In 1881, Hermann and Pauline had a second child, Maria. Called Maja by all who knew her, she was Albert's closest childhood friend. Her biography of Einstein, written in 1924, is the source of much of the lore about Einstein's early years. For instance, Maria relates that when Einstein was born, his mother worried that his head was too large and his grandmother exclaimed that he was "much too fat." A few years later, when Einstein was four or five, he had his first scientific experience: his father showed him a pocket compass and the young boy marveled at the fact that regardless of where the compass was turned, the needle always pointed north. Einstein thus demonstrated an interest in science and problem-solving even before he entered school.Einstein's formal education began at age six, when he enrolled in the Petersschule on Blumenstrasse, a Catholic elementary school in Munich. Since his parents were not
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