Margarita Konenkova – Einstein’s last love
A brilliant scientist, a charming Russian spy and a passionate affair during the Second World War…
Margarita Konenkova (1895 – 1980, nee Vorontsova) was a Soviet spy. She was Einstein’s last love. In 1998 love letters written to Margarita by Albert Einstein (physicist who formulated the theory of relativity, grandfather of the atomic bomb) were consigned for sale at Sotheby’s auction house. The letters, written in elegant German script and preserved in blue envelopes, reveal a sensitive man who writes with humor, warmth and love (Einstein was 66 years old, and she was 51).
Margarita was born in 1895 into the family of a lawyer. She graduated from female school in Sarapul, and then studied law at Madame Poltoratsky courses in Moscow.
Margarita was familiar with many famous people of that time: Fyodor Chaliapin, Sergei Yesenin, Anatoly Mariengof, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Vsevolod Meyerhold and many others.
In 1922 Margarita married a prominent Russian sculptor Sergei Konenkov and a year later they moved to America. Sergei came to the USA to work on a bronze bust of Einstein for Princeton University. The couple lived in the United States from the mid-1920s to 1945. To gather information on the U.S. atomic bomb program, Konenkova charmed Einstein.
When the World War II ended Margarita and Sergei Konnenkov left the USA. Einstein gave Margarita his gold watch as a farewell present.
Margarita died from exhaustion in 1980 in Moscow, much later than Einstein and her husband.
Yury Sushko wrote a book about Einstein’s favorite woman.