
part
of
Yugoslavia.
She
had
obtained
a
secondary-school
education
that
included
physics
at
a
time when
this
was
not
easy
for
women.
Now
a
student
at
the
ETH,
she
began
to
study
together
with Einstein.
By
1899
they
were
close
friends, spending
most
of
their
free
time with
one
another. The
following year they
were
in
love,
and
right
after
his
graduation,
Einstein told
his
mother of their
plan
to
marry.
His
parents
made their
opposition
clear.
Unlike
his fellow
graduates
of Section
VI A
in
1900,
Einstein did
not
secure a position as Assistent,
the
first
rung on
the academic ladder.
An
attitude
of
independence,
considered
excessive
by
his
professors, may
have
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