Einstein’s Last Written Words

When Einstein died on April 18, 1955 he left a piece of writing ending in an unfinished sentence.

It was thought to be for a speech he was going to make in Israel.

In 1948 he underwent surgery to reinforce an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

On April 17, 1955, he checked into Princeton Hospital, New Jersey after experiencing pains.

Doctors concluded that the aneurysm was bleeding, and they advised him to have immediate surgery.

Einstein refused the surgery, saying “I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share; it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.”

He apparently said something in German but the nurse who was looking after him didn’t speak German so his last spoken words are unknown.

These were his last written words:

“In essence, the conflict that exists today is no more than an old-style struggle for power, once again presented to mankind in semireligious trappings.

The difference is that, this time, the development of atomic power has imbued the struggle with a ghostly character; for both parties know and admit that, should the quarrel deteriorate into actual war, mankind is doomed.

Despite this knowledge, statesmen in responsible positions on both sides continue to employ the well-known technique of seeking to intimidate and demoralize the opponent by marshaling superior military strength.

They do so even though such a policy entails the risk of war and doom. Not one statesman in a position of responsibility has dared to pursue the only course that holds out any promise of peace, the course of supranational security, since for a statesman to follow such a course would be tantamount to political suicide.

Political passions, once they have been fanned into flame, exact their victims … Citater fra…”


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